Is Jim Sabia destined to ditch the familiar, low-key advertising that has become synonymous with Corona beer in this country? Today, Chicago-based Crown, which distributes Corona beer in the United States, said Sabia is coming on board as Crown's new executive vice-president of marketing. Sabia previously led marketing efforts at Constellation Spirits, where he worked on campaigns for Effen vodka, Black Velvet Canadian Whiskey and other brands.
But previous to his two-year stint with Constellation, Sabia was vice-president of marketing at MolsonCoors and was involved in United States marketing efforts for Coors Light and Coors Banquet brands. While at Coors, Sabia no doubt learned the value of pounding home key brand selling points in advertising. Coors harps incessantly on its so-called "cold refreshment" attribute. Many observers believe that approach to advertising has helped Coors hold its own in the intensely competitive beer category.
Though it remains the top imported beer in America, Corona's sales figures have dropped the past couple of years. That has prompted some concern that Crown might have to make changes in the way the Mexican beer is marketed. If that proves to be the case, it will no doubt be a shock to the system of many who work on the Corona account at Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago, an agency that has done a nice job of sustaining Corona's quiet, beach-themed style of advertising over the course of many years.
Whenever a client decides to make a change in advertising campaigns, the agency entrusted with finding a new approach always has to worry whether the new campaign will get the job done. C-K has been used to doing a certain type of ads for Corona for a very long time, so the challenge could be even greater, if Sabia decides he wants to shake up things.