Two weeks ago, Castle Lite set out an extraordinary digital campaign to announce Castle Lite Unlocks 2020 consisting of a unique Early Bird ticket system ahead of their grand reveal of the 2020 international headliner – Cardi B.
“It is in the brand’s ice-cold DNA to be innovative in the way that it does things; to stay ahead of the game and keep doing the coolest stuff from any brand in Africa. And as Africa’s biggest premium beer brand, Castle Lite had to launch the 10th year edition of Castle Lite Unlocks in an epic way,” said the brand in a statement.
They then set out to reveal all the ways in which they made it obvious who this year’s headline act was prior to the big announcement.
“The brand did the unthinkable when it asked its consumers to purchase tickets to the 2020 Unlocks experience before anything had been revealed. All people knew was that tickets were going for a steal at the ice-shattering price of R50. But there had been no mention of the headliner or even what this years’ experience would be.”
#CastleLiteUnlocks is back & we’re doing things a little different this year! We’re dropping early bird tickets in the coolest way on https://t.co/5sDh6bYlmn this Thursday at 3PM! Be the first to get your tickets & you could be the first know who we’re unlocking. ???? pic.twitter.com/nhvbnLV4Vo
— CastleLiteSA (@castlelitesa) February 17, 2020
The brand left a trail of carefully selected “Easter eggs” – a trail of clues on the headline act – with the intention of allowing any consumer that paid attention, to break the ice and discover that Cardi B was about to be Unlocked…
This not only saw the #CastleLiteUnlocks hashtag trending and breaking the internet, but it also saw a few people being convinced that they knew who Castle Lite was Unlocking. All of these clues were hidden in plain sight, for anyone to discover who the headliner would be, almost like a virtual Easter egg hunt.
Excitement mounted over the 2 Easter eggs that were found and made it pretty obvious that Cardi B would be coming to Mzansi.
Tech-savvy consumers looked where no one else was looking and discovered that the words “Castle Lite Unlocks Cardi B” had been added to the Castle Lite website HTML code.
— Tyma (@Ric3hard) February 20, 2020
What’s more, as speculations were growing online, the brand started telling “Friends of Castle Lite” who was being Unlocked and caught their reaction on camera. Loyal Cardi B fans were quick to spot the “Bacardi” license plate that was intentionally positioned in the background on Rouge’s video.
Please note: the following video is quite loud
And although these two clues were found, what consumers did not know is that there were 16 other Easter eggs that would’ve made the secret not so secret if anyone spotted them.
On Monday, 17 February, the brand put out two announcement videos to educate the public on the return of Unlocks as well as the ticket sales. Lyrics from one of Cardi B’s songs as well as some visuals from one of her music videos were used in the initial launch video.
The brand followed this up with a video educating the public on how the Early Bird ticketing system would work. But what fans didn’t see, was that more visuals from Cardi B’s I Like It Like That music video were used, the word “Okurrr” appears in small text several times in the video, and her Invasion of Privacy album cover is displayed in the background.
On the same day, a statement was sent to media announcing the return of Unlocks for its 10th year edition and the sale of Early Bird tickets. On the media statement, Cardi B’s name was spelt down the side of the statement with each paragraph beginning with one letter from Cardi B’s name.
Castle Lite then sent out 50 press packages to media and celebrity friends of the brand. Each premium package contained one letter from the headliner’s name. As each recipient posted their package on social media with the clue in it, consumers needed only to piece the letters together and discover what the big secret was.
No guessing what @YoungstaCpt just found out!
Make sure you get your early-bird tickets from 3pm tomorrow on https://t.co/5sDh6bYlmn, and you could be the first to find out who will be headlining #CastleLiteUnlocks ????. pic.twitter.com/JHJcakTMhR
— CastleLiteSA (@castlelitesa) February 19, 2020
Reveal footage was shot with the likes of DJ Maphorisa, Ayanda MVP, Rouge and Youngsta CPT as they found out who was to be Unlocked. In each video, an Easter egg was again hidden in plain sight and those who were paying close enough attention would’ve also seen the poster with Cardi B’s smile behind Ayanda MVP as she found out the big news; or, heard Youngsta CPT use the pronoun “she” after finding out who the headliner is.
If that didn’t give it away, the brand unfollowed everyone on its social media accounts except for all the past Castle Lite Unlocks headliners, and Cardi B was among them.
Finally, a female voice was used for the Unlocks 2020 radio ad for the first time in the history of Unlocks and the brand pulled a few strings to have Cardi B’s music on high rotations on some of the country’s popular radio stations.
“What is now very clear is that consumers need to pay careful attention to every move that Castle Lite makes as more and more surprises are in store for this year’s Castle Lite Unlocks experience,” concluded the brand.
Cardi B will headline the experience at the TicketPro Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa on 12 June 2020. Tickets are available at www.castlelite.co.za and range from R690 upwards.
(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)