Coors Stays ‘Cold’ With Hot Spots

LOS ANGELES Coors distributors are getting their first look at the year’s campaign for Coors Light at a national meeting today in Houston, according to the company’s vice president of marketing.

“This is the evolution of the ‘cold’ positioning, the ‘Cold, hard facts’ campaign we started in September of 2004,” said Jim Sabia, Molson Coors Brewery, Golden, Colo. “And in a couple of the spots where the train arrives, the consumer is calling for the train.”

Sabia said the campaign’s reliance upon the “coldest, most refreshing beer” positioning is “truly the essence of the brand. It’s the rational reason to choose us. As a challenge brand, we have to make sure that we’re selling to consumers, but we have to be entertaining while we do it.”

The Silver Bullet Train that pulls into in several of the spots (to the O’Jay’s “Love Train”) has become a “great asset for the brand, a great metaphor for Coors Light” Sabia said. It will be exploited more in the 2006 campaign beyond television, including Internet advertising and outdoor. After Memorial Day, the mobile marketing train (on wheels) would visit 20 to 30 key markets, he said.

Six commercials unveiled today are from Interpublic Group’s Foote Cone & Belding, Chicago. Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious) directed two spots. In “Crop Circles,” a crowd flows onto a farm to see a message from aliens in the shape of the Coors mountain logo. In the end, aliens appear (created by Hollywood effects house Digital Domain), drinking Coors, and a girl tells her father that she loves one of them. In “High Rise,” a manager with a foreign accent visits tenants of a sweltering apartment, telling them to turn lights on and off, seemingly arbitrarily. It fact, he’s arranged the lights to form the Coors logo and bring on the train.

“Wedding” finds two guys hiding Light in a Coors cooler box package. Needing ice, they dismember the head of the bride on the ice sculpture, shocking older guests.

In separate spots, sweaty road crews and broiling passengers are relieved by their visit from the train. Finally, company chairman Pete Coors returns as an on-camera spokesman, again shot outdoors against a snowy backdrop, positioning the beer as “Rocky Mountain cold.”

The campaign also includes a Hispanic spot from Publicis Groupe’s Bromley Communications, San Antonio, in which a cell phone at a nightclub is used to call the train; and an African-American ad from independent Carol H. Williams Advertising, Oakland, Calif., set at an urban block party.

Sabia said Coors’ revamped advertising is having a positive effect on the brand. The brewer has had low single-digit growth in the first six weeks of this year, and experienced the strongest summer of sales in five years in 2005.

Campaign spending is undisclosed. Molson Coors Brewing spent $195 million advertising in 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.