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New Kona Beer campaign uses the laid back island perspective in ongoing Dear Mainland series

With brands from Domino’s to Miller Lite leaning in to tech, Kona Beer is taking a different approach as its ad campaigns tend to encourage people to turn off the devices and get out and enjoy life.

The company, working with Duncan Channon, began their "Dear Mainland" campaign last year, where islanders showcase the benefit of a relaxed attitude towards life, including technology. The hope was that viewers will get the message to stop spending so much time on their devices and simply enjoy life. The campaign hit a nerve, with a 37% sales lift in campaign markets after year one - the third highest lift recorded by IRI in 12 years. In 2016, Kona recorded an additional 15% sales growth over the previous year’s record in campaign markets with the success of their "Dear Mainland" campaign.

The most recent work, produced by Duncan Channon and debuting today, places the fictional Kona brothers struggling to see the importance of a certain phone app or new reality show. Their lack of interest is simple, as they are sitting in paradise, under a palm tree and playing the ukelele. They are out in nature and in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Tech and games do not really factor in or intrude on daily life here.

The tagline ““One life, right? Don’t blow it.” ” allows the viewer to understand - in an island kind of way - that no amount of apps will ever make you truly happy. That’s an old Hawaiian expression. Kind of.

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Laurie Fullerton

Laurie Fullerton is a writer based in Boston, MA with a background in business, sports, community, medical and travel writing. She has been a newspaper editor in the Boston-area, a sports writer covering yacht racing and a community reporter. She has been reporting for The Drum since October 2015.

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