Corona Set for First Super Bowl

Gambrinus Backs 30-Second Television Spot for Its Mexican Beer
NEW YORK–Playing where the big boys do, Corona Extra beer is making its first advertising foray into January’s Super Bowl, with importer Gambrinus negotiating television spot buys for the Mexican import in 15 primarily East Coast metro markets.
The 30-second spot via The Richards Group in Dallas stays within the tradition of laid-back Corona ads. It features a beach scene in which a man’s hands are seen trying to launch a wedge of lime field goal-style between the “uprights” of a pair of Corona bottles, against the vacation-invoking sound of crashing surf. After missing wide right on the first try and then hitting one of the bottles, he succeeds on the third try.
The ad is a milestone for a brand that has had significant TV exposure only since 1997. Its tone should enable it to stand out against the noisy, highly produced efforts of other Super Bowl advertisers, including major domestic beers, suggested Don Mann, director of Modelo products, including Corona.
“It provides a very broad-reach vehicle for us, a capstone to our ad efforts now that we’re the
No. 1 import,” Mann said. “It’s also a leverage point to start our retail promotional activities earlier in the year.” Previously, the distributor has not supported extensive retail promotions in January.
Sources estimate the media buy at $1-2 million.
Related promotional materials will feature a bobbing-head football character whose head has been replaced by a lime, along with the invocation: “Hey limeheads, order Corona for the big game.”
Table tents with protruding bottle contours will invite impromptu punt-the-lime contests among bar patrons.
The Super Bowl TV commercial was improvised on the set during last spring’s shoot in Mexico, before San Antonio-based Gambrinus had formulated any media plans. While the hands seen are Mann’s, he insisted he did not pull marketing rank during the production shoot to get on-air time. Mann said he was the only person there with sufficient aim to hit the bottle with the lime during the second unsuccessful attempt.
If Gambrinus decides to add 15-second television executions, Mann said he would have no problem with cropping out his two misses.