In a good example of restrictions rethought as opportunities, Coors Light has released a new spot starring Patrick Mahomes promoting a Coors Light bear—since NFL rules won’t let him pitch Coors Light beer.
The NFL relaxed its rules a few years ago around active players promoting alcohol, but they are still restrictive. Players in alcohol ads must be in uniform, not street clothes, and they can’t make direct product endorsements. Also, agencies can’t shoot original footage of athletes for beer commercials—they must use existing stock footage.
The new spot gets around these rules by not featuring any beer at all. Rather, Mahomes, in street clothes throughout, introduces the Coors Light Bear—and then amusingly talks about the animal in beerspeak, saying things like it’s “the world’s most refreshing bear.”
The ad points to CoorsLightBear.com, where you can get your own Coors Light Bear—which isn’t a giant bear suit but a bear-shaped golf club cover. They’re available for $15 while supplies last, with proceeds going to Mahomes’ foundation.
“Sometimes the smallest sandboxes are the most fun to play in,” said Vanessa de Beaumont, associate creative director at Mischief. “Instead of looking at the sponsorship restriction as an obstacle, we saw it as the answer. And had a lot of fun with it. Like, put-a-man-in-a-bear-suit-into-an-actual-sandbox fun with it.”
“When I'm on the golf course, I always need my Coors Light Bear,” added Mahomes. “It’s great to work with one of my favorite brands, especially during the off-season when I can really find a moment to chill.”