Tecate’s First National Campaign Taps Into a Growing Market: Bilingual Hispanics

Thriving lager seeks to 'amplify modern masculinity'

Tecate Light has been doing quite well lately despite only advertising on a regional level.

The lager is currently brewed by Mexican Heineken subsidiary Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, but it has quietly become the fastest-growing light beer in the United States on the strength of brand loyalty among bilingual Hispanics.

This week Tecate launches its first-ever national campaign "Born Bold" in an effort to further "amplify modern masculinity" with the help of its signature black eagle and two famously tenacious Hispanic athletes: Mexican boxing superstar Canelo Alvarez and soccer referee Felipe Ramos Rizo.

In the first spot, Alvarez reminds viewers that he is always bold but never flashy before his headlining May 7 fight against Amir Khan in Las Vegas.

Brand director Belen Pamukoff explained the company's strategy to Adweek, "Our drinkers are bicultural: second or third-generation Mexicans who are also Americans who live between those two worlds but don't go far from their roots. Together with Saatchi & Saatchi, we started going deeper inside the bicultural consumer."

The approach worked, and Tecate closed 2015 with sales up 46 percent. Pamukoff said, "Our evolution for 2016 is, what else can we tell our consumer that is very relevant for them? Boxing and soccer were two passion points."

The brand doubled its investment in digital and social marketing, leveraged its opportunities for sponsorships with Alvarez ahead of two major bouts and planned its first national campaign.

In the second spot, veteran referee Ramos has very little patience for one player's attempt to draw a foul call against his opponent.

Jay Benjamin, chief creative officer at Tecate's agency of record Saatchi & Saatchi New York, said, "This spot translates beyond our target audience because nobody likes the player who overacts or flops on the field. We see that everywhere in American sports."

This spot again represents Tecate's efforts to gradually expand its audience. "This bicultural audience is one of the most culturally influential in America," Benjamin said. "They're not just Mexican, they're Mexican-American—and they're fluid in that duality. We learned in research that they view this as a plus-one advantage."

"The primary target is still the Hispanic consumer," said Pamukoff. "But as a secondary target, we have the general market." 

In addition to the ads above and various retail executions to come, the company also turned to global agency Elmwood to redesign its packaging with the goal of "amplifying modern masculinity."

Following the Khan fight in May, Tecate will also have a heavy presence at Canelo's fight in September. His opponent has yet to be named.


Client: Tecate Light

Campaign Title: "Born Bold"

Creative Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi New York

Chief Creative Officer: Jay Benjamin

Creative Director: Iain Neville

Creative Director: Johnnie Ingram

Art Director: Ryan Gifford

Copywriter: Devin McGillivary

Head of Film: John Doris

Senior Producer: Tina Lam

Producer: Frances Edwards

Group Account Director: Parker Barnum

Management Supervisor: Jamie Daigle

Account Executive: Stacey Skulnik

Planning Director: Federico Evangelista

Production company: Hungry Man

Director: Dave Laden

DP: Corey Walter

Executive Producer: Kevin Byrne

Producer: Caleb Dewart

Service company: Tonic Films

Executive Producer: Susie Neill

Editorial: Cosmo Street Editorial

Editor: Aaron Langley

Executive Producer: Maura Woodward

Senior Producer: Luiza Naritomi

Assistant Editor: Josh Berger

Finishing House: Switch FX

Audio: Butter + Mr Bronx

Mixer/Sound Designer: Eric Hoffman

Producer: Claudia Gaspar

Music: Butter

Managing Director/Executive Producer: Ian Jeffreys

Producer: Ryan Faucett

Color: Company 3

Colorist: Tom Poole

Producer: Clare Movshon

Visual Effects: Method Studios