Firestone Walker CMO On 805 Beer's Campaign Elevating Women's Voices

Image above: MMA fighter Tabatha Ricci

California brewery Firestone Walker launched a campaign for its 805 Beer line on International Women’s Day, celebrating an impressive group of women athletes and creators, including X-Games gold medalist Vicki Golden, MMA fighter Tabatha Ricci, Babes Ride Out founders Anya Violet and Ashmore Ellis, singer-songwriter Jade Jackson, and explorer Gillian Larson.

The diverse cohort is part of a larger roster of “Authenticos” brand representing its largest-ever marketing investment -- spanning culture marketing, strategic partnerships, trade programming, and content marketing through its 805 Films channel and other outlets.

We caught up with FIrestone Walker CMO Dustin Hinz to discuss the campaign.



This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

CPG Insider:How did you determine the right partners for the ad, and how does it connect to the brand’s approach more broadly?

Dustin Hinz: As a brewery, we’re very focused on elevating women’s voices, the whole staff and team. With 805, there are a lot of female voices in the brand we’re creating there. Of all the brands, that’s the team with the most authentic voice behind it for the message.

These athletes, many of whom have been with us for over a decade, are an important part of the brand identity. So by no means is this a unique endeavor for us, it’s just an opportunity for us to elevate it further and highlight that by celebrating them for March, and for International Women’s Day.

Can you elaborate on the brand’s roster of athletes and creators, its approach to such partnerships, and determining the right partners?

For the “Authenticos” as a whole, we have about 40 on the roster. They span pro surfers to pro boxers, to MMA fighters, to tattoo artists and musicians. It's an incredibly diverse roster of people from all walks of life, whom we feel echo the 805 lifestyle.

We don’t look to get into partnerships just for a short campaign or endorsement. We look to create these long-term relationships because consumers are smart and they see through influencer campaigns and celebrity endorsements. What we aim to create is not a flash endorsement or one-time engagement, but brand identity.

We spend a lot of time making sure we have the right people on the team, externally and internally. First and foremost, they have to be fans of the product. We look for shared values for adventure, a trailblazing spirit, being out actively creating and pursuing the next level of their prospective endeavors. They obviously have to be great, well-rounded human beings, and stand for the right things as well -- there has to be risk mitigation.

From there, it’s about storytelling and if they want to be part of creating work together, and if they are a good collaborator.

What is the level of increased marketing investment for the brand this year, and what led the increase at this moment?

It’s a 20% increase in spending year-over-year. As we calibrated back with return of on-premises sale and got back to the new normal, we realized -- and have always known -- that with a premium product, it’s a priority to create stickiness and awareness. Craft beer has never been a more crowded market, and social media democratized marketing to a degree. It’s our responsibility as marketers and brand stewards to continue to invest in storytelling that builds the legacy and legend of Firestone Walker.

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