SXSW 2023: White Claw’s Marketing VP Talks Activating for Music Fans at the ‘Shore Club’

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White Claw is “sticking to its roots” through the Shore Club.

A Q&A with marketing and creative exec Kevin Brady on the brand’s Shore Club festival platform and staying on the cutting edge of culture

The annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and festival tends to attract experiential marketing-focused brands during the “interactive” portion of the 10-day event, when the marketing and tech crowds are in attendance. But for a brand like White Claw, which was “born out of culture,” according to Kevin Brady, vp-integrated marketing and creative, activating during the music festival portion was a no-brainer (G7 Entertainment Marketing handled).

“We’ve always focused on social, digital and experiential. That’s how we grew up, so we continue to focus on that,” he says. “Even though we’re a much bigger brand than when we first launched, we are still sticking true to our roots.”

Our sister publication Chief Marketer caught up with Brady on the first day of the activation at SXSW to discuss the strategy behind White Claw’s Shore Club platform, how the brand connects to culture and consumers, upcoming marketing initiatives and more.

sxsw-2019_hbo_teaserFrom the SXSW Archives:

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The Shore Club offers a slightly different vibe depending on the festival the brand is sponsoring.

Why did White Claw decide to activate during the music festival at SXSW?

Kevin Brady: We’re really centered around the music as part of the festival. Of course, we’ll go check out the technology portion of it and see what it’s all about, but we’re really focused on the user.

White Claw was born out of culture in 2019 and 2020. Everybody was posting about us—memes, videos, showing their love. We actually launched in 2016, but 2019 was the big explosion. We were born out of culture, so now, we’re using the Shore Club as a platform to showcase culture and support culture. And that’s where you see design and music come to life. We look at our social and how we’re amplifying, whether it’s impressions and share a voice, et cetera.

You were recently at Sundance. How did the activation differ?

KB: This is more music and less movies, but every festival has such a different personality. Park City is very intimate. You’ve got the winter culture and winter sports, whereas in Austin, typically it’s a little bit larger. They’re just different cultures, and it’s fun to interact with. We’re going to be at Kentucky Derby coming up and soon we’ll be at Maid In America. We’ll be at Life is Beautiful and the Re:SET tour.

We’re taking the Shore Club platform and bringing it to all of these different festivals and uniting under one [idea]. It’s a lounge for our consumers to come and hang out. We unite ourselves with artists and tastemakers that are on the cutting edge of culture that’s emerging. We feel that gives us a unique perspective.

What are some marketing channels and tactics that are working for you?

KB: Instagram and Stories are huge for us. We do a variety, from amplification of the experiential work that we’re doing to posting our own content to amplifying UGC. It feels like the closer we are to what the consumer cares about, the better the results are.

Head to Chief Marketer for the full interview.

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