• Advertising & PR
Netty Awards Winner

Topo Chico & HAYMAKER – Celebrating Authenticity and Culinary Heritage

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The Netty Awards

The Netty Awards honors those who have made groundbreaking strides in the digital world. This year, a novel and intriguing campaign, “Friends of Topo,” finds itself under the spotlight. This campaign, masterminded by the ever-authentic beverage brand Topo Chico and the full-service creative agency HAYMAKER, adopted an unconventional approach to the concept of brand scaling and market expansion. Let’s delve into the aspects that make this campaign a Netty Award nominee.

Innovation and Differentiation

“Friends of Topo” is a testimony to the power of authenticity. Topo Chico’s initial brief to HAYMAKER resonated with the brand’s ethos: “Don’t mess it up.” They sought to scale their widely-admired brand while retaining its authenticity and staying true to their partners. The outcome was a unique campaign, an innovative blend of food criticism and culinary heritage, invoking the spirit of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold. The campaign effectively spotlighted overlooked restaurants and chefs, giving them a platform they richly deserved, and in doing so, it didn’t just maintain authenticity; it celebrated it.

Measurable Impact and Success

The impact of “Friends of Topo” was profound, transcending traditional success metrics. It amplified the voices of the under-the-radar food joints and provided them with the needed exposure. Tangible results were impressive as well. Co-Owner of Petite Peso, Robert Villanueva, reported a noticeable uptick in business since the promotion. Similarly, Melissa Stefanini, Founder & Chef of Buenas, attributed the significant growth of her establishment to the campaign, which enabled her to launch a new concept and location called SuperBien. Hence, the campaign not only fostered brand awareness but also served as a catalyst for business growth and development.

Creative Elements and Execution

The campaign embraced a unique blend of creative and strategic execution. Partnering with seven under-the-radar eateries, Topo Chico and HAYMAKER gifted them with a slew of social assets for promotion. Artist SADDO was commissioned to create distinctive portraits of each chef, reflecting their culinary heritage. The artworks found their place on limited-edition Topo Chico bottles and merchandise, instilling a sense of pride and uniqueness. Additionally, Topo Chico extended its support via their social channels and OOH media placements, incorporating innovative QR codes to promote the signature dishes of these establishments.

Overall Excellence and Industry Advancement

“Friends of Topo” set a precedent in the industry. With its focus on authenticity and community engagement, it redefined brand scaling and market expansion strategies. Rather than being a mere promotional campaign, it harnessed the power of storytelling and community building to create a robust bond between the brand, its partners, and the consumers. By doing so, it signified the advent of a new era in the industry, where authenticity is valued, local heritage is celebrated, and community bonds are cherished.

The Netty Award Nomination

Being nominated for a Netty Award is a revered honor, bestowed upon those who have made significant contributions to the digital domain. The “Friends of Topo” campaign by Topo Chico, in partnership with HAYMAKER, is a sterling example of such groundbreaking work, as it combined creativity, authenticity, and a strategic use of social media to champion under-the-radar restaurants.

This nomination is a validation of the hard work, vision, and cross-collaborative efforts that Topo Chico and HAYMAKER, alongside their partners, invested into the campaign. Together, they have crafted a campaign that not only resonates with audiences but also actively uplifts local restaurants and culinary talent. By celebrating this nomination, we acknowledge the significance of supporting local businesses and the powerful influence of social media in our continually evolving digital landscape.

Congratulations to Topo Chico and HAYMAKER on their Netty Awards nomination, and we eagerly anticipate more of their innovative contributions to the digital world.

About Topo Chico

Topo Chico, sourced from and bottled in Monterrey, Mexico since 1895, takes its name from the mountain Cerro del Topo Chico. A cult-favorite beverage brand, Topo Chico is widely admired for its authenticity and dedication to its partners and consumers. By staying true to its roots and heritage, Topo Chico has become an embodiment of cultural authenticity in the beverage industry. Its unique campaigns like “Friends of Topo” not only boost its popularity but also positively impact the communities it engages with, reflecting the brand’s commitment to serving its partners and audience.


Founded by Jay Kamath and Matt Johnson, HAYMAKER is a full-service creative agency based in Los Angeles, celebrated for its strategic creativity. Jay, the Chief Creative Officer, has been the creative force behind iconic brand campaigns, including Jay-Z’s album release “Magna Carta Holy Grail” exclusively on Samsung devices. With a track record of impactful creativity at companies like 72andSunny, R/GA, Wieden+Kennedy, and Google, Jay brings a unique blend of strategic creativity to HAYMAKER.

On the other hand, Matt, the Chief Strategy Officer, is known for his thought leadership and expertise, helping his partners consistently win. Having worked at world-class agencies like 72andSunny, 180LA, Venables, Bell & Partners, and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Matt’s strategic insight has led to numerous accolades for his partners. Notably, Matt is also a voice actor for over 19 years, starring in the critically acclaimed HBO animated series, “The Life and Times of Tim.”

Together, Jay and Matt bring their combined expertise to drive HAYMAKER’s mission of bringing strategically creative solutions to its clients. The “Friends of Topo” campaign is a testament to their ethos, manifesting their dedication to fostering authenticity and community bonds while delivering measurable impact.



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