June 1st, 2016
Two years after introducing their version of the Bruddahs to beer drinkers around the country, Kona Brewing Company is back with a new series of commercials starring local actors Dave Bell and Brutus La Benz.
The pair appear in three new 30-second ads — “Little Friday,” “Itself” and “FOMO” — that began airing in San Diego, Sacramento, Seattle and Orlando last month. They follow 2014’s “Single-Tasking” and “Sad Hour” in continuing with the tradition of addressing audiences with “Dear Mainland” at the start of each spot.
“It was supposed to be two days (of shooting) and two commercials,” said La Benz, 36. “But they got four scripts approved,” of which three were made into commercials. All were produced on Oahu at locations in Kahala and Ko Olina.
La Benz might look familiar to local TV viewers, thanks to recent appearances in commercials for Hawaiian Telcom and Island Insurance. He also serves as a kahu at weddings and lectures at UH-Manoa when he’s not working at his day job with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
“It’s fun,” he said. “I just like doing acting, so anytime I can get in front of a camera, that’s pretty cool. I’ve been pretty blessed with these gigs.”
The new lineup of Kona Brewing ads will air through the first week of September in the cities mentioned above, but users of online streaming services like Hulu and Spotify may notice them popping up during commercial breaks as well. The brewery’s multi-million dollar integrated marketing campaign also calls for ads to appear on social media sites like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
“People loved the laid back banter and distinct local perspective of the Bruddahs (in 2014), especially since so many of us are leading increasingly busy, multi-tasking lives,” Kona Brewing director of brand marketing Cindy Wang said in a release about the new commercials. “We’re really excited to bring this latest installment of sage island wisdom to the mainland again this summer.”
Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.