VF! Insights

Discover how Castle Lite Racked up a Staggering 93% growth for SAB?

Alcoholic Beverage manufacture, distribution and sales

South African Breweries (officially known as The South African Breweries Limited, and informally as SAB) is a major brewery with its headquarters in Johannesburg. Despite an extensive portfolio, the brand battled with prominence in the main market.

The beer environment, in particular, exhibits limited conformity in terms of display execution. Thus, with the multitude of competitive communication around, the brand was challenged with standing out amid the clutter.

The project success highlights 

  • Innovative strategy enhanced Castle Lite’s brand.
  • Achieved an impressive 93% growth for Castle Lite.
  • Outperformed competitors with a unique design, leading to a 54% portfolio growth and 38% category growth.
  • Highlighted the ‘Mere Exposure Effect’ – brand visibility matters.


SAB approached us to amplify the essence of the brand, take market share and win in trade via their Castle Lite Extra Cold beer.


We have an extensive archive of brand frameworks for the alcohol industry. From our countless research projects undertaken in the main market, we know that the purchase hatch continues to be a key touchpoint for brands to communicate with customers. However, as vital as it is, the prominence of the hatch has been diminished by several challenges.

  • Its dark appearance hampered visibility
  • Posters plastered on hatches created a wallpaper effect, further diminishing
    visibility and impact
  • Wear and tear create a worn out and rundown appearance
  • An investment in generic POS under such conditions would be largely
    ineffectual and inefficient

In response to these challenges, we turned our attention to the brand’s value proposition for a solution.“How do we take all that consumers love about Castle Lite – its energetic, fun, cool, unexpected and innovative personality – and manifest it in trade, with the whole new expression of Extra Cold as a foundation?” The answer wasn’t so much a hatch,
but what was at it.


We created a solution where the design held a strong visual appeal and stood taller than the competition. Its impact was staggering as SAB experienced a:

  • 1% Competitor decline
  • 38% Category Growth (Premium vs Mainstream)
  • 54% SAB Portfolio Growth
  • 64% Castle Portfolio Growth (Castle Lager, Castle Lite and Castle Milk Stout)
  • 93% Castle Lite Growth

The more familiar something is, the more it’s liked. This phenomenon is known as the ‘Mere Exposure Effect’ and best describes the value of brand visibility.

In a nutshell, get up, dress up and show up. 

VF! Insights