Corona Extra: “Find Your Beach” Campaign Powerfully Delivers Brand Positioning

CoronaInsert_0612.inddFor a brand that has built its reputation as an ocean vacation in a bottle the move away from shore would have seemed unthinkable until numbers and sales started slipping. Modelo Group, founded in 1925, is the leader in beer production and distribution in Mexico. Its main headquarters are located in Mexico City and it currently brews and distributes 13 brands, including Corona Extra, the number one Mexican beer sold in the world. Corona Extra, the long-standing number one imported beer brand in America, has owned the beach for many years. But, after 25 years, Corona Extra became typecast as only the beach beer. Corona Extra biggest asset became their biggest liability. The company was losing too many occasions to new competitors, which leads to a decrease in sales. To aid the growth in international markets the concept of the beach was modified to a state of mind regardless of a consumer’s physical place or daily situation.  It became a challenge for Modelo Group to break the identity of being an only beach beer without breaking the brand.

Corona_MiniBeach_PATIO   

Find Your Beach Campaign

Muzellec and Lambkin’s (2006) model made significant contributions to the understanding of corporate rebranding. The model gives a clear goal for every corporate rebranding exercise. Without a clear goal and objective the whole process of corporate rebranding will be desultory. Corona Extra needed to take back the other, non-beach occasions from their competitors. The brand introduced a new call to action: “Find Your Beach” with it came a new approach to advertising. This call for action illustrates the main objective of the “Find Your Beach” campaign: make a connection with the beach and the laid-back beach state of mind to change views of Corona as an all occasion beer. The “Find Your Beach” campaign aims to make a connection with the beach and the laid-back beach state of mind. Corona Extra wanted that to show consumers that a beach is not always made of sand with the intention to make the brand more open to more people in more occasions. The campaign evolved from focusing just on beaches to showing how Corona Extra can help transform everyday into a vacation. In other words, the objective of the campaign was to get consumers understand that Corona Extra is great beer for the summer, but it is also a great beer in the winter because it gives people that beach state of mind.

Corona’s “Find Your Beach” campaign began in 2010. The ongoing campaign and new work were created by the long-time agency Cramer-Krasselt, based in Chicago, Illinois. The updated tagline for the communication message is “find your beach.” The primary target audience: age 21- 35, males, college education, and semi-professional career making around $50k a year, who get identify with the lifestyle aspiration Corona represents. The secondary target, would be the U.S. Hispanic population, men, 21-35, Southwest region, speak Spanish, high school education making less than $50k a year. Both target audiences are confident and fun people.

Corona Extra launched several different ways to advertise the “Find your beach” campaign including print ads, commercials, buses advertisements, billboards, bus stop advertisements, taxi tops, Twitter, through a Facebook page dedicated to the cause, and even iPhone and Android applications. Consumers could download an iPhone or Android phone application where they could enter their email address onto 1979http://www.CoronaWinYourBeach.com to find a code inside to win many prizes. Prizes included football game tickets, concert tickets, or $3000 gift certificate redeemable toward any Sports Travel and Tour destination travel package. A total of 80 grand prizes were awarded. This type of advertising gets customers actively involved with the brand.

gameIn addition, Corona Extra created the “Find Your Beach for the Game Promotion”. Corona Extra teamed up with the ESPN commentator and Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden to showcase the top 30 United States football beach destinations in the “Find Your Beach for the Game promotion”. Football fans of legal drinking age could logged on to Corona’s Find Your Beach for the Game app on Facebook or sent a text (“FOOTBALL”) to 75327 to have a chance to win all-inclusive trips to one of Gruden’s top football game-day destinations, including New Orleans, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Ann Arbor, and Knoxville.

Using all these communications channels was important for bolstering the Corona Extra campaign and rebranding process. Public relations provided exposure to key audiences using key messages to reinforce the overarching revised brand strategy. Social media efforts integrated language and tone that aligned with the authenticity that the rebrand sought to create. Social media were able to reinforce the company’s desire to be perceived as contemporary and young, while also building on consumers the beach state of mind.

Culture’s efforts

Thanks to a highly creative, comprehensive and well-planned marketing campaign called “Find your beach”, Corona Extra was able to not only rebuild its image but also obtained the targeted sale increase they hoped for. Corona overall profits have increased significantly from negative in 2009 to positive in 2013 (Media Buzz). Corona Extra integrates a communication mix in their campaign plan that allowed them to reach a broad audience and spread the campaign. The communication campaign plan included media and digital advertisements, public relations Kick-off event in New York City’s Times Square to build media coverage and consumer excitement, and on-premise and off-premise POS (points of sale).

