Corona And Snoop Relax Their Way to Effectiveness
These are challenging times for beer brands in America. At the start of 2023 a report by the Brewers Association told of an industry beset by sluggish growth and held back by inflation. But amidst the gloom, Corona stood out. The iconic Mexican beer is America’s most valuable imported drinks brand. What’s more, it came through the COVID years with growth intact, a rare success story in a sector hit hard by the pandemic.
What’s the secret? Success has many factors but it’s no coincidence that Corona has had some of the most effective beer advertising in the US in the last few years thanks to agency MullenLowe. It’s also not a coincidence that it’s had the most consistent beer ads over this time, thanks to its 2020 decision to hire a long term celebrity ambassador: Snoop Dogg.
The campaign has arrived at a winning formula where Snoop and regular sidekick Andy Samberg are joined by another star as they shoot the breeze on a beach. In this case gridiron legend Eli Manning appears in a skit about Samburg adding cocktail umbrellas to the Corona bottle experience (surprise! – it’s not a great idea).
This latest ad got an excellent 4.8-Star Rating on the Test Your Ad platform – Corona’s best score ever, which also makes it the most effective US beer ad of the last 12 months.
Back in Summer 2020 the Mexican beer and the Compton rapper might have seemed a strange fit. Beer, after all, is not the stimulant Snoop is best known for loving. But Snoop’s personal brand has always been about laidback cool, and as he’s aged he’s become an affable avatar of chill-ness. That’s the kind of vibe a beer with strong holiday and party associations can use, and so it’s proved for Corona.
If Snoop sets the tone, comedian Andy Samburg is the ads’ secret weapon. He’s the perpetually uncool foil to Snoop, creating an odd-couple dynamic which makes Corona’s commercials feel less like ads and more like bits of a sketch show. Samburg’s presence driving the stories means Snoop never has to break his facade of unflappable cool. The pair of them make Corona a superb example of entertaining for commercial gain.
Celebrities are so common in US ads that they no longer move the emotional needle automatically – you need to know how to use them properly. Corona and MullenLowe do know how, and the whole campaign is a textbook use of a celebrity ambassador. It’s using Snoop to create a vibe that’s perfect for the brand just by asking him and Samburg to be mildly exaggerated versions of their existing public images.
Every brand could learn from Corona’s consistency, from how it gets the most from its guest stars, and from its commitment to making enjoyable ads that help keep its brand growing in a tough environment.