Cannes Lions

Tecate

ELMWOOD , New York / HEINEKEN / 2021

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Overview

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Overview

Background

Tecate has historically been a leading beer brand in Northern Mexico. The Tecate team wanted to build on this regional success and extend the beer’s popularity to all of Mexico, including the younger and more cosmopolitan Mexico City. To do this, they hoped to change the overall perception of Tecate as a stereotypical, ubermasculine beer to feel more relevant, progressive, and elevated without alienating its existing consumer base. In short, they wanted Tecate to become the most desirable beer in Mexico.

Idea

With a brand as beloved as Tecate, a boots-on-the-ground immersion across Mexico's many regions was necessary to inform a meaningful redesign. From it, we gained an understanding of the shifting cultural values, attitudes, and behaviors of a new generation of Mexican men. Our candid conversations with consumers revealed a shared optimism, proud patriotism, and strong desire for community and camaraderie. With a predisposition for authenticity and inclusivity, our target demographic was eager to see their go-to beer brand evolve and progress, shedding the hackneyed male stereotypes and machismo storylines that once defined its identity.

Our creative idea required thinking beyond product—using the rebrand as an opportunity to leverage their mass popularity in Mexican sports, music and entertainment. Instead of just selling, the rebrand aims to create the community and lifestyle that these men seek, to represent their attitudes and interests—and ultimately to build a brotherhood of progressive pioneers.

Execution

With these learnings in hand, we probed Tecate's archives and traced its roots back to the city of Tecate in Baja California, Mexico, where the beer has been brewed since 1944. We revisited the brand's most distinctive assets—emboldening the brand's iconic eagle, a symbol of Mexican pride, and chiseled wordmark. In the name of authenticity, we stripped back any unnecessary visual clutter, cliché beer design tropes and exaggerated refreshment cues. The brand system establishes a fixed set of iconic assets—rooted in the brand's heritage but crafted to accommodate portfolio growth, new products and innovations, sponsorships, ad campaigns, retail experiences and merchandising. The result is a cohesive brand narrative that propels Tecate to a modern lifestyle brand, revolving around a continuously evolving national identity.

Outcome

Tecate is the new sponsor of the country’s top soccer league, LIGA Mexico, boasting the fourth largest crowds of any sports league worldwide. Our stadium-ready activations ensured that Tecate was ready to deliver the bold, unapologetic sensibility of the brand to 3.5 billion fans around the world.

The new identity supported the seamless introduction of Tecate Ambar, a new light beer with dark brew flavor. This product diversifies the portfolio, while maintaining authenticity of the Tecate brand. Our new design has unified the ever-growing portfolio - inspiring the Heineken team to expedite the development of beer category innovations.

The rebrand gives Tecate a platform to promote a more inclusive, modern and respectful model of masculinity and positioned the brand to continue addressing some of the most pressing social issues in Mexico including underage drinking, gender violence and sustainability. In essence, Tecate is now a driving force in perpetuating positive change.

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