The campaign was divided in four cultural event stages. The first one was the Cinco De Mayo from March 19 until May 5, the second one was Corona Summer from May 16 until July 31, the third one was Labor Day from August 15 until September 30, and the last one Feliz Navidad (Christmas) from November 1 until January 2. By doing this, Corona Extra divided the campaign advertisements and plan in four different weather season, that support the campaign message; Corona Extra is a beer for every moment and occasion. Additionally, each of the stages represent an important cultural holiday for the key targets. For example, Cinco de Mayo is an important cultural holiday for Mexicans. Labor Day is an important holiday for Americans. Feliz Navidad is a special holiday for every culture.

cincodemayo_inbody

Consequently, Corona Extra included in its plan cultural events that represent each of their target audience. Finally, the Summer stage in a season that apply to the whole audience and that represent the brand. Beyond ethical concerns, public relations efforts also centered around presenting the company’s appreciation for cultural aspects. These public relations strategies reinforced the company’s image as a respected partner for culture. As well as communicating the obvious, public relations campaigns need to bring brands to life by dazzling consumer senses, touching their hearts, and stimulating their minds.

images

The strategies implemented seem appropriate to achieve the campaign’s objective. Effective public relations campaign strategies describes the point of engagement between a brand and its consumer. If executed correctly, it generates short-term behavior change and builds an emotional connection that creates a profound relationship and ultimately a rational response to brand and product purchase (Muzellec & Lambkin, 2008).

Corona Extra for their television commercials use a song that perfectly reflect the Corona state of mind, unrestrained by time or pressures, and that perfectly fit with the campaign message. A song called ‘Secret Sun’ by Jesse Harris:

“Meet me by the sea again. Past the point where the shoreline bends. Where the sand is soft and warm. And hangs upon your golden arm. And time won’t move at all.”

Screenshot 2013-12-05 at 12.04.13 PM

Good Campaign delivers values

Overall, the strategies implemented in this campaign seem appropriate and ethical. Corona Extra overcame its challenge by breaking the “rules” of beer marketing. Those rules maintained that sex and women sell beer (Sankrusme, 2012). Corona Extra and the agency teams did not agree. The brand ultimately found its success by identifying and remaining true to a distinctive set of values and a unique brand personality. The brand uncovered a set of values important to its consumers, found a way to communicate those values, and committed to never waiver from what makes the communication work, no matter what the category rules of the day might dictate. Corporate rebranding therefore is a continuous recombination of values or their extensions in an attempt to be selected for survival by the environment; the most important of which are the customers (Tevi & Otubanjo, 2013).

Corona Extra has been building a strong brand image over time as a result of wise and precise public relations plan, sales decisions, strategic marketing, and consistent actions. From product quality and pricing to public relations plan and advertising message, multiple components contribute to the formation of a brand image and are therefore critical towards its success and worthy positioning within the market. Public relations practitioners can build meaningful brand, product, or service differentiation, image and equity with the right positioning foundation and public relations plan that bring it to life.  Corona Extra’s “Find Your Beach” campaign is a poster example.

rooftop-horiz 33

Weakness

Even though Corona Extra divided the campaign in four cultural event stages, the campaign was present just in English. The secondary target was the United States Hispanic population; consequently, the campaign designers should launch the campaign in both Spanish and English. For future campaigns targeting Hispanics in United States, it is recommended that the Spanish and English language should be both included because there are Hispanics who are not billingual.

References

Muzellec, L., & Lambkin, M. (2006). Corporate rebranding: destroying, transferring or creating brand equity?. European Journal of Marketing, 40(7/8), 803-824.

Muzellec, L., & Lambkin, M. (2008). Corporate rebranding and the implications for brand architecture management: The case of guinness Ireland. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 16(4), 283-299.

Sankrusme, S. (2012). Marketing strategy of imported beers before liquor liberalization. International Journal of Marketing Studies,4(3), 45-57.

Tevi, A., & Otubanjo, O. (2013). Understanding corporate rebranding: An evolution theory perspective. International Journal of Marketing Studies, 5(3), 87-93.

Advertisements