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Corona restore the ocean with love this Valentine’s Day | #BehindTheIdea

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Corona hasn’t had the best couple of years when it comes to branding thanks to a certain virus. However, a new campaign, launched in time for Valentine’s Day 2022, could go some way towards repairing its status as a premium refreshing lager brand.

The campaign hinges on new research which reveals that 69% of Brits believe that Valentine’s Day encourages wasteful gift giving, with 62% admitting to throwing away an unwanted gift on the special occasion. So, Corona has teamed up with coral restoration company, Coral Vita to launch the sustainable ‘Gift the ocean’ platform. 

The sustainability initiative is the perfect environmentally conscious gifting option for all occasions, which gives back to the planet by restoring the oceans all-important coral ecosystems. Launching in time for Valentine’s Day,  the new eco-friendly gifting project, offers the chance to ‘adopt’ a unique piece of climate resistant coral, helping restore the beating heart of the ocean. 

The research by Opinium also showed that caring about the environment has become a more important quality in a partner (66%) than looks (63%) or having a large salary (27%) or a good job (49%),  making the new service ideal for those who are all at sea when it comes to greener gifting.

Each person who buys a coral fragment through the website will receive a digital adoption certificate for the lucky recipient, allowing them to share their act of love for the planet via their social media channels. 

Prices start at £37 for a Micro Fragment which will grow into a coral ready to be planted in the ocean, with those who feel especially generous being able to choose to sponsor an entire tank full of corals all the way through their 6 month growth journey. 

The campaign was put together by draftLine Europe, the in-house agency for Anheuser Busch. We caught up with draftLine creative director Senan Lee to go #BehindTheIdea on this decidedly lovely campaign.

What was the brief and how did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?

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We actually met the team from Coral Vita back in November, a few weeks before they won the prestigious Earthshot prize. (They won their category and the overall grand prize.) Everyone on the Corona brand team instantly felt a connection with their work, ethos and personalities. As the premium beer, born by the beach, we have a responsibility to support projects that are tackling the Oceans problems.

Although the brand team are aware of the impact coral has on the health of our oceans and its rapid decline, we didn’t know Coral Vita had found a way technique to grow coral 50% faster and be more climate change resilient, so when we met them and found out it was a real game changer. 

We stayed in contact with the Coral Vita team on and off since November, trying to find a way to collaborate with them. The idea of an all-year sustainable gifting platform came to us when we discovered in early January that a quarter of Brits think Valentines has become too commercial, with an emphasis on disposable presents headed straight for the ocean or landfill.

Although Corona is un-associated with gifting occasions like Valentine’s, Christmas, or Birthdays, we felt the idea was such a good reflection of our core beliefs that we had the right to give a natural perspective on them. We know that if we can use our media throughout the year (in times of high gifting) we can drive people to gift climate change resilient corals. Valentine’s is just the first of many.

What was the process behind the concept like?

The first thing we had to do was let the Coral Vita team know about our proposal and get their board members to sign off on it. Since they’d been recently hanging out with Prince William and David Attenborough after winning Earthshot, we weren’t too sure if the team had moved on to bigger and better things, but ultimately, they too felt we should create something together. 

What was the production process like?

draftLine and the Corona brand team all sit in the same building, but with WFH and the Coral Vita team based in the Bahamas, the production was largely done online and remotely. For the final 5 days of production, the creatives came into the office together to make it on time!

What was the biggest challenge during production? How did you overcome it?

We set the challenge to launch the platform on the run up to the first gifting moment of the year – Valentine’s day. The quick turnaround meant we had to be smart, using a range of existing assets and directing Harry Lee (Coral Vita’s in-house photographer-designer-wizard) to go out and capture extremely specific shots for us. The ever-changing weather in the Bahamas meant some days we were unable to capture content. 

What kit/tools/software were used to create the project?

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Not only are Coral Vita based in the Bahamas, the draftLine team and brand are still working from home across the UK and Europe, so aside from the usual Adobe Suite programmes, this project was a real test of our ZOOM etiquette, patience and time zones. Good to know the last two years were not a waste! 

What is one funny or notable thing that happened during production?

Our remote editor’s internet crashed so we all reconvened in the office, for the first time in two years, for 5 days straight. It was fun having the band back together.

What’s the main message of this project and why does it matter?

Coral reefs are the beating heart of our oceans. Home to 25% of all marine life, reducing harmful wave energy and providing coastal economy for millions of people. By 2050, it’s predicted that up to 90% of all coral will be dead. Although the current reef situation can feel helpless, we have the solutions. So, when it comes to gifting someone in 2022, consider choosing an alternative that isn’t heading straight to the ocean or landfill. Gift the Ocean with a climate change resilient coral.

How long did it take from inception to delivery?

From concept to launch day was 4 weeks.

What do you hope it achieves for the brand?

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From our new beer crate made with maritime waste, to being the first drinks beverage to have a net zero plastic footprint, Corona has a rich history of supporting and creating amazing initiatives that are helping to keep our Oceans alive. We hope people recognise that Corona continues to uphold this commitment by creating a real, long-term partnership with Coral Vita.

Un-associated with Valentines, Birthdays and Christmas, Corona’s brand values are opposite of the often artificial and consumerist behaviours of these occasions. draftLine Europe pushed the brand to enter these uncomfortable occasions with a clear, natural gifting perspective. 

By offering people the opportunity to reject disposable gifts for a 100% natural one, the brand is giving consumers an alternative that’s not just good for them, but good for the planet too. ‘A natural gift, from the beer brewed with 100% natural ingredients’. 

Credit list for the work?

Copy Writer: Jack Harry

Art Director: Andrea Rambert

Creative Director: Senan Lee

Executive Creative Director: Mark Bown

Project Manager: Anneli Shiel

Producer: Alex Nally

Senior Designer: Barbara Coelho

Graphic Design: Andrea Gilbert

Strategy: Owen Dowling, Ben Barton

Marketing Manager UK: Ruta Ambrasaite

Marketing Director Europe: Irini Komodikis

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