Posted by Abe Sauer on October 16, 2009 12:30 PM
Corona is the latest brand to suffer the headache of a brand-damaging fake ad. The "ad," which features the Corona brand and the message "Drink Us and We'll Hire More Mexicans in Mexico," looks professional enough to be believed as real, at first glance.
But it's another phony, like the child-unfriendly fake ads that sent Hasbro toys brand scrambling to do damage control, though the ads were nothing big in the eyes of many. When fake ads aren't offensive -- and it's an admittedly fine line -- they can conceivably add a little vavoom to a brand (while the brand gets to deny involvement).
This is certainly often true when such spoofs take a racy tone, as with the fake Sprite soda ad from this year, JC Penney's award-winning but unapproved speed-dressing spot, or the Puma one from several years ago.
But not for Corona, after the new fake ad found its way onto an anti-immigration website. The ad was created by a wannabe art director, looking to gain a little attention.
Which he got, with some collateral damage to Corona's brand. Corona can try to correct the record. But in the age of viral media, setting things straight can backfire and simply strengthen consumers' association of the fake ad's message to the brand.