Original Coors Turns to FCB Chicago

A new campaign for Original Coors that stars recently retired Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway was created by the Chicago office of Foote, Cone & Belding, whose San Francisco outpost has long handled the brand.
Coors Brewing marketing chief Bill Weintraub emphasized the FCB Chicago role came out of agencywide efforts to brainstorm new ideas, and that Coors had not shopped the brand or thrown it into competition among the two units. FCB Chicago handles Coors’ top brand, Coors Light.
The Golden, Colo., brewer enlisted all its resources on the Original Coors brand after a campaign from FCB San Francisco unveiled at Coors’ national sales meeting in March was rejected by wholesalers.
That work aimed to overcome perceptions of Original Coors as a watery brew by calling attention to its full-strength 5 percent alcohol content, and calling it 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 during tomorrow’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Boston and will air on prime-time entertainment and cable and network sports programming. Its spots feature ESPN SportsCenter broadcaster Dan Patrick seated in the stands or dugout of Denver’s Mile High Stadium, recounting some aspect 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,” a voiceover states. “Original Coors. Brewed a mile high.” The spots all conclude with Elway twisting off the cap of a longneck bottle, 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, and that no plans have been set yet for further executions or to bring in other sports figures into the mix.