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Kona Brewing Company’s New “Dear Mainland” Campaign Rolls Out Today

At a time when Americans are leaving millions of unused vacation days on the table and spending more time in front of screens than ever before, Kona Brewing Company and the larger-than-life but laid back Hawaiian “Bruddahs” from the “Dear Mainland” campaign are back to playfully suggest that shifting our priorities might help us enjoy life more. In new digital videos that launch May 8, the Bruddahs humorously remind us to get out and have some real-life fun as they “review” a few of the ways we get stuck to our screens – whether to catch up on the latest reality television feud, crush a mobile game, or check out a viral cat-in-funny outfit video.

The :15 videos are part of Kona Brewing’s evolution of the successful integrated “Dear Mainland” campaign, which is expanding to include TV, digital video and retail components, as well as new localized TV spots in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco.

The Dear Mainland campaign created with Duncan Channon, which juxtaposes the easy-going and distinctly local perspective of the Bruddahs with common all-work-no-play mainlander pressures, has driven significant business growth for Kona Brewing Company since its 2014 launch. After the first year, Kona saw a 37 percent sales lift in markets where the campaign aired – the third highest lift recorded by IRI in 12 years. In 2016, Kona recorded an additional 15 percent growth over the previous year’s record in campaign markets.

“Kona’s Dear Mainland campaign has been successful because people love the light-hearted way our ‘Bruddahs’ deliver the relatable and much-needed reminder to step outside their daily routine and make time for what matters most to them,” said Cindy Wang, senior director of brand marketing for Kona Brewing Co. “That’s why we’re excited to showcase their special brand of Hawaiian wisdom in new formats beyond traditional TV spots and create hyper-local ways to engage new audiences.”

“We know people are guilty of spending time online at the expense of other meaningful, relaxing or fun experiences, so it makes sense for us to reach our audience on social to deliver Kona’s good humored message about screen time,” added Wang.

Created by San Francisco’s Duncan Channon, a 2016 Ad Age Small Agency of the Year, the digital videos were shot in Hawaii at Kikaua Point Park, Kailua-Kona with Waimea resident Dave Bell and Blake “Brutus” La Benz from Honolulu. Three :15 second videos will run May 8 through September 3, 2017 on Facebook and Instagram:

  • Kona Reviews: Phone Apps” – pokes fun at the mobile game phenomenon and gamification that keeps Americans chained to their phones
  • Kona Reviews: Reality TV” – tongue-in-cheek reference to reality TV drama that contrasts with the serene experience of drinking a cold Kona beer at the beach
  • Kona Reviews: Viral Videos” – reminds us that there may be more fulfilling things to do and discover in life than the latest viral cat video sensation

“The Kona brand is all about encouraging people to slow down, breathe and connect with what matters – family, friends, nature, experiences,” said Anne Elisco-Lemme, executive creative director, Duncan Channon. “In the new creative, the brothers’ tongue-in-cheek banter about pop culture content that keeps us chained to our screens reminds us that we sometimes need to put down the phone, turn off the TV or close that YouTube video to get out and enjoy life.”

Duncan Channon also produced a series of short-form videos called “Dear Kona,” which will run on Facebook and Instagram during the same time period. The videos feature the Bruddahs’ responses to fictional letters from mainlanders asking advice about how to deal with life situations, such as an amped-up boss labeling every email “urgent.” View the videos here:

As part of Kona’s 360 degree approach to reach audiences no matter where they are, Kona also partnered with CBS to create dedicated local TV creative that offers the Bruddahs’ laid-back view on the local values of five California counties: Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco. The localized TV spots will air in each market exclusively on Thursdays – the day of the week the Bruddahs want people to treat like “Little Fridays”  by making time to enjoy themselves. Kona will also encourage fans to put a little “Friday” into everyday giving away a weekly prize through a new “Little Friday” online sweepstakes, which will be promoted on social media and in retail stores. Consumers can enter starting May 8 at: www.konabrewingco.com/littlefridays.

The brand teamed with the AV Club to bring music artists Thao and Zipper Club to the home of Kona beer in Kona, HI, to film a national TV special that will air nationally on Fusion TV on August 31, 2017. Kona will also present a special concert featuring Boulevards, Thao and Zipper Club in Los Angeles at Hotel Cafe on July 20, 2017. “Little Friday Acoustic Sessions” sessions and interviews with the artists courtesy of Kona will be unveiled at www.avclub.com throughout the summer.

The new elements in the “Dear Mainland” campaign will complement the airing of existing Kona TV spots “Little Fridays,” “FOMO” and “Sad Hour” due to their continued success with audiences. The TV spots, which originally launched in the summer of 2014 will air in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento May through September.

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