DDB, Guaynabo / MEDALLA LIGHT / 2022

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Why is this work relevant for PR?

We identified an important environmental cause – the coral reef crisis – and found a natural connection to our product, beer. Then, we used the media, influencers, activists and the scientific community to create awareness of the issue, spread our message and communicate our efforts. As a result, our brand became synonym to the cause, building its reputation as an environmental advocate.


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.

Our target audiences, millennials and young adults, are extremely sensitive to environmental issues and the state of our marine habitats. Our message got their attention through a 360 campaign which cast marine biologists, influencers, and famed singer-songwriter Pedro Capó.

Describe the PR strategy

The Great Reef Brewer was born out of the coral reef crisis, a problem that affects all Puerto Ricans (and, frankly, the entire world), which is why our target audience included everyone in the Island, including the media. Therefore, we created a 360 campaign that and incorporated celebrity singer-songwriter Pedro Capó to reach a wider audience, beyond beach lovers. Macro and micro influencers with were also part of our plan, with a focus on those who’s content centers on nature and the environment. Also, as we knew credibility as an important factor for our effort, so we brought marine biologists to the forefront on media interviews and for ongoing updates as to the results of our effort during our campaign and to this day. Media packages with our assets were sent to national and international media. Our key message: “Our beaches. Our responsibility.”

Describe the PR execution

We planted and documented our first coral fields on the year 2020.

Famed singer Pedro Capó, scientists and activists were recruited to help give visibility to the effort. Then, a film was launched through a 360 campaign which included TV, a docu-style video series played on social media portraying the coral crisis, explaining and demonstrating every step of the project.

Amplification included media coverage on local and national news and buzz generated by social media influencers, environmental activists, beach lovers and celebrities.

List the results

With the Great Reef Brewer, Medalla Light made real impact on a very real problem: the coral reef crisis. Along the way, it strengthened its image as a source of pride, dear to all Puerto Ricans.

Media outputs:

- $1.5 million in earned media

- 17 positive news coverage about our effort

- 3 in depth interviews on news outlets

Target audience outcomes:

- 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.

Most importantly:

- 725 thriving colonies already established

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


Please tell us how the work was designed / adapted for a single country / region / market.

The Great Reef Brewer was designed as a response to the coral reef crisis in Puerto Rico by Puerto Rico’s national beer: Medalla Light.

Every single part of effort was developed for Puerto Rican audiences. The campaign launched in time for our beach summer season and relied on a team of local marine biologists collaborating with local influencers, activists and the media, we even casted Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Pedro Capó as a spokesman to reach mass media.

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