FCB Chicago Gets a Turn at Coors

New Work Replaces Campaign That Went Flat With Wholesalers
CHICAGO–Foote, Cone & Belding here has been tapped to create a new campaign for Original Coors, a brand that has long been handled by the shop’s sister office in San Francisco. The ads, which carry a new tagline, star recently retired Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway.
Coors Brewing marketing chief Bill Weintraub emphasized that the FCB Chicago role came out of agencywide efforts to brainstorm on new ideas, and that Coors had not shopped the brand or thrown it into competition among the two offices. FCB Chicago handles Coors’ top brand, Coors Light.
The Golden, Colo., brewery enlisted all of its resources on the Original Coors brand after an FCB San Francisco campaign unveiled at the brewer’s national sales meeting in March was rejected by wholesalers.
That campaign attempted to overcome inaccurate watery beer perceptions of Original Coors by calling attention to its full-strength five-percent-alcohol content as a “beer with altitude.”
The new campaign moves away from that limited product focus to a more aspirational appeal. “What’s been missing for some years has been a handle or bar call,” Weintraub said. “It plays off what is unique and special about the brand, the notion of being an original.”
The estimated $25-30 million campaign breaks on tomorrow’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Boston, and will air on primetime entertainment and cable and network sports programming. It is comprised of spots featuring ESPN Sports Center broadcaster Dan Patrick seated either in the stands or the dugout of Mile High Stadium in Denver, recounting stories of Elway’s professional history–always with an unexpected twist at the end.
“At age 21, he could throw a baseball 100 miles an hour,” Patrick says in one spot. “He could hit for power, run the bases. Major league scouts called him a future Hall of Famer. They just never expected it would be for football.”
“Expect more from an original. Original Coors. Brewed a mile high,” says a voiceover.
The spots all conclude with Elway twisting off the cap of a longneck bottle, and saying, “Original Coors. What’d you expect me to drink?” A new tagline exhorts viewers to “Be original.” Weintraub said the campaign’s future depends on its reception in the market.