Historias Damm: Fighting gender bias in the brewing industry with creativity

Marina Teba

30 April 2021

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There are projects you look for, and projects that find you. The one we developed for Spanish brewery Grupo Damm for International Women’s Day belongs, undoubtedly, to the latter group. As such, all the female members of Good Rebels’ creative team devoted ourselves to turning it into a reality. 

The beer and brewing world is still full of stereotypes on all levels. Beyond the many preconceived ideas that are still present at the product consumption stage (“ladies don’t drink beer”), prejudices start at the very beginning of the brewing process. But Damm knows for a fact that beer is also a women’s thing. That’s why, on Women’s Day, they wanted to highlight the crucial role that all their  female workers play in the company’s development through an internal campaign.

That’s how Historias Damm was born: a space for giving visibility and value to the work of Damm’s female employees. Besides filming an audiovisual piece, we launched an interactive landing page featuring the profile of some of Damm’s female employees, with the aim of encouraging users to stay and investigate. 

Objective: Equality

The objective of the campaign was clear from the start: to demonstrate Damm Group’s real commitment to equality. In recent decades, Damm has managed to increase the female presence in its workforce to 39%. 

But when we suggested that they highlight this fact, the response was both disconcerting and hopeful: “For us, this figure won’t be noteworthy until we have achieved real equality and at least half of our workforce is made up of women.” A big statement of intent, to say the least.

We therefore chose to once again put the focus of our creative action on people, giving voice to the women in Grupo Damm through an honest tribute, making their work visible and telling their story to ultimately break down the gender stereotypes of the industry.  

The experiment

Keeping this goal in mind, we got down to work. The girls in the creative department held a brainstorming session together and we decided to start from the very beginning. We wanted to understand what the female employees of Damm were up against. During the pitch, without providing any context, we asked our fellow Rebels how they imagined someone who makes beer. The answers came back quickly, but unfortunately they were full of stereotypes: strong men with modern aesthetics, beer bellies, lots of beards…But no women.

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Thanks to all this feedback, we were able to understand the role of women in the sector and the importance of making their work visible. This was key to elaborate a proposal with several concepts and actions which earned us the trust of Grupo Damm.

And then came the most beautiful part of the project. All the Rebels in the creative department got together and contributed our individual expertise,  so that the project would reflect the sensitivity it required. And when you put so much enthusiasm into something, the result shows it.

Lights, camera, action!

And then came the day of the shoot. We met with the production company very early in the morning, because we had a big and exciting  challenge that lay ahead of us. In only one day, we had to immerse ourselves into the inspiring stories of Damm’s female workers and record interviews with six of them, in two different locations.

It was a complicated challenge for several reasons. On the one hand, the protagonists of our story were not actresses, but employees of Grupo Damm. On the other hand, we had to keep to a tight schedule, because if one interview was late, we would be late for the rest, which would have created a domino effect on our very tight shooting schedule. But spoiler alert: We made it!

The first meeting point was the Damm factory in El Prat del Llobregat, which employs more than 5,000 people. We began with Cristina and Marina, who showed us the importance of teamwork in a factory of this magnitude. Their story is an example of female empowerment in a sector that only until recently was 100% male dominated.

Once we had heard these first stories, we headed to the central offices of Grupo Damm, located in a former brewery, where we got to meet four women leading different departments in the group. They all gave us a true leadership lesson, and highlighted  the importance of empathy and respect for corporate values in shaping a good leader.

The shooting day was over and we left with loads of empowering stories in our pockets and plenty of footage to work on (in record time) in order to launch on International Women’s Day.

Teamwork makes the dreamwork

It was time to organise the interviews, photographs and testimonies we had collected in order to turn them into a video and a landing page that would tell the stories of our Damm protagonists to the world. To achieve this, teamwork and coordination between Rebels from different areas was essential. 

In the creative team, our art directors designed a visual identity that, while transmitting Damm’s values, reflected the personality and the most important elements of the day-to-day life of each of our protagonists, with immense attention to detail. Thus, the video, the landing page and its graphic elements were based on the same concept, while still displaying the uniqueness of each personal story. 

The icing on the cake

Regardless of the results, “Historias Damm” is a project that we will always remember for two reasons. Firstly, for the synergies we created between different departments and the great work we did together, in which management, conceptualisation, art and web design were fundamental elements of the project. Secondly, but no less important, for the opportunity to discover and tell the story of our protagonists. 

At Good Rebels, we put people first. That’s why, working with a team willing to give their best is rewarding, but doing so to give visibility and value to the work of empowered women, who are breaking prejudices and glass ceilings, is double that.