Coors Light had planned to run an ad called the “Official Beer of ‘Working’ Remotely” during March Madness. But the brand is putting a hold on the spot as result of the coronavirus outbreak.
“The last thing we want is for our communication to seem insensitive or be misinterpreted,” Molson Coors Chief Marketing Officer Michelle St. Jacques states a memo to distributors shared with Ad Age. The memo references the "recent development of some companies asking employees to stay home from work to prevent further spread of the virus," adding that "we will continue to monitor the conversation on a daily basis and if the situation changes, we will look to launch the creative later this month.”
The decision was first reported by Beer Business Daily.
The “working remotely” ad will be replaced by a “product-focused spot that brings to life our mountain-cold refreshment in a very ‘Made to Chill' way,” St. Jacques states in the memo, referring to the brand’s tagline. The brewer is also asking distributors to stop putting out Coors Light “Working Remotely” coasters and banners at bars and restaurants. But St. Jacques stressed in the memo that Coors Light will still have “strong media spend in March," amounting to “more than double from February and 20 percent higher than 2019.”
The "working remotely" ad is by DDB Chicago and was first unveiled to wholesalers last month at a private meeting. It has not run on TV yet. It plays off the notion that many people blow off work to watch games during March Madness.
The spot is part of an ongoing campaign that has also included ads from Leo Burnett Chicago that have positioned the beer as “the official beer of” various occasions, such as one called the "official beer of Saturday morning" that ran last year during college football.
The move is the latest example of how the coronavirus is altering brand creative decisions. On Tuesday, Hershey Co. confirmed to Ad Age that it is pulling two ads focused on human interaction and replacing them with spots featuring only chocolate bars, text and voiceover.