Top-of-mind status

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SYDNEY, Thursday: Prof Mark Ritson is back in the news with a stirring report on the unexpected rise in sales of legendary Mexican beer Corona – despite the global spread of coronavirus.

Ritson published his report in Marketing Week UK, and it was subsequently picked up by Australia’s B&T yesterday. Here’s a summary …

“If you’d been reading B&T’s reporting on comparisons between Corona Beer and the coronavirus you’d have every right to be befuddled.

“Initial reports suggested that – somewhat strangely – people were linking the beer to catching the virus,” he writes.

“Last Friday, it was reported that the beer’s brewer, Belgian-headquartered Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, was looking like taking a US$260 million hit to the bottom line as drinkers abandoned the fabled Mexican brew.

“Another survey suggested 38% of Americans wouldn’t drink Corona “under any circumstance”.

“The goodly Professor argues that all Corona’s press will rocket the brand to drinkers’ top of mind.”

“However, come Tuesday, reports out of the US claimed that sales of Corona had, in fact, increased by 3.1% and led to the boss of its US distributor, Constellation’s Bill Newland, to label the unfavourable media coverage as “extremely unfortunate” and “misinformation”.

“Now the planet’s favourite marketing ne’er-do-well, Professor Mark Ritson, has weighed in claiming the massive press exposure Corona beer is receiving will inevitably prove a boon for the beer.

“In his weekly column for UK’s Marketing Week titled Coronavirus Won’t Hurt Corona, It Will Actually Boost Sales the goodly Professor argues that all Corona’s press will rocket the brand to drinkers’ top of mind.

“Despite the headline, Ritson actually spends much of the article shitcanning Burger King’s recent mouldy Whopper campaign (read B&T’s reporting on that here).

When it comes to Corona, Ritson writes: “The massive salience boost for Corona that is now happening will propel the brand to top-of-mind status for millions of beer drinkers for many weeks to come. That’s important because System 1 thinking is how most of us buy most of our shit.”

  • Read the full B&T piece here

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