Coors Light Bear and brand ambassador Patrick Mahomes dodge NFL regulations

Dive Brief:

  • Molson Coors brand Coors Light and NFL star Patrick Mahomes got creative around league regulations barring athletes from promoting beer with a comedic campaign promoting a new product, the Coors Light Bear, according to a press release.
  • Key to the campaign is a 60-second spot pairing Mahomes with the bear for a variety of activities, like playing golf and watching TV. Starting June 15, Coors also made available a limited amount of golf club head covers that look like the bear available for purchase online.  
  • The tongue-in-cheek effort is the latest in Coors’ ongoing partnership with Mahomes and follows a similar effort last summer between the two to promote The Coors Light, a branded flashlight.

Dive Insight:

Coors Light continues to search for creative ways to flex its ongoing relationship with Kansas City Chiefs’ Mahomes despite the league’s red tape barring active players from endorsing beer, a limitation brewers have often attempted to work around given the potential of advertising to sports fans.

At the center of the campaign is a comedic play on words yielding the creation of Coors Light Bear. In a minute-long spot, Mahomes is seen with the bear doing a variety of activities one might typically enjoy with a beer — golfing, watching TV, relaxing at the beach or hanging out with friends. Ending the commercial, Mahomes drives home the playful nod by saying, “Coors Light Bear. The world’s most refreshing bear.”

Along with the spot, Molson Coors also began selling a golf club head cover resembling the bear online for $15. The product appears to be sold out at press time with a restock date of June 25.

The latest tie-up with Mahomes follows a very similar activation between the two last summer to promote The Coors Light, a branded silver flashlight. Mahomes has also promoted the brand on social media with photos showing off branded golf cleats, a Coors Light onesie and a brand-inspired birthday cake, per press details. 

The campaign comes as Coors Light’s rival, Bud Light, continues to see a drop in sales following an ongoing controversy around an activation with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Backlash has proven significant for the brand, which recently lost its status as the top selling beer in America. In its place, Modelo Especial now holds the top spot. 

Molson Coors has seen significant growth so far this year, having reported a sales boost of 5.9% year-over-year in the first quarter for a total of $2.35 billion. On a call with analysts discussing the results, executives said the company will increase marketing investments this year compared to 2022 to support further growth. 

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