- Corona is marking the launch of its new Hard Seltzer Limonada line through a partnership with language-learning platform Duolingo, per a company press release. The campaign aims to teach consumers how to correctly pronounce limonada, which is the Spanish term for "lemonade."
- The campaign featured a pop-up, voice-activated vending machine on the Las Vegas Strip that queried consumers to ask for a hard seltzer in Spanish. Those who did so successfully received a free sample of the product, and those who failed received a subscription to Duolingo's premium service.
- By framing a product launch around respect for its Mexican roots, Corona is hoping to denote authenticity, as well as dip into Duolingo's growing pool of consumers. The campaign was a collaboration with agency MullenLowe and production companies Ownthelight and Grafico.
Corona's latest campaign is an effort to show authenticity by demonstrating the brand's respect for Mexican culture while showcasing a new hard seltzer range inspired by Mexican lemonade made with a combination of lemon and lime juice. With the help of mobile and desktop language platform Duolingo, Corona is calling attention to the fact that the correct pronunciation of limonada is lee-moh-naa-da. Duolingo's mobile platform is the top-grossing education app on Google Play and Apple's App Store, with over 500 million downloads. Brands that infuse elements of other cultures without proper awareness are at risk of committing cultural appropriation, which can be problematic in the eyes of consumers, especially younger, socially conscious ones.
As part of the campaign, the brewer deployed a voice-activated vending machine on the Las Vegas Strip which prompted consumers to ask for a Hard Seltzer Limonada in Spanish. Those who asked correctly ("Dame una Corona Hard Seltzer Limonada, por favor.") were rewarded with a sample of the product, while those who mispronounced the question had an opportunity to improve their command of Spanish with a free month-long subscription to Duolingo Plus. Corona will provide the same subscriptions to any interested consumers throughout the summer, accessible through the promo code "LIMONADA" on duolingo.com/redeem.
Experiential pop-ups were a popular pre-pandemic strategy that has seen a resurgence as more people have become vaccinated and the economy reopens. The spread of the COVID-19 delta variant, however, could put the future of these activations in question.
The voice-activated vending machine utilizes similar gamified content as Duolingo's online learning service. Partly because of a surge in interest in language-learning apps seen during the pandemic, the company has been steadily booming and on Wednesday (July 28) made its public debut on the Nasdaq with a price of $141.40 a share.
Corona is the latest CPG brand to form a strategic partnership with a mobile content platform. Earlier this month, fellow Mexican beer-brewer Estrella Jalisco teamed with media company Tastemade to promote its michelada beverage. Such collaborations allow CPG brands to expand their reach by dipping into consumer pools outside of their respective categories.
While Corona is expanding its hard seltzer line with four new Limonada flavors, the category as a whole is experiencing disruptions. Boston Beer, which owns the Truly brand, overestimated demand in Q2 for its hard seltzer products, a sign that overall interest in the drinks could be waning. Earlier this month, Molson Coors pulled the plug on its own line, Coors Seltzer. These tremors could reflect greater challenges being felt by marketers in other areas of the ready-to-drink (RTD) industry.