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Tecate Crosses Borders to Reach Mexican Men

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NEW YORK U.S. marketers have rarely portrayed Mexican immigrants as heroes among America's working class. But a campaign from Tecate distributor Heineken USA will feature a distinct message about the unsung Mexican men who come here in search of better lives.

The Hispanic effort begins to roll out this week via TV, print, radio and outdoor. Promotional events and sponsorships will support. The campaign targets Mexican male immigrants, who have made Tecate the leading brand in Mexico, per the company.

The effort is the first for Tecate from Hispanic ad shop Adrenalina, New York, which won the account in November. Tecate will increase its ad spend this year by 15 percent, according to brand manager Carlos Boughton. In 2007, Tecate spent close to $15 million in Hispanic media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The campaign is designed to further define the brand's identity as both being bold and masculine. "Our strategy is to celebrate the newcomer consumer," said Ken Kunze, CMO at Heineken USA, White Plains, N.Y. "What a great way to make the emotional connection with them, by recognizing and celebrating everything they do."

Three 30-second spots will feature well-known Mexican actors and boxer Juan Manuel Marquez. They will run on Univision, Telemundo, and various cable and independent networks. The message is multilayered, with symbolic cultural nuances that are both serious and humorous. It also showcases the social significance and influence of the Mexican male consumer who, at the end of the day, is worthy of a full-bodied Tecate.

An in-your-face image of Marquez with a towel around his neck hails, "Por los que no tiran la toalla" ("For those who don't throw in the towel"). A scene at a wedding makes a humorous point about determination. We see a groom, flanked by his beautiful new bride and his not-so-beautiful new mother-in-law. A voiceover states, "Por los que saben que la esposa se va a poner igual a la suegra-y no se rajan" ("For those who know his wife is going to look like his mother-in-law and still goes for it").

The former tagline, "Sabor con caracter" ("Flavor with character") has been tweaked to read: "Tecate. Con caracter" (Tecate. With character").

"Tecate is having a nice run," said Benj Steinman, president at Beer Marketer's Insights, West Nyack, N.Y. "Part of the reason they did very well last year, and why it is doing very well this year, is because it's reasonably priced."

Steinman said Tecate sells on average for $17.69 per case in supermarkets compared with Corona, which averages $28.73 per case. Tecate is the No. 4 import beer in the U.S., with an 8 percent increase in shipments last year, per Beer Marketer's Insights. Corona is the category leader.