Presidente Beer Launches U.S. General Market Push

Presidente Beer

Presidente Beer, the Dominican Republic's dominant brand, is gearing up to expand in the U.S. and aggressively pursue a general market audience.

Santo Domingo-headquartered León Jimenez Group, Ltd. -- which owns the Dominican Republic's largest brewery/beer distributorship and also makes upscale cigars and Marlboro cigarettes distributed in its home region -- began exporting Presidente to the U.S. in 1990, starting with the Miami market.

Presidente has a significant customer base among first- and second-generation Hispanics in the U.S., particularly in South Florida and New York and New Jersey, and has been attracting a growing following within the general U.S. market largely through word-of-mouth, says Linda Lane Gonzalez, CEO of U.S. Hispanic and multicultural marketing firm ViVA Partnership, which has been selected to handle all creative for the U.S. marketing effort. (Y&R is the agency of record for Presidente marketing outside the U.S., and DMG handles all media for the brand.)

Presidente, which is also available in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Indiana, Georgia and other U.S. markets (plus the Bahamas and the Caribbean Islands), has seen overall average sales growth per year of 31.5%, according to the Dominican Republic-based site dr1.com.

The target audience and platform for the U.S. campaign were identified and developed through consumer market research that included use of Feet on the Street, category-based Day-in-the-Life research and ViVa's proprietary Charlas focus-group methodology.

The target audience is consumers 25 to 40 who are highly active, adventurous and "interested in having a good time socially" through sports, outdoor activities and get-togethers with family and friends -- a lifestyle that meshes with Presidente's Caribbean roots and image, Gonzalez tells Marketing Daily.

In line with the León Jimenez Group's specifications and the mobile, digitally oriented propensities of the target audience, the integrated campaign will focus on grassroots online and offline components, with an emphasis on the former. The goal, says Gonzalez, is to provide the consumer with a seamless experience between the brand's online and offline activities, using each component to develop a relationship with the consumer and a community of brand fans.

The campaign will launch in June in selected markets, initially targeting South Florida residents and U.S. tourists traveling to the Caribbean. While the brand isn't yet ready to reveal the specific theme, Gonzalez says the focus will be on the beer's taste and fun-enhancing attributes.

Online efforts will include a Facebook fan page, Twitter, presence on YouTube and other popular sites, and a new brand Web site offering games, downloads, screensavers, contests and virtual gifts.

Offline, one key focus is on events and sampling opportunities for U.S. tourists visiting the Caribbean Islands via cruise ships. "We want the taste of Presidente to be one of the most memorable experiences travelers to the Caribbean bring home," Gonzalez says. "It will be introduced within a context of social gatherings focused on fun and positive activities -- the true taste of the Caribbean -- and that is what will drive consumers to buy Presidente when they return home."

Eventually, the brand intends to organize "reunion parties" for those who have become fans. "They may not have actually met one another in person before, but they will have become part of the brand's community through the online activities," Gonzalez explains.

Once the online and event elements are in place, Presidente will also be doing some print and out-of-home, she reports.

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