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'Your very good health!' Gin for an independent west Africa

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores how the challenges and opportunities of the decolonisation period led to changing strategies in the marketing of schnapps. It turns to the challenges brought by the decolonisation period, including the rising competition of cheaper, locally produced schnapps gin brands. This discussion illuminates the changing marketing strategies of Dutch gin producers in West Africa, and also provides insights into local West African modernities and processes leading to the acceptance and rejecting of specific commodities. The three themes came together in a series of Henkes adverts and posters from the late 1950s that are composed around a drawing of a group of three successful African males. The chapter explores these three themes in gin advertising, and analyses why the Dutch distillers considered these to be particularly relevant for the West African market, starting with ‘health’.

Keywords: decolonisation period; Dutch distillers; Henkes adverts; schnapps gin; West Africa



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