Corona brings beach to London as part of 4,000-strong global event programme

Corona has always been a beer of the beach - but now it wants to take its message of fresh air and good times to the city and mountains too, says its brand director.

Compared to people, brands can be quite audacious with the kinds of things they try to "own": Sunday evenings on the couch, for example, or the unshakeable bond of friendship.

But few have the ambition of Corona, which has its sight set on nothing less than the outdoors of the entire world, with new brand positioning, "This is living".

"What we’re trying to do is inspire our consumers around the world to get outside more," says the beer’s global brand director Chris Jones.

"It stems from what we know is a universal tension: we’re all bogged down in our day to day stresses and our routines. We consider Corona to be a mood shift brand – it’s about transitioning from your routine, that moment of disconnection, and a sunset facilitates that."

Hence Corona Sunsets, an increasingly vast programme of music events that now extends to 4,000 individual dates worldwide. The centrepiece is a series of ten large festivals, stretching across the year and globe, the next of which is in Meridian Quays Greenwich, next to the O2, on 30 July.

The equivalent event last year was held in Weston-super-Mare, and the shift to the city reflects an evolution of the brand’s position, according to Jones.

Not a brand that likes to talk itself up

It’s not just cities either – the festival season also includes an event in the Chilean Andes in August, the middle of the southern hemisphere winter. Both changes of scenery are conscious attempts to extend the associations of the brand, moving beyond the beach and the summer but maintaining the link.

"We are a brand that was born of the beach, so this is something that feels very natural – it’s not something we have to force, its not contrived," argues Jones.

"We’re using sunsets as a way to overcome some our seasonality challenges. We are a summer brand, that is us at our core, but we know we can appeal in a broader way."

The Sunsets programme is about more than promoting the beer; it’s increasingly becoming a central part of the product of Corona, which Jones calls "fundamentally a lifestyle brand". It is extending beyond the music sphere too, for example by partnering with the World Surf League for a series of events.

Jones sees the brand as one that walks the walk; if Corona was a party guest, it would (in theory) make its presence felt by putting on sweet tunes and ensuring everyone has a drink, not by flaunting its wacky personality or overly clever sense of humour.

"We’re not a brand that likes to talk about ourselves," Jones says. "We don’t like to be loud and assertive, in the way that a lot of brands are.

"But consumers these days are looking for meaningful experiences – connections on a much deeper level. We don't just want to be wallpaper."

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