Brand Experience and Activation > Excellence in Brand Experience


DDB, Guaynabo / MEDALLA LIGHT / 2022

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Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

Having a beer is always an experience. When your beer bottle is repurposed to restore your Island’s coral reefs, it becomes something meaningful. As Puerto Ricans face the problem of dying coral reefs that threaten the marine life habitat, The Great Reef Brewer gives them the experience of being part of the solution. By turning used Medalla Light bottles into an ingredient used to rebuild corals, we gave new meaning to the act of having a beer.


Puerto Rico had just declared a state of emergency over its dying coral reefs, an essential part of its marine ecosystem. This is the result of hurricanes, earthquakes, tremors, pollution, overfishing, and irresponsible onshore recreational use. In view of this situation, national beer Medalla Light found an opportunity to become part of the solution by joining with marine biologists to turn used bottles back into the raw material for the coral restoration effort. Our objective with The Great Reef Brewer was to showcase Medalla Light’s commitment with marine ecosystems through the restoration of coral reefs.

Describe the creative idea

The Great Reef Brewer is a concept created in partnership by Medalla Light Beer and teams of Biologists as a response to the Island coral crisis. Medalla Light, Puerto Rico’s national beer, teamed up with marine biologists from Isla Mar and HJR Reefscaping to supply the scientists the used bottles and the equipment needed to pulverize and turn them back into its raw material, coral sand. It turns out our glass, manufactured in the same region, have the same ingredients corals use to build their skeletons. This additive became a key ingredient to support the growth of Acropora Palmata species and cement it to the ocean floor. This idea gains even more relevance since Puerto Rico has no glass recycling programs in place.

Describe the strategy

The Great Reef Brewer was born as a solution to the coral reef crisis, a problem that affects all Puerto Ricans (and, frankly, the entire world), our target audience, centered around our customer base and young adults, but eventually captured the hearts of the people of the island and was noted by government officials, celebrities and was showcased by the media. Our 360-campaign portrayed the coral crisis, explained the science behind the project, and showed the entire process as our compound made it to the ocean floor to restore coral reefs. Marine biologists have remained as backbone to our effort and give ongoing updates on the progress of planted coral fields.

Describe the execution

To make The Great Reef Brewer happen, the team of marine biologists developed the formula and joined our brand as an ideal partner, since our glass is manufactured with coral biproducts within our region.

This ongoing project started on 2020 and it's reach keeps growing to this day.

We launched a campaign which included TV and social media starring our marine biologists and celebrity singer-songwriter Pedro Capó. We launched a docu-style video series on social media which portrayed the coral crisis, explained, and demonstrated every step of our effort. Amplification included public relations and social media influencers, environmental activists, beach lovers and celebrities.

List the results

Medalla Light has made a real impact on a very real problem: the coral reef crisis. In the process, the brand has strengthened its image as a local product committed to the protection of the Island’s environment, and its marine ecosystems.

- 725 thriving colonies already established

- Over 10,000 square meters of planted coral by the end of the year


- $1.5 million in earned media

- 4000% increase in conversation about the coral crisis on social media

- 2.14 million video views

- 14.9 million impressions (210% above the KPI)

- Leading voices and experts applauded the effort, while calling for legislation to protect our marine ecosystems.

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