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    Corona Light Targeting Middle-Aged Drinkers

    Constellation Brands plans to up media investment.

    CHICAGO -- Corona Light is launching a marketing campaign that highlights what's inside the bottle. The campaign pitches the brand as the choice for people who are "ready for a light beer you can actually taste."

    The ads are part of a new strategy to target middle-aged drinkers rather than twentysomethings. Omnicom Group's Goodby Silverstein & Partners, which has held the Corona Light advertising account since late 2011, is the force behind the new campaign, according to Ad Age.

    One TV ad, called "Epiphany," features a man who is relieved to be in a bar where his shoes aren't sticking to the floor, and the "hot brunette" that catches his eye from across the room happens to be his wife.

    The new approach comes as Corona Light grew its dollar sales by 5.6 percent to $218 million in the year ended Jan. 26 , according to IRI (excluding bars and restaurants). That compares with a 10.9-percent drop in sales of imported Heineken Light, which fell to $61 million, according to IRI.

    Still, Corona Light -- which only began running separate campaigns from Corona Extra in 2010 -- remains a fairly small player, according to Ad Age. The brew has a 4.9-percent share of all imported beer sales.

    The goal of the new Corona Light campaign is to "break through the clutter" of big-spending domestic brews by zeroing in on an older audience of drinkers aged 35 to 44, said Jim Sabia, chief marketing officer of the beer division at Constellation Brands, which owns Corona.

    "We were being outspent 60-to-1," he told the magazine, referencing brands such as Bud Light, Miller Lite and Coors Light. So this year, "we are really going to target who is drinking us the most."

    In doing so, the importer plans to spend more on the brand, increasing its media investment by 78 percent, Sabia said.

    Constellation Brands also plans to spend more on Corona Extra, which posted sales growth of 7.2 percent to $1.2 billion in the year ended Jan. 26, outpacing the total beer category growth of 3.5 percent, according to IRI.

    The company will also continue to put more marketing behind its fast-growing Modelo Especial brand. Sales surged by 25 percent to $584 million in the period ended Jan. 26, putting Modelo one spot behind Heineken and one spot ahead of Keystone Light, according to IRI. Modelo, which began airing general-market ads about three years ago, will run TV ads in seven markets this year, including Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Francisco, the report stated.

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