Corona’s Trick Is a Real Treat

NEW YORK The beach scarcely seems a suitable venue for Halloween—too bright and sunny, too open and airy. But with Halloween having become a major holiday among today’s young quasi-adults, it makes sense for a beer brand like Corona to link itself to the occasion, even while sustaining the beachy imagery it has long used as its advertising signature. A spot from Chicago-based Cramer-Krasselt deftly finesses the matter. As the spot opens, we see some well-toned beach denizens working on their tans—as if their tans needed any work. But a sinister shadow starts to fall across them and their bottles of Corona Extra and Corona Light. As the tension builds (abetted by a suitably sinister music track), the beach people suddenly look up in horror to see the palest white guy who ever set foot on a tropical beach—a skinny, shirtless, mustachioed nerd. The ghastly sight provokes a terrified female scream before the spot cuts to an onscreen super that advises, “Beware of ghosts,” quickly followed by, “Happy Halloween.” It’s a good gag. But it’s also unmistakably a Corona spot. Holiday-themed commercials often let the holiday dominate at the expense of the brand. What’s smart about this spot is that it achieves a distinctive synthesis of the two.