Goodby Snares Corona Light, Modelo Especial

La Comunidad Remains Hispanic Shop After Handling English-Language Assignment for Light

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Goodby joins Crown Imports' roster with Corona Light and Modelo Especial.
Goodby joins Crown Imports' roster with Corona Light and Modelo Especial.

Crown Imports is expanding its agency roster, handing creative advertising for Corona Light and Modelo Especial to Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners after a review, the importer told Ad Age .

"We recognize the huge potential for Corona Light as well as the great opportunity Modelo Especial has to connect with the general market consumer," Crown Chief Marketing Officer Jim Sabia said in a statement. "Goodby impressed us with a creative vision for both Corona Light and Modelo Especial brands that echos our vision for growth, and we are excited to begin this partnership."

Goodby's co-chairman and partner, Jeff Goodby, said the agency was "honored to partner with Crown Imports to further tell the Corona Light and Modelo Especial stories, helping to grow two premium beer brands."

Cramer-Krasselt remains the agency of record for Corona Extra. Crown had historically advertised Light with Extra, but last year began standalone ads for the smaller Light brand. La Comunidad, the Hispanic agency for Extra and Modelo Especial, took on the English-language assignment, positioning Light as the "social brother" to the more beachy Extra, with ads featuring rooftop parties.

But Crown in May opted to put Light up for review, saying at the time that it wanted a "long-term partner" for the brand's general market advertising.

"We just think there's an opportunity to sharpen the message a little bit," Mr. Sabia said in an interview today. "Goodby, with their track record with working on a lot of major consumer packaged good companies, we feel like they can help us get to the next level." Mr. Sabia said Crown looked at a "whole bunch" of agencies and visited five agencies in person, which he did not name.

For Modelo Especial, Crown is seeking to grow the appeal beyond Hispanics, who account for roughly 80% of its consumption. "We think there's a lot of upside for this brand, [and] this is where we want Goodby to help us communicate ... to the general-market consumers."

Crown reiterated that La Comunidad remains its Hispanic agency.

Crown last year spent $9 million in measured media on Corona Light, compared to $51.9 million on Corona Extra, according to Kantar Media. The importer spent $10 million on Modelo Especial. Even with the limited spending, Modelo is among the best performers in beer, growing shipments 15.75% last year, placing it as the third-largest import behind Extra (No. 1) and Heineken (No. 2), according to Beer Marketer's Insights. Corona Light is the seventh-largest import, with shipments falling 1.3% last year.

Modelo has continued its strong growth this year, with grocery sales up nearly 17% in the year ended Aug. 7 measured by dollar sales, while Corona Light declined 1.3%, according to SymphonyIRI, which does not include Walmart or liquor stores. (Crown says total sales for Light are up low single digits year to date.)

New ads for both brands are expected to break by spring of next year.

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