Cannes Lions

Kura Rebranding


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The Spirit of Survival, The Spirit of Iwate

After almost being wiped out by the Fukushima disaster ten years ago, Seikinoichi, a small sake and beer brewery in Iwate, came to us to help them craft a beer that would be a tribute to their village. This was not simply a branding project, but a passion project to ignite the hearts and the spirit of the community. Since then, Iwate Kura Beer has gone global, celebrating unique brewing processes, ingredients and flavours that are locally grown and sourced in Iwate.


Our Kura, Our Home

With over a 100-years of experience in the Japanese art of sake making, Sekinoichi, had something special to bring to the world of craft beer and the agency wanted to help them tell their story. To move forward, we needed to look back and focus on our history, our unique process and our Japanese brand heritage. We found our inspiration in the brands Japanese sake brewery, a Kura, that gave way to our creative idea: Kuraft the Moment.

With the rebrand, we sought to put meaning back into the world of craft; taking inspirations from the handcrafted feel of old sake bottles, creating our own “Typokuraphy” and juxtaposing it with colourful handmade prints and patterns, we created a brand language for kuraft beer that was uniquely ours.


The iconic shape of the label nods to the place where it all started, the Kura. We crafted the concept around the authentic elements derived directly from the Kura and the company’s devotion to Iwate ‘s natural beauty. The brand mark takes inspiration from the Kanji character for Kura, while the typography takes inspiration from Sekinoichi’s heritage in sake making. Combined, these elements come together to create a truly distinctive, meaningful and unique ‘kuraft’ language that stretches across the brand from packaging, to coasters, beer carts and other brand collateral.


Since the rebrand and launch, Iwate Kura Beer has gone global, exporting to the U.S., New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, with 110% growth since 2019. More importantly, we have been able to take a piece of Japan to drinkers around the world, reaching people far and wide, transporting them to the place we love, Iwate.

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