Coors Light ‘Cold as the Rockies’ Hispanic PR case study courtesy of Bromley Communications

Hispanic PR Case Study submitted by Bromley Communications

On May 15, 2009, to celebrate the arrival of the new Coors Light and Coors Banquet Cold Activated Cans (CAC), massive cold fronts took over five major U.S. cities.  The cold fronts anchored in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle and Los Angeles with oversized cans rising up and sitting majestically on top of snow masses that floated down the waterways.  On land, celebrations to welcome the new product included live concerts, skateboarding, snow ball fights, as well as an extreme unveiling of the new cans.  Coors Light LA Snowball

The launch plan was conceived by the brand and its agencies to visually represent the innovation behind the Cold Activated Can that is reflected by mountains that turn blue when beer is at the optimal drinking temperature.

Research

While this was a first-year relationship between Bromley PR and Coors Light, Bromley Account Planning, Marketing and Media had a longstanding relationship with the brand.  Therefore, the PR team was able to tap into existing research and knowledge to contribute to the cold front concept and ideation process and ensure appropriate modifications to reflect the Hispanic consumer mindset. For example, Bromley distilled a key insight: the brand’s key Hispanic Coors Light Mountainconsumer was a bicultural 21-34 year old Hispanic to whom a cold refreshing beer was critical.  Taking that a step further, the agency developed a creative concept for the CAC innovation where the brand became like the consumer’s good friend that would always “tell it like it is,” and in this case, the new packaging would tell the consumer when it was the optimum temperature to drink.

Throughout the PR development process of the CAC product launch, the agency strived to keep those nuances alive in the messaging and stay true to other insights that had been uncovered through research.

Planning (goals, strategies and audience)

Agreed upon general market and Hispanic goals were to 1) generate excitement and buy in for the new Cold Activated Can among media, retailers, distributors and internal audiences, 2) engage Coors Light audiences via messaging that created buzz and anticipation for the new CAC and 3) bring CL innovation concept to life.

Strategies consisted of:

– Developing a “rolling thunder” teaser campaign leading up to May 15
– Creating innovative White-to-Blue Rocky Mountain visual signposts to reflect the cold activated label
– Generating news surrounding the brand’s history and commitment to developing innovations that relentlessly deliver Rocky Mountain Cold Refreshment
– Ensuring the Cold Front PR launch matched the Hispanic ad campaign
– Maintaining refreshing feel and vibe appropriate to target audience, in all elements

Challenges

Since each of the five events was tailored to the local market, logistics, venues and/or talent were not all confirmed at onset of media pitching. Unforeseen delays of city/harbor permits or change of venues, for example, slightly hampered pre-publicity buzz and thus consumer awareness.  Additionally, since these were outdoor events, weather was not always on our side, yet the show(s) managed to go on.

Given the necessary balance to reach internal and external audiences, venues and timing was not necessarily media friendly. Locations needed to have major waterway access, ideally an iconic venue, located next to Coors Light-serving accounts. Most markets opted for Happy Hour timeframes to ensure best engagement among consumers, distributors and sales teams.

The Hispanic PR budget was originally based on events in two markets. Despite a no-frills budget, the agency conducted the assignment for five markets vs. two and still came in under budget, thanks in part to excellent coordination and sharing of resources, tools and materials across all the assigned agencies.

Execution

One of the festivity highlights was a VIP intercept opportunity in which consumers and field distributors were given the opportunity to ride a barge alongside “glaciers” carrying new cold-activated cans. Field market teams ensured entertainment would meet the wide range of audience’s tastes. Live music, snowball fights and even a rail-jam with ice sculptures warmed up the cold-front arrival. To infuse the spirit of cold front at corporate headquarters and beyond, a live Web cast of the NY event was transmitted via satellite and pre-promoted.

For execution responsibilities, Bromley collaborated with several agencies: the brand’s general market agency managed the snow peak ideation, construction and logistics. Similarly, the brand’s digital agency conceptualized and executed the online component, consisting of online video teasers tracking the cold-fronts until the day of the launch. Lastly, the brand’s retail/ promotions agency and field teams coordinated post-event after parties which allowed for night life retail celebrations.

Bromley adapted general market materials as part of the pre-launch teaser and created a collateral piece which was a larger-than-life can that illustrated how the cold activated innovation technology works. Other elements of the teaser included a branded media kit consisting of a weather watcher (branded thermostat), t-shirt, and bilingual media materials which were sent several weeks in advance to the top 50 Hispanic features, news and entertainment media.

To encourage local attendance, calendar announcements and invites were issued and posted in the five markets (New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia).  Pre-event radio interviews were coordinated to drive traffic and reinforce the messaging.  Bromley PR on-site supervision of event management and media was conducted in New York and Los Angeles, the largest Hispanic media markets.  Brand bilingual spokespersons were identified and in place in major markets as well as Coors PR and/or brand representatives.

As part of a national overlay, a Spanish-language ANR was produced and issued. Additionally, Bromley tapped in to the general market satellite feed to inexpensively produce and distribute a Hispanic MMR.

Results

Approximately 1,700 people attended the five Cold Front celebrations, including consumers, media, distributors and internal teams. Although local events were customized to best match the market, each activity generated excitement through the visually massive snow-capped peaks that propelled a large-sized CAC and officially launched the distribution of several Coors Light cold activated cans.

Hispanic media was present in each of the five markets to witness the arrival of the super sized cans floating down the waterways, and use of advance and post-publicity tools ensured ample online, print and broadcast media in the five markets and beyond.

Despite the challenges to communicate the brand’s and CAC attributes, a content analysis of the media placements illustrated an overwhelming success in relaying the targeted messaging:

– 95% of placements mentioned launch event(s) around “Cold Front”
– 90% mentioned product novelty/Coors Light Cold Activated Can
– 95% mentioned key words, e.g., “cold” or “refreshing” and/or “frióindicador”
– 75% tied in the Hispanic creative concept of “Un Buen Amigo” or “Coors Light tells it like it is”
– Distributors, media and consumers all provided positive feedback about the events.  Some of their comments include
“What a great idea, I really need to start drinking more Coors Light!”
“How did you come up with this, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“What a great day and a great party, I love Coors Light!”
“Coors know how to celebrate.”