Ad of the Day: Corona

Jon Gruden finds his beach in these animated tales of football's greatest cities

Corona wants you to know that your favorite football stadium is really a beach.

In a new online campaign for the beer brand, Jon Gruden anchors "Gruden's Guide," a series of animated spots that school viewers on the attractions and etiquette of 10 gridiron getaways. The cheeky but charming clips, anchored by a cartoon likeness of the ESPN analyst and former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, enumerate the pros and cons of various locales—their foods, their customs, and their insanities small and large.

Created by ad agency Pereira & O'Dell and production company Stardust, the videos are rich with absurd bits of lore about football cultures in New York, Philadelphia, Knoxville, Tenn., and beyond. Overall, the quickly illustrated factoids are like catnip for anyone with an interest in the game or the places, even when they also feel like truisms, clichés or hyperbole.

Chicago is brutally cold. Oakland has the craziest fans. The rules for proper uses of a Steelers Terrible Towel are as draconian as the laws of bratwurst-eating at the religious tail-gate scene in Green Bay. Dallas can offer a "Kobe Beef Nacho Dog" and "a retractable roof" on the stadium. There, in perhaps the most amusing visual sequence in the series, the piled-high condiments, splashed on the Jumbotron, bear fairly close resemblance to the crowds cheering from the bleachers.

Dallas, which has "the Taj Mahal of football stadiums," Gruden narrates, is also probably the most pointed illustration of the brand's message. Football is spectacle, escape, a mini-vacation, even when you're sitting on your couch, or at the local dive, watching the game. Beer goes with football. Drink beach beer at your football beach, pleads Corona. Also, enter Corona's "Win Your Beach" sweepstakes for an off chance to get a free trip to one of the 30 destinations.

In other words, the clips are entertaining enough in and of themselves that the overt plug for the beer comes as only a slight annoyance. That is, to some degree, the best anyone can hope for from this type of branded content. Even when you're enjoying getting lost in the show, you realize you never really will get away from the pitch.

Client: Corona
Agency: Pereira & O’Dell, San Francisco
Executive Creative Director: Dave Arnold
Senior Copywriter: Ryan Durr
Art Director: Chris Rutkowski
Interactive Producer: Kathy Zembera
Account Director: Gary Theut
Account Supervisor: Kyle Caruso
Account Executive: Jennifer Wantuch

Production Company: Stardust
Executive Creative Director: Jake Banks
Managing Partner,Executive Producer: Dexton Deboree
Producer: Melina Osornio
Art Director, Lead Designer: Bill Bak
Illustrator, Animator: Brian Scott
Illustrators: Ken Lee, Kendra Ryan, Jamal Otolorin, Alex Preston
Animators: Luis Salcedo, Dan Wiese, Thomas Bittikoffer

Sound Design: Elias Arts
Sound Mixing: Eleven Sound