D&AD Coors Light brief

Andrew Wilcox
3 min readFeb 3, 2021

I choose to tackle the Coors Light competition brief out of the selection of briefs, and I have spent time this week familiarising myself with the brand. The brief is about finding ways to enable consumers to find ways to refresh and recharge. Surrounded by a world that is ‘always on’ thanks to the digital realm, the need to actively take time to pause and refresh is increasingly important. The challenge is create a digitally-led campaign that makes 21–27 year olds stop, unplug, recharge and refresh with Coors Lights. It suggests finding out where this audience actively needs to find their ‘refresh’ moment in the digital sphere, and developing a campaign that inspires them to centre this moment around Coors Light.

The concept of refreshment appears to be at the heart of the brand. In both function and the cultural interpretation of refreshment. This interpretation is influenced by its Rocky Mountain roots, and it appears to be tapping into the ‘frontier myth’ which is a reoccurring theme in American branding. Brands such as Nike, Marlboro, and Jack Daniels have interpretated aspects of it to great effect. I think that the Coors Light branding demonstrates the myth when it champions self reliance and individualism. The advertising doesn’t show groups of people drinking the beer, but instead celebrates less typical occasions such as shower beers or drinking on the sofa with a dog. Although this is not as pronounced as Nike and Jack Daniels, there are themes of ruggedness, a sense of uncomplicated living and a down to earth outlook in the Coors Light branding. However, I think that they’ve gone their own way with it, and the myth is tempered by the light-hearted and easy-going attitude displayed by the branding. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and this makes it personality feel cool and hip. I think this essentially sums up the lens from which the brand interprets refreshment.

In terms of the brief, the challenge is to make the concept of refreshment a way of taking a temporary break from the online space. The brief specifies young people between 21–27 and warns not to alienate the core audience based in the US. I have been conducting research into this audience, looking at how Coors Light is perceived, and where the beer industry is at culturally. It appears to be seen as a ‘blue-collar’ beer, benefiting from the craft beer industry and the elitism that has came with that. The fact that it typically comes in cans, its cheap and unpretentious makes it a fun and hip brand in the eyes of young adults.

Additionally, while I was looking at popular instagram beer accounts, I found this community called friday beers which celebrates the banality of living for the weekend. I can see a connection of sorts with the existing Coors Light Chill campaign spots from last year, in that the humour is about being refreshed by simply not caring at all. In the golf spot they are only playing so they can drink, swinging their clubs with one hand and strolling down the fairway. Another of the spots has two guys watching a football game, and one declares he doesn’t care who wins. He just wants to chill with his beer. It is somewhat nihilistic, not caring about anything like that. Although thinking about it, I think that taking a break for a moment to relax and refresh does involve some of that type of thinking in order to switch off. By juxtaposing it with competitive scenarios like golfing and watching football games that are usually emotionally involving, it shows that simply not caring is way to refresh and relax.

I want to look further into this type of thinking as I can see there is a tedtalk on the topic of positive nihilism, but think this could be an interesting route to establishing a dialogue with the audience. I feel that the Gen Z and Millennials that make up the 21–27 range that feel ‘always on’ could relate it.