Thursday, April 25, 2013

Corona Light Leaves Its Beach

A friend recently asked me if I had seen this all-around puzzling ad from Corona Light.  The first mystery surrounding it is in the imagery; leaving the beach for a pasture filled with sheep is steering the beer way off-brand.  Secondly, the suggestion that beer drinkers "ditch the herd" (oh sheep, get it?!?) naturally leads to the question of what the heck is unique about a Corona Light?

"The herd" is obviously a population drinking Bud Light and Miller Lite.  However, humans aren't sheep, we need a reason to stray.  Corona doesn't provide one so it's difficult to make sense of this ad beyond getting eyeballs to see it.

That said, I think it's fair to question whether the strategy to position Corona Light against Bud Light and Miller Lite is the right one?  I'd argue that both beers are simply alternatives to their respective parent brands - evidenced by the progressive decline in market share of each one since the second generation was introduced.  And Corona is really no different. Corona Light is a Corona with less calories. 

But while Corona is well-differentiated from the Budweiser and Miller family of brands, its positioning against what I think are closer rivals, the seasonal summer brews like Leinenkugel Summer Shandy and Sam Adams Summer Ale, is much less defined than it should be.

Before Corona goes and ditches its herd, I think they should take a second look at who else is in it.


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