Any number of marketing managers would take enormous pride in the kind of advertising that delivers an unexpected blow to the competition or grabs the attention of new customers.

But there are few brand stewards who have the knowledge, strength of conviction, and, yes, courage to not just reposition their product, but to take on decades of nationally ingrained popular culture and behavior.

Skol is a major force in Brazil and beyond; the Anheuser-Busch InBev brand is the third biggest beer in the world in terms of volume. It also had a six-year reign as “the most valuable brand in Latin America”, and remains the preferred brew for Brazilian drinkers.

But past performance be damned: Skol has walked away from a legacy of marketing that was aggressively male – and often demeaning to women.

Why, asked Maria Fernanda Albuquerque, Skol’s marketing director, “is the leading beer brand in Brazil breaking all the category codes” to advocate and associate with a completely new set of trends, values, and societal movements?

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