Tecate positions itself as a ‘bold’ choice in a crowded beer market

As the beer market becomes more crowded, with craft beers continuing to fracture the consumer base, heritage brands need to make a mark and corner their niche in the market.

As such, Mexican beer brand Tecate, owned by Heineken USA, is cementing its position as a masculine, bold brand with the continuation of its ‘We Are Bold’ campaign and the release of a higher-alcohol beer called Tecate Titanium.

“It was natural step for us to take the mantle and lead the Mexican category by debuting its first high ABV beer in the form of Titanium,” said Belen Pamukoff, Tecate brand director.

Created with agency Nómades, the ‘We Are Bold’ campaign centers on the cultural insight that guys everywhere become friends, but bicultural Hispanic men become brothers. This is showcased in the campaign through the male bonding and friendly competition that occurs when four friends get together around the barbecue. They have a lot in common and jokingly tease each other as they bond over the grill.

“It’s the brotherhood of the barbecue," Pamukoff told The Drum. "We found it was very important to show the key attributes of our brand personality – humor – [the idea] that Tecate doesn’t take itself too seriously. But there are unexpected twists in these situations, a cleverness that is connected to the DNA of the brand."

In the upcoming spots for Tecate Light, the friends are put in several humorous situations. In ‘Abs,’ we see two shirtless average guys grilling. A woman looks over and sees a perfectly sculpted guy walk by with six-pack abs. The two average guys get an idea – they use charcoal to draw six-pack abs on themselves.

‘Slo-Mo’ finds the guys grilling in slow motion. As they goofily flip their steaks slowly, a woman comes along in real time and steals the meat from the grill. A third, ‘Summer,’ finds the men sweating around the grill in hot weather. Another comes along in a down parka and heats his hands over the grill. As they look at him in wonder, he opens his jacket to show that it is lined with Tecate Light, thus freezing him.

“[Grilling] is an occasion we identify with our brand, and for Mexicans, grilling is part of the culture… it’s a ritual, and people take it very seriously…," said Pamukoff. "No other Mexican brand is owning this occasion. We wanted to dial up the humor and playfulness with the friends."

She acknowledged that the brand is focusing more on men with its campaign, because that is the brand’s target. While the brand does want more women drinkers, she said that Tecate’s competitors spend three to four times what they do, so they have to be precise in the ad spend.

“You will see women in our TV commercials. Although we are not targeting women, we are including them in our communications. Just because the DNA of brand is masculine does not mean we cannot welcome women. We’re very careful about how we portray women,” she said, noting that the women depicted in the ads are strong and hold their own in the ads.

The new Tecate Titanium doesn’t have a televised marketing element, but is an important growth area for the brand. At 7.5% ABV, Titanium will be available in 24-ounce, single serve cans, and will launch in select markets throughout the country including New York and the Sun Belt states. Titanium will capitalize on the increased popularity of Mexican Imports, and the growing demand for higher-strength beers.

“It’s not competing with craft beers,” said Pamukoff, adding that it’s more for the growing competition in convenience stores. “There is no Mexican beer in this category… We did some market research and found there was a need for it. The brands currently growing in that category are not well known by the Hispanic community.”

Titanium will be promoted through out-of-home advertising close to the stores and with radio and sampling events.

Sports have been a part of the Tecate brand for a while, and it is promoting three Liga Mexico soccer teams – continuing with Chivas de Guadalajara and adding new sponsorships with Tigres UANL and Club de Futbol Monterrey Rayados – to drive traffic to retail during the year and to promote the teams coming to the US to play friendly matches.

“[The fans] get so passionate. We will amplify these games,” said Pamukoff. She noted that the brand is promoting a contest to send consumers to Mexico to see the official games through retail promotions. Moving forward in 2020, the brand wants to amplify connecting soccer with music, fashion and cultural events.

Boxing is also part of the Tecate DNA, and it continues with promotional efforts around a May fight in Las Vegas – Canelo Alvarez v Daneil Jacobs, with social promotions and free codes to watch the fights on pay per view.

Pamukoff went on to say that Tecate is also concentrating on expanding social media efforts through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, along with a series of six-second gifs. The brand will be localizing communications to be very direct to local markets, with a lot of the volume going to the Sun Belt in California, Dallas, Houston and New Mexico.

See some of the work by clicking on the Creative Works box below.

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