Ana López from Estrella Damm

Ana López, former head of digital marketing for Estrella Damm, came and spoke with our class today about building a brand in the internet age, digital marketing, and how she lead the way in increasing Estrella Damm’s brand awareness across Spain, and the world, with Spain’s first viral, long-form video.

Ms. López received her bachelor’s degree from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in journalism and social/cultural anthropology.  She went on to receive a masters at ESIC in communication and advertising management, studying traditional media strategies.  Following her schooling, Ana began working in the PR and advertising fields in Barcelona.  Her big break came when a year after joining Estrella Damm as a brand manager, she became the head of digital marketing; in fact, she was the only person on the digital team.  Ms. López started worked from the ground up in 2009, building from scratch all of the beer brand’s social media accounts, including a Youtube channel, Twitter account, Facebook profile, and Instagram feed.

She insisted the brand should be about a lifestyle, not just a target segment.  Instead of reaching women 25-60 in Western Europe who make 50,000+ a year,  Estrella would instead reach people by providing a connection to culture and feeling, the mediterranean lifestyle.  Estrella’s Instagram feed reads like an Instagram influencer’s travel blog

As a team of one, she decided digital was the place Estrella should be investing  time and money, and curated Estrella’s first long-form, Youtube video.  The four minute-long video depicted the essence of the Estrella Damm brand- the mediterranean way of life- which includes music, friendship and culture.  The ad went viral, the first commercial of its kind to do so in Spain, and brand awareness increased over 200% percent immediately following the release of the video.  The commercial’s tune, sung by a relatively unknown Swedish band, became the most downloaded song of the summer in Spain.  The location where the video took place, Formentera, became the most traveled to destination in Spain.  Ana López took a brand with a niche audience in Catalunya worldwide and expanded its popularity in Spain tenfold.  Her early adoption of digital marketing strategies was integral to Estrella Damm achieving a cult following and a broader audience worldwide.  It led not only beer and beverage companies in the online advertising game, but all brands nationwide in Spain.

Ana followed up this successful campaign with another in 2015, starring Dakota Johnson of 50 Shades of Gray.  This 12 minute film titled “Vale”, looks at barriers between two people with very little knowledge of each other’s language and culture.  Estrella is used as the gateway to knowledge and common understanding.  This short film as of today has earned 7 million views and increased Estrella’s brand awareness by another 5% in Spain and 30% in the United Kingdom.  By the time of the release of “Vale”, Ana had 30 people working for her digital marketing, a big boost since the team of one in 2009.

Ms. López and Estrella Damm seized the moment and used a powerful, not widely yet used advertising tool to the advantage of their brand.  Their swift adoption of social media and online strategies truly worked to the advantage of Estrella Damm.