Corona is a huge Mexican brand around the world, and the brew is celebrating its history in an epic stop-motion animation film narrated by Golden Globe winner Gael Garcia Bernal. The action behind the scenes is just as riveting as the 60-second ad itself.
'The History of ‘La Cerveza Mas Fina,' created in conjunction with creative agency Observatory in Los Angeles, is a Spanish-language campaign for the Mexican market. The production narrates, in four chapters, the deep-rooted relationship Corona has with Mexicans since its beginnings in 1925, shortly after the Mexican Revolution.
The flowing production starts with Garcia Bernal sitting in a stark white room on a golden hand-shaped chair with a bottle of Corona. After he says “Only history can tell us what we are made of," the camera pivots and goes through a series of handmade dioramas. The first shows how the brand was founded by a group of bakers who decided to use Corona’s iconic clear-glass bottle so that everyone could see it was made with the finest ingredients.
Moving forward, during the golden age of Mexican cinema, the Corona Caravan brought culture and Coronas to every corner of the country. During the 80s, even when the country was being hit by the economic crisis, the brand began an ambitious export plan, which helped the Mexican brand span the globe. In the final chapter, the viewer sees how Mexicans in the present have learned to turn obstacles into opportunities, tearing down physical and mental barriers.
“History says that we are made of the finest, and the finest never stops,” García Bernal says at the end.
The campaign was inspired by the label on every Corona bottle: ‘La Cerveza Mas Fina.’ “La Mas Fina means quality and craft. So everything we did in our campaign had to have the same craft as our beer,” said Clarissa Pantoja, director of Corona.
The visual inspiration of this history stems from the imaginary universe of renowned Mexican surrealist artist Pedro Friedeberg. His famous patterns and distinctive vanishing points, as well as the iconic ‘Hand-Chair’ in which García Bernal begins to tell the story, help this production tie into Mexico’s vibrant legacy of art.
The film was directed by Nicolas Ménard, produced and animated by London/LA-based Nexus Studios. It took 24 images per second to give the scenes life and movement, all of which had to be filled with meticulously handcrafted sets and figures. A behind-the-scenes video shows that the character models were designed at Nexus, then 3D printed and painted by Andy Gent’s team at Arch Model Studios, whose credits include Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs and Fantastic Mr. Fox, as well as Henry Selick’s ‘Coraline’ and Tim Burton’s ‘Corpse Bride’. The music is an original score by Bridget Samuels, interpreted by an orchestra of over 50 musicians in London.
A few statistics from the shoot: 128 people were involved in the nearly two-month long project; eight miniature sets were modeled and created for filming; 421 handcrafted miniatures were made, of which 71 were characters in the commercial; 350 replicas of Corona's iconic transparent bottle were produced and hand painted for this commercial; the water was made to look fluid by using hair gel, and brooms were used to create waves of grain.
“Corona’s story is a tale that reflects the spirit of the Mexican people,” said Todd Hunter, co-chief creative officer of Observatory. “To tell it, we were inspired by a medium that has captured Mexican history for centuries, its art, and brought it to life through a beautiful stop-motion film.”
See the work by clicking on the Creative Works box below.