Corona Markup Will Benefit Media Budget

Corona Extra Beer, whose market growth has been abetted by its refusal to hike prices, is making its first retail increase in five years and reinvesting some of the ensuing revenue in national advertising spending that now will exceed $20 million.
Importers Gambrinus of San Antonio and Barton Beers in Chicago have notified wholesalers in 80 percent of the country of an increase that should push up six-pack prices by 50 cents. The retail markup becomes effective June 1.
Gambrinus marketing director Ron Christesson said he expected little resistance. “There’s no good time to take an increase, but many distributors have said we’re leaving money on the table, so we expect this to be received well,” he said.
Local spending also will rise, Christesson said. Advertising continues the long-running “Change your whole lattitude” campaign, augmented by four new television spots from The Richards Group, Dallas, and Fogarty Klein 312, Chicago (a newly aligned affiliate of Fogarty Klein & Partners, Houston).
Two spots supporting a restaged Corona Light will break once Mexico’s Modelo can resolve production glitches that have delayed shipment of a new Light package.
The increase will maintain the Mexican import’s price relative to premium brands like Bud and imports like Heineken, following recent markups by those products. After sagging sales in the late 1980s, Corona got a second wind when it swallowed a federal excise tax increase in 1991, when nearly all other imports raised prices. Since then the brand has only raised prices once, about five years ago.
Some of the revenue will be plowed back into media, boosting the total national budget by $5.5 million to $20.5 million.
Although it may be too late to grab much additional summer ad inventory, the added spending will garner the brand unusual visibility in the post-summer months.