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Jim Sabia

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What: Corona Light on draft will expand nationally and Corona Extra on draft will be introduced in three US test markets.
Why it matters: Corona Light draft will be made available in more than 35 US markets to appeal to millennial and Hispanic consumers. Corona Extra will be introduced in 3 markets. Corona Light draft will be featured in two television commercials during its March rollout and again in the summer selling season. Horizon Media is Corona’s agency of record.

coronaLooking to boost its presence on draft in bars and restaurants, Corona is planning to expand Corona Light on draft nationally, and to introduce Corona Extra on draft in test markets.

Corona Light draft has already been launched in more than 35 US markets in 2012-2013 and continues to outdo the light category after a 2.9 percent sales increase in 2013 and a sales increase in 18 of the last 19 years.Corona Light draft will focus on appealing to light beer drinkers who want a more premium experience. Particularly, to millennial and Hispanic consumers that have continued to identify with the iconic brand, as studies suggest that millennial tend to prefer beer on draft. These studies also indicate that 25% of Hispanic consumers have chosen Corona Extra as their favorite beer. In previous roll out markets, the presence of Corona Light draft contributed to a brand trend that is 12 percent better than non-Corona Light draft markets.

 Draft beer accounts for approximately 10% of the industry as a whole. 

The introduction of Corona Extra on draft will be a historic moment for the brand and to celebrate this historic milestone the brand will make the draft available in three US markets, beginning March 10. The brand will be watching closely to understand the impact on the marketplace. On the other side, Corona Light draft will be made available in more than 35 US markets, including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas beginning also March 10. The timing allows the brand to boost its draft presence in advance of the Cinco de Mayo holiday and the crucial summer selling season. Corona Light draft will be featured in two television commercials during its March rollout and again in the summer selling season with a marketing campaign that shows Corona Light as the beer for “when you’re ready for a light beer that tastes like a beer.”

The company is not aiming to switch a Corona Extra bottle drinker to draft.That is why every Corona Light and Corona Extra served on draft will come with a lime right on the glass. “With draft beer accounting for approximately 10 percent of the industry as a whole we’re excited about the growth opportunity with both Corona Light and Corona Extra on draft,” said Jim Sabia, chief marketing officer for Crown Imports, exclusive U.S. importer of Corona Light and Corona Extra.

Corona, a Crown Imports brand also bets on the Latinization of America as Hispanic tastes and customs are gradually adopted by the general population. over by the general population.

Crown Imports is introducing The Modelo Especial Chelada brand, which will be made available at retail locations in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Chicago in October. Modelo Especial Chelada is scheduled for national release in the first quarter of 2014. We talked to Jim Sabia, Chief Marketing Officer at Crown Imports about the marketing implications of the launch. A Portada exclusive.

Portada: Why is Modelo Especial Chelada being introduced at this point in time?

Jim Sabia, CMO, Crown Imports
Jim Sabia, CMO, Crown Imports

Jim Sabia, CMO, Crown Imports: Crown Imports continuously looks to provide the best offerings for its consumers through new and relevant products. The ready-made Chelada segment is growing rapidly across all retail channels with Chelada category volume sales having increased 16.9% in the latest 52-weeks nationally (Source: Symphony IRI Group, Multi-Outlet + Convenience, Rolling 52 weeks ending 5-19-13). As the only Chelada made Especial, this ”cerveza preparada” brings an authentic Mexican recipe to our important Hispanic consumer and provides a new, exciting beer flavor profile to our general market customers.

In some cities across the U.S., Hispanics make up over 50% of Crown sales.

The beer is introduced now in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Chicago. Why are you choosing these markets for the initial introduction. (Is the fact that Hispanics have a high ratio in those states population related to the fact?)
J.S.:”The locations where Modelo Especial Chelada is being made available first represent a high concentration of current Chelada drinkers and drinkers of Modelo Especial. These locations also make up a large portion of the Hispanic population in the U.S. The Hispanic consumer is critical to our business. In fact, in some cities across the U.S., Hispanics make up over 50% of Crown sales. We anticipate Modelo Especial Chelada will be very popular among this consumer based on initial testing and the fact that as the only Chelada made Especial, Modelo Especial Chelada is bringing an authentic Mexican recipe to the U.S. market.”

What marketing strategy is going to be done to support the launch?
J.S.:“The launch of Modelo Especial Chelada will be supported with a full arsenal of marketing support tools including national Spanish-language television spots, trade ads, point of sale and social media. Our communication will focus on the refreshing flavors of tomato, salt and lime that have been brewed with Modelo Especial to deliver the taste of a true Mexican Chelada.”

Any mobile marketing for the launch of this new brand? (If not please explain how mobile marketing/advertising is used for other Modelo brands).
J.S.: “Not currently. However, as part of the overall National Hispanic digital buy for Modelo Especial, mobile plays a key component of our digital mix as our Hispanic consumer continues to over-index in their usage of mobile and digital platforms.”

What paid media strategy is going to be used, what will the media mix be?
Modelo Especial CheladaJ.S.: “Modelo Especial Chelada will be supported by National Spanish-language TV which has already begun airing on targeted Hispanic networks in a mix of entertainment and sports programming, including broadcasts of the MLB World Series on Fox Deportes. In our top markets, Spanish Language radio tags will also air. In the fall, trade print ads will also be running to help build awareness with our retail and trade partners.”

Is Modelo Especial Chelada going to have sports/marketing/soccer specific campaigns?
J.S.: “There aren’t any marketing campaigns directly tied to sports or soccer for Modelo Especial Chelada at this time. However, Modelo Especial Chelada is perfect for broad range of occasions from kick-starting your evening, savoring at a BBQ or while relaxing at home with friends watching sports.While this is the introductory phase for Modelo Especial Chelada, Crown Imports always seeks out the best opportunities to authentically connect our brands with our customers.”

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