Corona Woos With Secret VR Paradise

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Corona This Is Living

Leveraging its hugely successful “Find Your Beach” slogan and advertising, Corona has enjoyed a remarkable run to become America’s No. 1 imported beer brand and the No. 5 best-selling beer in the country overall.

The leading brand in Mexico, in fact, is imported to more than 120 countries. Global revenue for the brand jumped more than 14 percent in 2016 after a 23 percent jump in 2015, with the UK, China, Dominican Republic and Germany all experiencing significant growth in Corona sales.

Imported to the US by Constellation Brands, Corona grew sales-to-retailer volume in the US by more than 5 percent last year while the beer category in America overall has continued to struggle to eke out even the smallest growth.

“Find Your Beach” started out with couples quietly enjoying a couple of bottles of Corona in beach chairs with their backs to the camera, mesmerizing viewers with the simple scene of relaxation and a view of the water.

As the slogan and positioning took hold, Corona got more adventurous—an effective strategy, of course. In 2014, for instance, it used TV, digital and out-of-home advertising to strengthen the connection between the physical beach and the beach “state of mind” by depicting beaches in unexpected places, such as a city bar, urban rooftop or a snowy mountaintop.

Corona secret paradise VR experience Mexico City 2017

Its latest campaign goes to a new destination, using an immersive VR experience, as part of its new “This is Living” brand platform by AOR W+K.

As noted in a press release, “Corona is on a mission to encourage people around the world to reconnect with nature and the outdoors because we spend on average 90% of our time inside. Corona believes outside is where our best side shines through, but getting outside to experience nature isn’t as easy as it should be with over half of the world’s population currently living in urban areas. Bringing relief to those who needed it the most, Corona created a secret paradise in the heart of one of the most hectic, overpopulated cities in the world, Mexico City.”

Mexico City is the home to over 20 million people, landlocked and surrounded by snow-capped volcanos and mountains. Stripping away the surrounding concrete jungle, Corona created a secret paradise which combined theatrics, VR technology and interactive set design to enable attendees to experience paradise and inspire them to seek out nature afterwards.

The immersive VR installation (expanding on an earlier foray into VR with Oculus Rift) simulated a journey to paradise through a jungle setting, awakening the senses and bringing the feeling of being completely immersed in nature. To heighten the realism, sand, heat, wind and even scents, allowed visitors to feel real-world elements as they travelled along a virtual path through the jungle to the beach. The mixed reality experience seamlessly combined the digital and physical world, effectively triggering the brain to truly ignite the feeling of being in Paradise.

As W+K Amsterdam notes, “Upon entering the Paraíso Secreto location and following a series of interactive moments with characters in a stylized urban bar setting, visitors gained access to the secret paradise via a hidden door camouflaged as a Corona vending machine. Each was then equipped with HTC Vive wireless headsets fitted with a leap motion controller and guided through the four-minute experience by a Hummingbird Host, who served as a virtual chaperone.”

“The inspiration for this project was to alleviate a tension for people and that required us to go beyond traditional advertising,” said Corona Global VP Thiago Zanettini. “We leveraged cutting edge technology in a meaningful way to bring to life the brand’s purpose. To live up to that purpose, we hope to do more initiatives like this next year in our homeland of Mexico and beyond.”

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