Corona is auctioning off trips to get Canadians outside

Playing off an established marketing pillar, the beer brand is helping facilitate safe ways to satisfy desire for travel.

Corona Canada is auctioning off travel packages to make it easier for Canadians to satisfy their pent-up need to get outdoors, a space where the brand has historically flourished.

In “Rediscover the Outdoors,” Canadians can bid on travel packages for local, flight-less getaways across the country, with bidding starting at 50% of their original value. Destinations include The Drake Devonshire in Prince Edward County, a villa stay at the Kelowna Waterfront Resort in B.C., ATV trips in Banff and canoe trips in the Muskoka region. Canadians can bid on the travel auction program’s official website.

Mike Bascom, senior marketing director at Corona Canada, says the brand wanted to support local businesses and communities across the country impacted by COVID-19, a rallying cry for many brands over the last few months. But it also wanted to help get Canadians’ outdoors, a consumer need the brand encountered through its research.

According to a recent Ipsos survey conducted for the brand, while roughly 71% of Canadians remain cautious about air travel, 48% are comfortable going on a vacation that doesn’t require flying.

“They’re still looking to get outdoors. They’re still looking to travel and experience our country. They’re just looking for support and ideas to help enable that. So it was the perfect opportunity for us as a brand to step in,” Bascom says.

While the summer tends to be a prime season for beer brands, Corona’s marketing efforts over the years have tried to help the brand own different travel and outdoor occasions, like vacations and hanging out on patios. In 2014, as part of the brand’s “Live Mas Fina” branding, Corona organized a concert on top of a volcano in Hawaii. Later that summer, the brand created a sun-beam activation, using a reflector to “extend the sun” and keep summer going.

“That’s where we kind of come to life,” Bascom says. “Our spiritual home is the beach – so it’s really a natural association with the outdoors.”

Many brewing companies have put efforts forward to support bars and restaurants during the pandemic, as their closures have had a major impact on their own bottom lines as well. But having Canadians frequent local restaurants and bars as part of these travel packages is “a secondary benefit,” Bascom says. The primary benefit is having a “vibrant and healthy” tourism community – which has been similarly impacted by the pandemic – that enables Canadians with the opportunity to “explore the country and get out.”

The program is supported by paid digital and social, created with Toronto-based Salt XC. Vizeum handled the media buy.