“We Found It For You” becomes “Find Your Own (But Don’t Stop Buying Our Beer)”
For years, Corona had been intentionally pushing a particular mystique it wanted associated with it’s product. The goal of it’s famous, singularly-themed advertisements had always been to make the experience of consuming Corona beer some sort of spiritual escape from the chaos of every day life. Equivalent to how one would feel while lounging on a secluded tropical beach. The entire idea was that drinking Corona, more than any other activity – and certainly more than drinking any other beer – was the key. The essential ingredient necessary for genuine rest and relaxation. If a long vacation to a deserted island isn’t an option, turn it’s perfectly adequate substitute: Corona beer. The commercials were never encouragements to actually visit such a beach.
Now, suddenly, the company is contradicting that message. Evidently, all along, what has been necessary to truly recreate oneself has been available and within arm’s reach. This revelation, of course, provokes an obvious question: what does anyone need beer for then (or, at least Corona in particular)? If everyone is perfectly capable of “finding his own beach” (ie: achieving genuine rest and relaxation) in his own back yard, then there is nothing special to be had in a tropical paradise or inside a bottle of Corona beer.
Obviously, what Corona is attempting to do here is to adjust itself to a weak economy’s decreased recreational options, and the resulting outlook of the consumer. Whereas in a booming economy the consumer might be susceptible to fantasies that one day he will relax on a secluded beach – and thus he must drink Corona as a sample of that emotional state to make sure he wants it – in a weak economy that message will be met with resentment. Corona, showing the typical pragmatism of modern business, simply chooses to reinvent it’s image into one of an every day, almost domestic beer. Over night, and with no explanation whatsoever.
Why would such an obviously insincere and pragmatic move work? Why wouldn’t it be met with the same resentment it’s standard, distinctive ads would eventually begin to (or perhaps already have begun to) receive? Why wouldn’t consumers see through the thin excuse that this new ad is a homage to, and logical extension from, the old ones and regard it for what it is? Simply put: because consumers (ie: the culture at large) no longer expect consistency, sincerity, or forthrightness from external influences. Not in politics, not in sports nor entertainment – not even in advertising. It is as if the cynical impulse to manipulate others, rather than clear the air and actually correct it, whenever something is not how it should be has become regarded as natural, appropriate, and inevitable.