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By The Drum, Editorial

May 30, 2024 | 8 min read

Winning The Drum Awards for Marketing APAC’s Gold in Creative is Corona Looong Weekend from AB InBev. Here is the award-winning case study.

The Indian alcohol market is challenging to navigate with a slew of restrictions on advertising, promotions, high taxes, and government control on distribution and retail. The promotion of alcoholic beverages is heavily regulated, limiting the avenues through which brands can reach their target audience. Traditional advertising channels, particularly those accessible to other consumer goods industries, are often curtailed for alcohol brands.

Corona Couldn’t Find Its Voice in the Holy Trinity of Beer, Sport, and Men

Globally, and notably in India, the beer industry intertwines closely with sports, forming a culturally significant “Holy Trinity” alongside masculinity. According to Sportcal, leading alcoholic beverage brands invest over $760m annually across 280+ sponsorships. Heineken, allocating $118.3m yearly to sports sponsorships, boasts 25 active deals, including Formula One and Major League Soccer. Bud Light’s $230m NFL sponsorship, out of a $249.7m sports budget, establishes it as a top spender. Amid these colossal marketing endeavors resulting in high-decibel campaigns for these brands, our brand’s category-deviant positioning resulted in diminished visibility in the entrenched beer-sports culture.

Tight Budget Compared to Others Added to the Complexity

Unlike the colossal marketing spends from other beer brands, Corona India navigated with a meager budget, devoid of any grand marketing events, celebrity endorsements, or high-profile campaigns, which further limited its visibility.

A Brand Diminished to Seasonal Presence

Corona had adopted a category-deviant positioning of ‘relaxation’ and ‘unwinding’ in the outdoors making it as a seasonal indulgence to be enjoyed during that annual vacation on the beach, thereby significantly impacting its sales and round the year consumption occasions.


Our primary audience were the time-strapped and fun-deprived corporate employees – the young Millennials, engaged in a relentless pursuit of seeking downtime!

They were perpetually seeking moments of respite in their hectic schedules and packed calendars. They found themselves entrenched in overworked lives, only experiencing a brief reprieve during their annual vacations, before inevitably returning to the grind.

Despite yearning for more leisure time and vacations, many Indian millennials struggle to prioritize and realize their holiday plans due to work commitments. As a result, their aspirations for relaxation often go unfulfilled.

Indian millennials, known for their digital savvy and high social media engagement, are exceptionally active on various platforms. Beyond pursuing their passion points, they rely heavily on social media as a primary tool for researching, discovering, recommending, and planning their vacations. “Gramming their vacations” has emerged as one of the most prevalent content trends among this audience, reflecting their enthusiasm for sharing experiences and unique moments from their travels. Experience hungry, they take pride in showcasing their vacation content, underscoring the distinctiveness of their experiences, and contributing to the vibrant online travel community.

Their annual vacations were sacrosanct – pilgrimages of self-love where they went all out to make the most of them but inevitably returned to their grueling grinds, leaving them asking for more...

We seized this opportunity to act as a catalyst in fuelling their experience-hungry behavior by fulfilling their holiday aspirations! Our aim was to transform their monotonous lives, spent either in corporate offices, into one with adequate and more experiences filled with relaxation, leisure, and rejuvenation.

India’s diverse festival calendar, punctuated by numerous long weekends, provided an ideal backdrop for our strategy. We encouraged our audience to seize these opportunities for “mini vacations” throughout the year rather than solely relying on their annual getaway. This approach allowed Corona to embed itself in its yearly calendar, serving as a constant reminder to seize the moment and embark on a weekend escape.

By leveraging social media, the preferred platform for travel discovery and research, we ensured our campaign intersected with their journey.

The proliferation of long weekends enabled us to create new consumption occasions, occupying both mind and shelf space in our audience’s lives. Despite operating on a modest budget, our campaign resonated deeply, significantly increasing Corona’s visibility year-round.

With a shoestring budget, we were under immense pressure to create a campaign that would have helped us revive the fortunes of our brand and that too amid the high decibel noise created by beer behemoth brands that had all the might and muscle of media money, mega sports sponsorships and mega sports stars as influencers. Therefore, we adopted a two-pronged media strategy to bring alive our campaign:

Seducing on Social – Creating Reach and Engagement

We leveraged social media to extend our reach and inspire our audience to fulfill their wanderlust by planning their ideal long weekend getaways. Adopting the “imagine yourself there” approach, Corona initiated its campaign by captivating consumers with picturesque content showcasing weekend getaways that promised a welcome escape from their demanding routines.

Our clever hero campaign, “Log off, Lime In,” was a powerful call to action, amplifying our consumers’ wanderlust fantasies and encouraging them to hit the pause button on life. By reminding them to disconnect from the stresses of everyday life and immerse themselves in the beauty of their surroundings, we empowered our audience to prioritize self-care and relaxation, ultimately strengthening their connection with our brand.

The OOO Campaign – A Unique Campaign that Crowdsourced OOH Ads

One of the biggest sources of joy and thrill for a corporate worker is to write that out-of-office message when taking a leave! Traditionally bland and formal, we sought to inject creativity and fun into this experience by encouraging our audience to write their OOO messages in imaginative ways. The most creatively written messages became the cornerstone of our campaign content, featured across various channels, including social media, digital out-of-home (OOH) ads, and even on our special edition 6-packs designed specifically for this campaign. By celebrating the creativity of our audience, we transformed a mundane task into a memorable and engaging opportunity to interact with our brand.

Digital OOH

To engage our captive audience in their everyday environments, we strategically utilized digital screens positioned in busy office commutes.

Through our out-of-office (OOO) campaign displayed on these screens, we served as a constant trigger and reminder for our audience to consider planning their long weekend getaways. By leveraging these digital platforms in areas where our target demographic spends significant time, we maximized our campaign’s reach and effectiveness, seamlessly integrating our brand into their daily routines.

Uniting to Conquer

To bolster the impact of our campaign and bring the concept of frequent long weekend getaways tantalizingly close to our consumers’ desires, we forged strategic partnerships with brands like Stay Vista, a renowned travel portal offering exclusive properties around India, including getaways accessible from these locations. This collaboration allowed us to provide our audience with convenient access to attractive destinations and accommodations, further enticing them to indulge in spontaneous weekend escapes.

Creating a Heaven of ‘Unwinding’ at the Greenest Music Festival in Goa

Cashing in on the sustainability revolution, a popular cause with the millennials, Corona undertook a journey of sustainability and artistic expression at the first-ever Goa edition of the festival. Highlighting the festival’s theme, ‘Ensemble of the Wild,’’ Corona curated immersive experiences for a weekend of chasing sunsets and escaping into the wilderness.

Aligned with its commitment to crafting experiences centered around nature, Corona seamlessly intertwined into the festival with an immersive haven, the Corona Oasis. The space offered a moment of beauty where festival goers could disconnect from the energetic festival surroundings and unwind, fostering meaningful connections.


Sales: Target was a 20% increase, which resulted in a volume of 15,000,000 liters, but was surpassed with a 51.8% growth, resulting in a total volume of 22,770,000 liters.

Reach: Target - 2m, +250%, reaching 5.7m.

Impressions: Target - 4m, 350% increase with 14.1m.

Ready to get your work recognized on a global stage? Enter The Drum Awards today. Need more inspiration, read our Award Winning Case Studies.

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