In These ‘Sucky’ Times, Coors Light Is Now Offering Free Beers

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  • In These ‘Sucky’ Times, Coors Light Is Now Offering Free Beers

Coors Light fans across the country owe a special thanks to Olive Veronesi, though you probably don’t need to buy her a beer.

After the 93-year-old Pennsylvanian was photographed holding up a sign that said “I need more beer!” and her image quickly circulated the globe, Coors Light sent her 10 free cases.

But her impact didn’t end there. She’s now motivated Coors Light and agency DDB to offer free beer for any American who deserves a 6-pack.

In a new spot that tosses aside talk of “these uncertain times,” Coors Light instead acknowledges that these are, in fact, “sucky” times that call for a beer.

While most brands are going for a tone of solemn empathy in their quarantine-era advertising, Coors Light and DDB opted instead to be more frank and say that this period just sucks.

“So many brands are trying to articulate how people are feeling, tugging on the heartstrings,” said Britt Nolan, North American CCO for DDB. “What we found is that it’s really hard to articulate how people are feeling right now. It just sucks. And it sucks differently for everybody.”

“It’s really hard to articulate how people are feeling right now. It just sucks. And it sucks differently for everybody.”
—Britt Nolan, North America CCO, DDB

The spot continues a long tradition of showing beer’s role in great moments of U.S. history—the Revolutionary War, the Great Depression, etc.—but then gives the trope a fun twist by admitting that the beer really didn’t contribute much beyond making things more tolerable.

For example, the spot describes the end of Prohibition but stops short of crediting it with much beyond boosting American morale.

“Did it solve anything? No, of course not,” the ad says, “But it did help them press on.”

(Especially curious viewers might wonder whose Twitter IDs make an appearance at the end of the spot. Nolan says it’s a mix of “Coors Light superfans,” agency staffers and others who could quickly be reached to sign off on being included in the rapidly rotating list. “Honestly, it was like, ‘Who’s approval could we get?”)

The creative team wasn’t always certain the word “sucky,” which in multiple variations makes up much of the spot’s script, would end up in the final cut. But the client supported it, and some quick testing found it resonated well with Americans in quarantine.

“We did spend some time thinking about what was the perfect word to describe what we’re going through right now,” Nolan said. [Brands are] all playing the same emotional note right now. But I think the thing you can’t forget is that brands can be a social levity for people, especially beer. Beer should lighten the mood.”

The #CouldUseaBeer promotion encourages fans to nominate a friend or loved one who deserves a free 6-pack, and a unique code will be provided for the participant to give as a gift of sorts to the deserving friend. (Technically, yes, you can then use the code for yourself.)

While DDB had been considering a similar campaign for a while, the creative team fully credits Veronesi’s moment in the global social media spotlight as the spark that made it happen right now.

TOO FUNNY: ♥️???? 93-year old Olive Veronesi from Seminole, PA is doing her part to stay home and stay safe, and she’s sending this message to her neighbors and to her daughter. More:

Posted by KDKA-TV | CBS Pittsburgh on Thursday, April 9, 2020

“When Coors decided to send her a bunch of cases of beers, the conversation it sparked was about all these people coming out saying who else could use a beer,” Nolan said. “So the notion had been floating around, but people were ready to have this conversation.”


Client – Molson Coors Beverage Company
Brand – Coors Light
Client – Molson Coors Beverage Company
Chief Marketing Officer – Michelle St. Jacques
Marketing Director – Chris Steele
Senior Marketing Manager – Liz Cramton
Marketing Manager – Emily McCullough
Brand Public Relations Manager – Rachel Dickens
Associate Marketing Manager – Stephanie Donelson
Senior Media Manager – Kelly Ellefson
Associate Media Manager – Stephanie Feran

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