Kona Brewing Thinks You Should Put a ‘To Don’t List’ on Your To Do List

Kona Brewing has launched its largest-ever marketing effort launching during NCAA’s March Madness. It’s Kona’s first-ever national campaign as the brand courts beer drinkers across the country in a bid to compete with top lifestyle beers like Corona.

After charming regional audiences in California, Hawaii, Florida and Washington, Kona’s larger-than-life but laid back Hawaiian brothers debut for the first time on national TV to playfully suggest that shifting our priorities might help us enjoy life more.

In three new TV spots airing during March Madness, the brothers humorously remind us to put down our phones and our to-do lists long enough to get out and enjoy life’s pleasures. Kona aims to get NCAA basketball fans across the country to consider its beer as they enjoy the tournament and other good times in life.

The :30 TV spots will air nationally, as well as in 13 regional markets throughout the NCAA tournament. The integrated March Madness campaign includes video on March Madness Live, which generated 80M streams in 2018, as well as a Bleacher Report takeover. Kona’s agency of record Duncan Channon handled the creative and media.  

“We live in a world where the demands and distractions can feel endless, so we can all use a friendly nudge to stop and enjoy the good stuff,” said Parker Channon, creative director, Duncan Channon. “And who better to give us permission to enjoy that stuff than a couple local brothers dispensing island wisdom. After four years on the coasts, we couldn’t be more excited to bring this campaign to the national stage for March Madness.”

“Our ‘Dear Mainland’ campaign has connected with viewers because it taps into the cultural truth that we all want to put down the work and the phone and prioritise what makes us happy,” said Cindy Wang, director of brand marketing, Kona Brewing Co. “March Madness is a time when fans across the country are making time to enjoy themselves with friends, so it makes sense for us to introduce our brand nationally during the tournament. It’s an ideal moment to reach beer drinkers who are watching on multiple screens — TV and digital.” 

Kona’s first national push comes on the heels of five consecutive years of strong sales growth for the brand at a time when total U.S. beer consumption is declining as consumers reach for other alcoholic beverages and scale back drinking.

Kona’s flagship Big Wave Golden Ale, which is highlighted in the new spots, recorded sales growth of 26% in 2018. The ‘Dear Mainland’ campaign created with Duncan Channon in 2014 has helped make Kona far and away the fastest growing beer in the Craft Brew Alliance portfolio. 

While many craft beer marketers tend to emphasise their ingredients or brewing techniques, Kona and Duncan Channon have taken a different approach: bottling the laid-back spirit of Hawaii via the easy-going and good-humoured brothers, who are here to remind us ‘mainlanders’ to make time for what matters. Bolstered by its strong sales growth, Kona ultimately hopes to transcend the craft category and position itself alongside leading lifestyle beers. 

Source: Little Black Book

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