Corona Extra Revives Ads from the '90s

Corona How many brands can revive a TV commercial that last aired nearly two decades ago--and not in a nostalgic or camp way? Not many.

But Corona Extra -- which hasn't changed either the design of its bottle or its essential brand positioning in, lo, these many years -- is doing just that for the critical, peak beer-drinking summer season. The beer is also heavying up its summer media schedule to "run these iconic ads as often as possible" during these months, reports Jim Sabia, EVP of marketing for Crown Imports.

Consumer research revealed that the ads are as appealing and effective for today's consumers as they were back when -- in fact, their theme of temporarily escaping from stress and communication overload has added resonance in the current economic climate, Sabia tells Marketing Daily.

One of the spots is "Lagoon" (1998), in which a male Corona drinker who is skipping rocks into the sea decides to do the same with his PDA after it begins vibrating. In the other ad, "Kite" (1992), viewers see a close-up of headlines from the day's financial newspaper. As the camera pulls back, it's revealed that the newspaper has been made into a kite that's being flown over the ocean by a Corona fan.



The only tweaks being made to the original ads, which will begin airing on Monday, are updating the content of the headlines on the financial newspaper in the "Kite" spot and turning what was a beeper device into the PDA in the "Lagoon" spot. (Cramer-Krasselt, Corona's agency of record for the past 10 years, refreshed the spots. The original "Kite" ad was created at Campbell-Mithun under the direction of Marshall Ross, who is now C-K's EVP/chief creative officer and continues to oversee Corona's business. The original "Lagoon" ad was shot by The Richards Group.)

How did this revival come about? Sabia, who joined Crown four months ago, says that in reviewing Corona Extra's previous campaigns, he was struck by their relevance both to the brand and the current consumer zeitgeist.

The marketing team selected about 10 former commercials and did both qualitative and quantitative research with male and female beer drinkers between 21 and 45. In both cases, consumers responded most positively to the same three ads, and the "Lagoon" and "Kite" spots ranked highest.

Reprising the ads was not driven by saving money on creative, according to Sabia. "The goal was having the strongest possible ads, and these two scored extremely high on all fronts, including purchasing intent and likeability," he stresses. "Corona's positioning continues to be the 'spirit of the getaway,' the packaging hasn't changed, and the art direction and look of the brand's ads have stayed consistent." A beach backdrop for the brand's commercials has also been consistent and is now associated with the brand in consumers' minds, he adds.

Because of this consistency, the reprised commercials fit with the brand's current out-of-home, print, Web and other advertising and messaging, Sabia notes.

Corona Extra had been spreading its media budget fairly evenly over the year, but is now shifting spending from non-holiday weeks in the fourth quarter to the key sales weeks in the second and third quarters. (Corona's peak season runs from Cinco de Mayo through Labor Day, with sales bumps during the winter holidays.) June's overall media spending will be 45% higher than last June's, and the Hispanic media budget for the month will be 70% higher, Sabia reports.

The network and cable schedule includes programming such as Comedy Central's "Daily Show" and "Colbert Report," The Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch," Spike's "Guys' Choice Awards," the NBA finals and Major League Baseball.

1 comment about "Corona Extra Revives Ads from the '90s ".
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  1. Khadiyja Y. Ali, June 5, 2009 at 6:27 p.m.

    I would venture that Corona felt comfortable using the same tried and true ads because of one word: sustainability. Corona's advertising pre-dates the internet as most of know it. We attended college seeing these ads. Those of who college-age kids have seen the same ads.

    Nothing fancy, just plain and simple consistent advertising in a day and time where many American companies are falling by the wayside left and right, even having employed multiple marketing strategies and expensive advertising campaigns. There's a certain comfortable feeling one will inevitably get from this consistency as well.

    Furthermore, Corona doesn't seem to be "class conscious", it appeals to everyone's sense to get away. Whether it's Al Bundy or Jay-Z, Corona appeals to that desire in all of us to escape. That's probably very attractive to most American consumers right about now, especially with summer on us, but limited budgets for many.

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