The North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild has appointed BooneOakley as its first AOR. Previous marketing was developed in-house and earlier by ShapiroWalker Design, Winston-Salem, N.C.
The non-profit association of North Carolina brewers, vendors, retailers and craft beer enthusiasts selected the NC-based agency after a joint agency/client marketing brainstorm. The exploratory session started with the Guild’s past communication efforts, growth, target audiences and goals. The agency then presented relevant research on the beer industry and on potential audiences, along with strategic directions for new work, says David Hamrick, account executive, BooneOakley.
"We are still working out the part in our contract about unlimited sampling of all of NC’s craft beers," jokes David Oakley, creative director, BooneOakley.
The creative will promote the various breweries in the state with creative “as tasty as a Farmer Ted’s Cream Ale from Catawba Brewing," says Oakley.
The media strategy will focus on in-state and across the Southeast and include print, digital and out-of-home. The strategy takes aim at new craft beer drinkers, especially women and those over age 35. One of the goals of the Brewers Guild is to tell the story of North Carolina craft beers, which helps contribute to job growth and tourism.
North Carolina is rapidly becoming well-known for craft beer culture, with over 160 craft brewers, ranking number nine in number of craft breweries out of the 50 states. The state's craft brew industry is the largest in the Southeast, generating more than $1 billion in yearly revenue.
"Two of my favorite things in life are advertising and NC craft beer. Both together is a match made in heaven," says Oakley.
The Guild is embarking on other awareness initiatives to increase its profile. The group is partnering with Zephyr Conferences and Asheville Brewers Alliance to host their first-ever Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference in Asheville, NC, March 28-30, 2017.