Corona Urges Mexicans to Smash Walls, and Not Just Trump’s, in Ad Timed to the U.S. Election

Diego Luna stars in fun, frenzied spot

As Election Day arrives in America, Corona riffs on Donald Trump's vow to build a wall along the southern border in this extravagant 90-second film for the Mexican market, created by Leo Burnett.

"The main inspiration comes from all the conversation that Trump's wall generated in Mexico," Daniel Pérez Pallares, agency creative vice president, tells AdFreak. "Many people felt hurt and offended by it. We found an opportunity to turn that narrative into a positive message, and ask Mexicans to reflect about the 'mental walls.' "

Breaking down barriers of every kind is the overriding theme of the piece, which is designed to celebrate Mexico's national spirit and inspire viewers of all ages. Running on that nation's TV networks and digital platforms through December, the ad stars actor Diego Luna, known for his work in Y Tu Mamá También, The Terminal, Elysium and Milk. (He also appears in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.)

"All of us are angry at the wall that madman wants to build," Luna begins, climbing onto a railing high above the city and leaping onto the top of a truck far below. "But we should also be angry at the walls we have here that don't let us move forward."

An explosive, uplifting trek through late-night streets ensues, with Luna extolling viewers to tune out haters, find ways to overcome obstacles and, most important, "fight for what you want."

"This campaign is very different from our other applications of the brand," says Corona brand director Alexsandro Pinto. "This time we want to pass a clear message to all Mexicans, to break their mental frontiers and keep progressing. We hope the message we're sharing resonates not only with generations of Mexicans but with people around the world."

Shot over three days in Mexico City by Rodrigo Saavedra, the spot keeps a tight focus on its message despite a busy visual canvas. This style has become a Saavedra trademark, honed in efforts for Mizuno and Scrabble.

Of course, this isn't the first ad to use Trump's wall or reactionary views for inspiration. Aero Mexico embraced similar notions of breaking down barriers in a gritty, PSA-style spot. Yesterday's Johnnie Walker spot didn't mention walls per se, but struck an anti-Trump chord with its heartfelt call to embrace diversity. And Tecate did its own wall-themed spot for the debates. 

In Corona's narrative, the emphasis on improving oneself feels especially empowering. (The overarching campaign theme, "Desfronterizate," is a newly coined term that translates roughly to "Break your barriers.")

Though Corona clearly takes its mission seriously, the cheeky tone is infectious, with pride of accomplishment and hope for a greater tomorrow presented in wildly cinematic style. (After all, going over the top is one way to scale a wall.)

"People should feel the same thing they are commenting on today in social networks—a call to self-reflection joined with a positive sensation about themselves," Pallares says. "We wanted to turn the conversation away from Trump's wall and toward the mental walls that each Mexican has inside of them."


Client: Corona/Grupo Modelo AB InBev

Marketing VP: Ricardo Días:

Brand Director: Alexsandro Pinto

Communication Director: Alejandro Campos

Agency: Leo Burnett Mexico

Creative VP: Daniel Pérez Pallares.

Creative Team: Aldo González, Ariel Senzacqua, Gui Camargos, Federico Russi, Daniel Peréz Pallares

Agency Producer: Jesus Almazan

Agency Chief of Production: Roberto Carlos

Producer Company: Landia

Director: Rodrigo Saavedra 

Executive Producer: Thomas Amoedo, Claudio Amoedo

DP: Pierre de Kerchove

Art Director: Julian Romera

Costume Design: Abril Alamo

Post Production: Clan VFX

Sound Design: Kung Fu Audio

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.