Dec 082015

Corona O TannenpalmA recent article in CMO Today, an online section of the WSJ, highlights Corona’s 25th anniversary of the iconic holiday ad “O’ Tannenpalm.” This iconic commercial, which was developed in 1990 by the agency Campbell Mithun Esty, is the longest-running beer ad and the second-longest running holiday ad of any kind, behind Hershey’s famous kiss-bells spot.  Corona is releasing a mini-documentary about the ad to commemorate the 25th anniversary.

According to the article, the most difficult part of creating the ad was finding the right palm tree!  Amazingly the total budget for the ad was less than $50,000 and the brand was not required to pay residual fees because there no actors were used in the spot.

“When brands stick with a piece of advertising for a long period of time, the creative becomes part of the brand equity,” said Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “Over time the spot can take on more and more meaning,” Prof. Calkins said. “People see it, they remember it and all of a sudden it comes a particularly powerful type of communication.”

While Corona celebrates the ad’s 25th anniversary, ABI recently announced that in this year’s upcoming Super Bowl, ABI will not be running any commercials featuring the feel-good Dalmatian dogs which, historically are either the top or one of the top-liked ads in the Super Bowl.

From all indications, ABI seems to have begun to shift their overall view of marketing in the US.  Industry articles and comments from wholesalers highlight statements and actions by the executives of ABI on their direction for the 2016 marketing.  This action, welcomed by all US ABI wholesalers, hopes to stem the dramatic loss of ABI market share and volume, a decline which has been on-going since InBev acquired the company in 2008.

The continued dramatic growth of Corona, now owned by Constellation Brands and under the long-time management of their beer division, Crown, versus the Brazilin owned and managed ABI, brings up the question: why the dramatic different results?

On one hand we have a Mexican brewed beer which is imported by a US company, managed by US executives, owned by the same US company and managed by the same US company whose sales continue to grow at double digit rates.

On the other hand, we have a Brazilian company, run by Brazilian executives, with an iconic American brand with a long and great US history, losing massive volume and market share.  Is it that simple?

Perhaps the better way to answer that is to pose a question to any AB distributor who has both AB and Modelo brands.  Who do you more admire and feel is the better CEO: Carlos Brito or Bill Hackett?  The results of that question would be interesting to see.

With 25 years of growth and success, Corona, which stands behind the iconic ads and marketing theme of the “beach in a bottle,” seems to believe in the simple but effective statement: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!  InBev should have studied that statement closer as most of us will agree that AB was not broken in 2007.

Enjoy the documentary below on the ad, ‘O’ Tannenpalm’ while sipping on a cold Corona.

Enjoy the documentary below on the ad, ‘O’ Tannenpalm’ while sipping on a cold Corona.


Beer Fodder;  The documentary

 Posted by at 7:00 am

  3 Responses to “‘O’ Tannenpalm’”

  1. Thanks Geoff…
    Appreciate the comments and perspective! This is the beer business…we don’t have to “overthink” it. Hope all is well with you.
    Cheers, Bill

  2. I vote for Bill; GB

  3. My vote is Hackett!

    I remember a large brand (at the time) whose distributor network wanted them to get off the boat and out of Hong Kong, essentially trading “when you’re out of Schlitz you’re out of beer” for “take away my Schlitz? Meet your lunch!” (cue the puma growl).

    The puma wound up eating both the jingle and the guy in Hong Kong and, eventually, the brand too.

    That AB network better rethink the Dalmatians and Clydesdales and give them some fresh love. That puma is still out there.

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