Cannes Lions

Dos Equis - Seis Foot Cooler

FAST HORSE, Minneapolis / DOS EQUIS / 2021

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Overview

Background

Dos Equis found itself with a challenge in March 2020. Just as its new “Interesting Beer For Interesting Times” brand campaign was launching, a pandemic was changing the world. Suddenly, “interesting times” took on a new meaning and a campaign built around embracing the absurdities of everyday life with a shared sense of humor had the potential to appear tone deaf. Not only did the brand pause the campaign, it also paused all marketing, as shelter-in-place mandates and closures of bars and restaurants threatened to impact the world in which we operate.

As the key summer sales season approached, with paid advertising not set to resume until September, the brand needed to lift the darkness on marketing. The simple objective: generate positive buzz (and a sales bump, too). The not-so-simple challenge: given the climate: reinsert Dos Equis back into the cultural conversation while maintaining its clever and unexpected tone.

Idea

In the summer of COVID, we wanted to go beyond words of encouragement by providing a safe way to meet up for beers. The campaign’s centerpiece: The Dos Equis Seis-Foot Cooler. Part cerveza chiller, part six-foot-long social distance measuring device.

From backyard barbecues and beach days to weddings and graduation parties, it served as a feat of feet to keep friends drinking responsibly, responsibly, all summer long.

Available to the public in limited quantities, the Seis-Foot Cooler served as a massive buzz driver for the brand and an irresistible social utility for the lucky fans who got their hands on one.

Strategy

The role of the Dos Equis brand has always been that of a reassuring companion — a most interesting one at that. So, what does a companion look like in the middle of a pandemic? Someone that shows up with exactly what you need when you need it.

Research showed that even as attitudes around self-quarantining and perceived risk were relaxing, the majority of Americans were not ready to let their guard down. They desperately wanted to meet up with family and friends, but they wanted to do it safely.

We had to respect the situation, but seek to lighten the mood in our own clever and unexpected way. And we had to remain optimistic and helpful in every interaction, while seeking opportunities to bring people together.

The way in: make social distancing more compelling as people returned to social activities.

Execution

Coming up with the Seis-Foot Cooler concept was one thing. Bringing it to life in short order was another. Product design and production, photo and video shoots, creative assets, and website design and development all came together in less than two weeks as we worked quickly to avoid a shift in the cultural climate and beat other brand activations into the market.

The cooler was unveiled nationally with social content, influencer partnerships and widespread media relations efforts driving fans to visit SeisFootCooler.com to claim one.

The buzz created a frenzy on launch morning as fans lined up by the thousands, selling out the coolers in less than two minutes. Some even ended up in the hands of the highest bidders on eBay.

Outcome

Word of the most interesting beer’s social distancing innovation amassed more than 1 billion earned impressions, helping to reverse a downward sales trend and sparking a 5.4 percent uptick in year-over-year off-premise sales during the week of the promotion.

Earned media coverage included top national outlets, such as Yahoo!, MSN, ABC News, Fox News, Forbes, Thrillist, Travel + Leisure, and many more. Overall, 99 percent of the coverage mentioned that the coolers enabled social distancing, and 60 percent mentioned it would specifically help with drinking responsibly.

Earned social delivered another 52 million impressions, while owned social and influencer content helped generate a 306 percent uplift in average engagements throughout the month, and a 3,243 percent engagement lift on launch day.

And as one prophetic Good Morning America reporter said, “Nothing else will measure up to this level of marketing to encourage social distancing this summer.”

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