Beer Giant Constellation Picks Cavalry to Promote a New Corona Premium Line

By Patrick Coffee 

Today Constellation, which is part of international beer giant A-B InBev, announced that it will soon roll out a light, low-calorie extension of the Corona brand. It has hired WPP’s Cavalry, the former AOR for Coors Light, to market the new product line.

“Consistent with other segments within the U.S. beer market and the trend of premiumization, we see a potential ‘trade up’ opportunity in the Ultra Premium Light segment of the High-End of the market,” said a Constellation spokesperson regarding the move. “Consumers are craving lower calorie, lower carb options, and Corona Premier (i.e. our new product introduction that Cavalry is working on) will allow us to extend our offering and better meet these consumers’ needs.  We’re leveraging the equity of the Corona brand to explore this opportunity through several small tests next year.”

Regarding the nature of the relationship between agency and client, he said, “Plans are still being finalized, so we’re not ready to provide specifics yet.  We’ll test and learn quickly before determining any next steps.”

Corona Extra has been with Cramer-Krasselt for several years, and Corona Light was at GS&P until a December 2014 review saw it go to Ogilvy along with Modelo Especial.

This is the latest agency move made by a big beer brand without a review; AB InBev recently sent Busch and Busch Light to Deutsch, and earlier this month a spokesperson told us that it would soon name new lead digital agencies for the Bud Light and Michelob Ultra brands, also without a review.

Cavalry had been AOR for Coors Light since 2012 before parent company MillerCoors split with the shop last August and eventually sent its business to 72andSunny. Cavalry survived, with CEO Marty Stock named to run both that shop and the Chicago offices of Y&R. He recently hired Leyla Touma as chief creative officer for both offices.

The major brewers have struggled to launch premium lines. Last week, A-B InBev told distributors that it planned to end production for Budweiser Black Crown, Busch Signature, Oculto, Mixxtails, Michelob Ultra Light Cider, Beck’s Dark and Beck’s Sapphire.