Skol, the beer brand, has taken on category conventions in Brazil with marketing efforts that look beyond outmoded stereotypes in favour of truly inclusive messaging.

Maria Fernanda Albuquerque, marketing director at Skol, discussed this subject at the 2018 Festival of Media Latin America (FOMLA) in Miami.

“When we looked at the movement of society, we said, ‘Okay, Skol is the brand that needs to embrace this and to move away from its past,’” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: In Brazil, Skol challenges cultural heritage to reshape the beer category.)

And the beer, she revealed, has set about “breaking all the category codes” by walking away from a marketing model that was highly focused on male drinkers – and often demeaning to women.

“It was very male, with a masculine perspective and standpoint. And reinforcing this aspect was the traditional Brazilian frame supporting men to be a ‘real man,’” said Albuquerque.

“Beer communications showed women as sex symbols – never as a regular consumer, always as someone who was serving beer and not drinking it.”

Coupled with using accurate portrayals of women, Skol has moved to embrace diversity in multiple ways. “Prejudice and race was another key conversation for us,” Albuquerque said.

In response, Skol used one of its most powerful assets – in the form of its beer cans – to represent “different skin types and colors,” Albuquerque explained.

As it continued to build out its new marketing culture, “We invited black people from different cities and different communities all over the country to design and create different activations,” she said.

LGBTQ consumers are another priority cohort, and Skol formed a partnership with various major brands – including restaurant chain Burger King, Trident gum, and beauty group Quem Disse Bernice – to actively champion this community.

“The LGBT community had never been part of the Brazilian beer conversation, at all. So, to get to this [cohort] in a very genuine way, we had to go beyond traditional marketing,” said Albuquerque. “We started conversations with the community to understand their needs.”

For more insights into effective marketing strategies in the alcoholic drinks space, read WARC's free-to-access report: What's working in beer cider.

Sourced from WARC