In These ‘Sucky’ Times, Coors Light Is Now Offering Free Beers

Nominations via #CouldUseABeer will earn a free 6-pack via new campaign from DDB

Olive Veronesi, 93, became went from quarantine hero to ad star thanks to Coors Light. - Credit by Coors Light
Headshot of David Griner

Coors Light fans across the country owe a special thanks to Olive Veronesi, though you probably don’t need to buy her a beer.

After the 93-year-old Pennsylvanian was photographed holding up a sign that said, “I need more beer!” and her image quickly circulated the globe, Coors Light sent her 10 free cases.

But her impact didn’t end there. She’s now motivated Coors Light and agency DDB to offer free beer for any American who deserves a six-pack.

In a new spot that tosses aside talk of “these uncertain times,” Coors Light instead acknowledges that these are, in fact, “sucky” times that call for a beer.


While most brands are going for a tone of solemn empathy in their quarantine-era advertising, Coors Light and DDB opted instead to be more frank and say that this period just sucks.

“So many brands are trying to articulate how people are feeling, tugging on the heartstrings,” said Britt Nolan, North American CCO for DDB. “What we found is that it’s really hard to articulate how people are feeling right now. It just sucks. And it sucks differently for everybody.”

"It's really hard to articulate how people are feeling right now. It just sucks. And it sucks differently for everybody."
—Britt Nolan, North America CCO, DDB

The spot continues a long tradition of showing beer’s role in great moments of U.S. history—the Revolutionary War, the Great Depression, etc.—but then gives the trope a fun twist by admitting that the beer really didn’t contribute much beyond making things more tolerable.

For example, the spot describes the end of Prohibition but stops short of crediting it with much beyond boosting American morale.

“Did it solve anything? No, of course not,” the ad says, “But it did help them press on.”

The creative team wasn’t always certain the word “sucky,” which in multiple variations makes up much of the spot’s script, would end up in the final cut. But the client supported it, and some quick testing found it resonated well with Americans in quarantine.

“We did spend some time thinking about what was the perfect word to describe what we’re going through right now,” Nolan said. [Brands are] all playing the same emotional note right now. But I think the thing you can’t forget is that brands can be a social levity for people, especially beer. Beer should lighten the mood.”

The #CouldUseaBeer promotion encourages fans to nominate a friend or loved one who deserves a free 6-pack, and a unique code will be provided for the participant to give as a gift of sorts to the deserving friend. (Technically, yes, you can then use the code for yourself.)

The promotion will max out once 500,000 beers have been given away.

While DDB had been considering a similar campaign for a while, the creative team fully credits Veronesi’s moment in the global social media spotlight as the spark that made it happen right now.

TOO FUNNY: ♥️???? 93-year old Olive Veronesi from Seminole, PA is doing her part to stay home and stay safe, and she’s sending this message to her neighbors and to her daughter. More: kdka.com/coronavirus.

Posted by KDKA-TV | CBS Pittsburgh on Thursday, April 9, 2020

“When Coors decided to send her a bunch of cases of beers, the conversation it sparked was about all these people coming out saying who else could use a beer,” Nolan said. “So the notion had been floating around, but people were ready to have this conversation.”

CREDITS:

Client – Molson Coors Beverage Company
Brand – Coors Light
Client – Molson Coors Beverage Company
Chief Marketing Officer – Michelle St. Jacques
Marketing Director – Chris Steele
Senior Marketing Manager – Liz Cramton
Marketing Manager – Emily McCullough
Brand Public Relations Manager – Rachel Dickens
Associate Marketing Manager – Stephanie Donelson
Senior Media Manager – Kelly Ellefson
Associate Media Manager – Stephanie Feran

Creative Agency – DDB
Chief Creative Officer, Global – Ari Weiss
Chief Creative Officer, North America – Britt Nolan
Executive Creative Director – Colin Selikow
Creative Director – Chris Walker
Creative Director – Alan Shen
Associate Creative Director – Dan LaVigne
Copywriter – Joey Johnson
Chief Production Officer – Diane Jackson
SVP, Executive Producer – Matt Blitz
Executive Producer – Keith Jamerson
Executive Art Producer – Suzanne Koller
Senior Producer – Susan Cartland
Production Manager – Jillian English
VP, Strategy Director – Matt Babazadeh
Digital Director – Mike Norgard
SVP, Group Account Director – Kiska Howell
Account Director – Jonathan King
Project Manager – Jen Polan
Multicultural Creative Agency – Alma
VP, Executive Creative Director – Jorge Murillo
Associate Creative Director – Mauricio Mutis
Senior Integrated Producer – Rafael Sánchez
Group Account Director – Beatriz Del Amo
Management Supervisor – Jose Hawayek
Senior Account Executive – Stephanie Albrecht
Director of Strategic Insights – Mauricio Cadena
Senior Strategic Planner – Felipe Díaz-Arango
Senior Project Manager – Yanuarys Lopez

Postproduction – Elastic

Creative Directors – Angus Wall & Lisa Bolan
Designer – Erika Bird
Animators – Lindsay Leonard, Chad Danieley, Jon Taylor, Chavilah Bennett, Mark Feldman, Tnaya Witmer
Online Editor – Andrew Young
Flame Assist – Sam Kolber
Coordinator – Megan Rodriguez
Producer – Kevin Daly
Executive Producer – Luke Colson
Head of Production – Kate Berry
Managing Director – Jennifer Sofio Hall
Editorial – Rock Paper Scissors
Editor – Zoe Mougin
Assistant Editor – Evan Ostrow
Producer – Sasha Grubor
Head of Production – Dre Krichevsky
Executive Producer – Shada Shariatzdeh
Managing Director – Eve Kornblum
Audio – Lime Studios
Audio Engineer – Rohan Young

Music – KOM
Composer – Phillip Kay
Producer – Andy Oskwarek
Media Agency – Connect
PR Agency – ICF


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@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."