Day 225: Ad Nauseous – Corona De Mayo
Usually, when I walk into work after a day off, I run into a surprise or two. Registers aren’t based properly, somebody messed up a transaction in ways that I can’t even comprehend, the lottery machine has been stuck on a loading screen and nobody bothered to reboot it, I can basically handle anything. But when I waltzed into work the other day, a brand new surprise hit me in the face. Bluntly and swiftly.
Why? Just why? I can’t. I won’t. I have to. Ugh. Luckily, I don’t open the store. Because if I would’ve saw that while the store was half-lit, I would’ve called the cops and probably left town out of fear and embarrassment. In fact, I had to send a picture to the opening manager just so she didn’t have that very reaction. It’s large, imposing, and in the dark, it looks like he’s holding a gun. In a store that has never once housed a cardboard cutout, this is not a good way to start.
But from an advertising point of view, this is wrong in so many different ways. I’m not sure how Corona sales have gone since the beginning of the pandemic. My assumption is that it plummeted at first, then probably picked up in the summer as people drank out of defiance and then it tapered off again after everyone realized that the beer is horrible. But either way, if you’re marketing a beer that shares the same name as a virus that has ruined the whole world, you probably shouldn’t be too flashy. This ad is loud, in-your-face and is seemingly tone-deaf to what has happened in the past year.
As a straight white man, I can’t make any assumptions about how racist or not racist it is to have a fat mariachi in a novelty sombrero be a shill for a beer that’s owned by a Belgian conglomerate. I also don’t think Mexicans particularly enjoy Corona. But I also assumed before I moved to New York that New Yorkers don’t like the Yankees, so I’m really bad at cultural assumptions. This all just seems like really blatant minstreling that makes me uncomfortable to even look at.
But the real problem with this ad is in it’s tagline. Corona De Mayo. What in the goddamned hell does that even mean?!? That literally translates to Corona of May, or in proper english, May Corona. Are they assuming that we don’t know that Cinco means Five? I mean, that’s a fair assumption, considering that us Americans celebrate a Mexican Holiday that isn’t even a real Mexican Holiday. It’s celebrated in the state of Pueblo to commemorate a single battle won. Just imagine that in Canada, they celebrated September 19th as America Day, to commemorate the Battle of Saratoga. Sure, the Americans won that battle, but it sure as hell didn’t win our independence. Corona is seemingly making a mockery of this mockery holiday by changing the name in a way that makes zero sense. Cinco and Corona start with the letter C. Fucking brilliant.
Overall, I’m okay with Corona’s TV ad campaigns. I thought the ones with Snoop Dog and Bad Bunny were mildly entertaining. Generally, they put me at ease and sometimes even makes me crave a beer. They should probably stop making an effort to do print ads. It’ll probably do wonders for their image if they just gave up. Because whatever the hell they’re doing with this cut-out is not working.