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Corona "Encore"

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Corona's long-running TV campaign has deftly positioned the beer as a kind of tropical vacation in a bottle. Amid a recession in which fewer of us can afford a real tropical vacation, but most of us can still afford a sixpack of beer, that's a pretty useful niche. But it's not quite the focus of this new spot (via Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago), which features Kenny Chesney quietly strumming and singing on a beach at nighttime. Corona is sponsoring Chesney's 2009 Sun City Carnival Tour, so the commercial aims to get mileage out of that connection. Viewers who are fans of his will certainly enjoy the musical interlude, which concludes with a group of people farther down the beach raising their Corona bottles (seen in the flickering light of their bonfire) to request an encore. (The spot was slated to debut on this past Sunday's Country Music Awards telecast, so no doubt there were Chesney fans aplenty that evening.) Viewers who aren't Chesney fans may feel that his presence here -- replacing the usual sunshine and wordless soundtrack -- is something of an intrusion. If we must have a singer on Corona Beach, though, Chesney seems to get that his role here is to sustain rather than break the spell of the brand's mellow mystique. (But I can't help looking forward to the next Corona spot that reverts to the formula of daytime beach and anonymous beer-drinkers.) --Mark Dolliver