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Portrait of Starr Greenfield, who helps L.A.'s homeless, painted by Cecilia Romero on a wall in South Los Angeles
Most Americans aren't yet familiar with Estrella Jalisco, the Mexican beer named "Star of Jalisco" after the state in western Mexico where it's a local favorite, first brewed in Guadalajara. Today, Anheuser-Busch distributes EJ in the United States.
To make Estrella Jalisco as much a part of American communities, EJ's U.S. marketers chose an experiential marketing approach rather than just putting up billboards. The company pledged $1 million stretching from 2020 to 2025 to help beautify communities across the U.S.—starting with Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, and El Paso—by funding street art that honors local stars of those communities nominated on Twitter by their own neighbors.
Our online platform removes the friction and uncertainties from the process, making it easy for NewMark Merrill to find and work with professional street artists. As both a muralist and a software product manager, I founded Beautify to connect people who want great art with the professional artists who create it.
Artists in Residence program To develop the campaign, EJ assembled a collective of nine "standout artists" from across the U.S., including Beautify's own Ruben Rojas, who describes the collective's goal as "using murals to share stories of our neighborhood heroes" in order to "foster joy and connection in people's lives"
Local Stars EJ senior director of marketing Jayden Kahl describes the light golden pilsner's brand as "a long-standing tradition of bringing people together around colorful art and celebrating life," created from and named after a region "renowned for its vibrant art scene."
The campaign's goal: Don't tout Estrella Jalisco directly, but instead make it part of EJ's brand reputation to bring vibrant art to communities with which EJ has a cultural connection. Don't make EJ the star, but instead celebrate local heroes in these same communities. By beautifying neighborhoods and uplifting local residents, the campaign connects Estrella Jalisco's deep Mexican heritage to present-day people in its new American markets today.
Evan Meyer is a co-founder and the CEO of Beautify.