Kona Brewing Takes Its Beloved 'Bruddahs' Out to the Ballgame

Duncan Channon tosses MLB-themed pitch

"The tempo of America's pastime and the tempo of island life are particularly in sync," Duncan Channon creative director Parker Channon tells Muse. "Both have way less beats per minute than your average fare."

That belief informs a new installment of the agency's long-running "Dear Mainland" campaign for AB InBev's Kona Brewing.

The brand's beloved Hawaiian "bruddahs"—David Hekili Bell and Blake Brutus La Benz, who aren't actually related—riff on baseball themes and more in the commercial lineup below:

Kona Brewing Co. | Bullpen Phone
Kona Brewing Co. | Sunday Scaries
Kona Brewing Co. | Bars

A "relief pitcher" brimming with beer? Oh, bruddah!

"This is the first time we've created a TV spot that ties into baseball, though earlier campaigns have run during baseball telecasts," Channon says. "Given that the plan was to heavy up the Major League Baseball buy, we saw a great opportunity to create a baseball-specific spot. So, we did."

The goal, he says, has been "to move Kona from the smaller, increasingly crowded craft segment to the premium import category. So, we skip the hop-and-copper-kettle talk and provide the messaging these 21- to 49-year-olds need to put down that Corona or Heineken and pick up a Big Wave from Kona."

Given our stressful and confusing times, the folksy, low-key schtick feels like a winning play, delivered in breezy, relaxed style by O Positive director Brian Billow. Owing to Covid safety protocols, however, the agency team rode the pine in San Francisco during filming last month on Oahu.

"To our great chagrin, we had to view the shoot remotely for the first time in seven years," laments Channon. "You can imagine that going to Hawaii to shoot beer commercials is not exactly a hardship for anyone at the agency."

We sure can, bruddah! (Too much?)

The spots will run in 25 regional markets across TV, digital and paid social media.

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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