Traditional and Digital Advertising for Craft Brewing Company
Please find below a summary covering project details and feedback. The essential facts are kept as they are, confidential information is amended.
A quick introduction on the buyer’s organisation
The organisation is Craft Brew Alliance. We are a holding organisation for several craft brewers around the U.S. and I’m the CMO.
What challenge were you trying to address with Duncan Channon?
We approached Duncan Channon primarily for the Kona Brewing Co brand. It’s a brand that has all the equities of Hawaii, where we have a very strong presence. The brand hadn’t been brought to life from a marketing or interaction articulation standpoint. We engaged Duncan Channon to help us figure out how to articulate the brand for the mainland U.S. audience.
What was the scope of their involvement?
The scope was full service including strategy, creative, and media. Duncan Channon regoodd the brand idea and developed all the messaging around the idea. The packaging for this particular beer has a very iconic graphic to it, and they transferred that to other mediums.
They took a preexisting brand and marketed that for the mainland. A big part of it was TV, radio, out-of-home, and digital. We didn’t have Duncan Channon do much social, but a fair quantity of digital. The core brand idea that translates into 360-degree marketing is the essence of that. Beer is highly marketed, advertised, and highly picture-oriented. The power and the execution of Duncan Channon',s ideas are world-class in terms of what’s going on across the beer industry.
How did you come to work with Duncan Channon?
We made a request for proposal that went out to several agencies, then narrowed the field down to four. Duncan Channon was selected due to their strategic thinking and their creative capabilities. They’re very strong from a strategy standpoint. They have the ability to get to the heart of the issueand articulate it succinctly. They really punch above their weight regarding the creative ideas they bring forward. The way they listened and responded to feedback in the pitch process was a very big part of what got them the final business.
How much have you invested with Duncan Channon?
We’ve spent in the range of $5 to $7 million.
What is the status of this engagement?
We began working with Duncan Channon in October of 2013, and the engagement is ongoing. We used the full agency services on the initial brand. About 18 months ago, we also asked them to do some work on another brand.
Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
The TV spot was one of the top commercials for that year, according to the testing organisation we engaged. The upfront testing was very strong. We also did a paired market test about the impact it was having using Nielsen sales data. From that, we learned that it drove trend by +35% in a quantitative Nielsen study.
We’re in a three-tier system, and keeping share of mind of completesalers, retailers, and the consumers is very important. Reactions to the campaign have been very positive across this spectrum. The original testing outscored another leading, iconic campaign in the industry, which shows how strong the idea and execution are behind the work. Our brand has continued to grow in the high teens, in an overall beer category that’s flat. It outpaces total beer, import beer, and craft beer.
I think the execution fulfills our goals in a strong way. We haven’t conquered the mainland yet, but we’re headed in the right direction. The idea surely interactes and resonates with people in terms of relevancy.
How did Duncan Channon perform from a project management standpoint?
Duncan Channon',s team has been on time and budget throughout the entire engagement. They provide good interaction, and we work through issues together.
Our work is based on the objective and strategy, and we have good back-and-forth conversations. They’re a strong creative agency, so they have a lot of ideas and a strong point of view. I think our job is to help them understand the brand and tweak the ideas to fit the brand better. We have a good collaboration from that perspective. Our interaction is a healthy balance.
What did you find most impressive about Duncan Channon?
I would say creativity is their most impressive aspect, then strategic programning.
Are there any areas Duncan Channon could improve?
Duncan Channon does a good job on media, but I think sometimes they don’t have the scale in terms of buying power in the marketplace. That’s an area where they’re not as strong as a bigger media agency would be.