Pacifico Beer Veers Off Tourist Path

Corona positions itself as synonymous with perfect Mexican beaches, Dos Equis as the sexy side of Mexico. Now Barton Beers is touting its Pacifico brand as the embodiment of a more authentic—even scruffy—side of Mexico.

“This is a Mexican adventure beer,” said Jim Haven, co-cd at Creature, the Seattle boutique that crafted the campaign. The ads target people who “eat street food and go camping” when in Mexico, he said.

One of three print executions in May magazines shows a Jeep carrying surfboards and taking a dirt road toward a beach. Copy reads, “Keep going until the English is gone.” In another ad, a couple stand by a hut on a beach, their clothes hung on a line; copy asks, “Why shout tourist when you can whisper it?” The $1 million effort includes outdoor ads.

Pacifico shipped 285,000 barrels last year, up 12 percent from 2002. That’s dwarfed by category leader Corona Extra, also imported by Barton, which shipped 7 million barrels, up 2.3 percent. Corona features picturesque beaches in its ads, tagged, “Miles away from ordinary.” A recent ad for Labatt USA’s Dos Equis, the No. 2 spender in the category, shows a couple roused from passion by the notion of drinking Dos Equis.

Pacifico wants to cultivate a “rustic, down-to-earth, edgy image,” said Timm Amundson, vp of marketing for Barton’s Modelo Brand Group.