If you are Mexican, northern and you like beer, I’m sure that by now you’ve already seen the new campaign from Tecate that promotes a Mexico without violence against women, but as I always say, there is more than meet the eye in these campaigns.
Tecate is a Mexican beer brand from Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery – subsidiary of Heineken International – mostly known for its manly, macho and masculine pride advertisements, however, this time the brand has given a twist to its ordinary campaigns to support the fight against VAW (Violence Against Women) with a strong message that is quite different from what they used to have.
The campaign is a collaboration between Tecate and different institutions that are fighting against woman’s violence as “Red Nacional de Refugios” and the “Comisión Nacional para la Prevención y Erradicación de la Violencia contra la Mujer (Conavim)” and will last between 10 and 12 months, starting the first 3 months on social networks and later in the 4th and 5th month in mass media such as television.
The new ad features a video with a very clear message: No matter how strong you are, or how you look if you don’t treat a woman right you are not man enough (to buy Tecate). Along with this video, Tecate has published on its website a Manifesto explaining the reasons and objectives of this change; they mention that just as society and masculinity codes have evolved during the past few years, the brand has also become more mature and has decided to promote a modern and inclusive masculinity, taking the first step with this campaign to a new era for Tecate in order to become the most aspirational brand for men in Mexico and Latin America.
The result is actually really good, the way they managed to maintain their strong and masculine essence while communicating a message of respect is very well thought to challenge and raise awareness in its audience that thinks that by drinking beer they are true men. And the simple fact that they fearlessly include the LGBT community in its brand known for being traditionally manly deserves a round of applause. It kind of reminds me of the AXE campaign “Find your magic” where they feature male dancers on heels and it was a boom because AXE was known for being the brand for men to attract women.
That is why I’m not going to talk about the video itself, but what is behind.
Tecate represents 50% of the total sales of Heineken, however, it is not enough to beat Modelo, which represents 55% of the total sales volume in the country, so what can they do to gain more territory in the market? Exactly, attract new customers: women, who statistically make 80% of the purchases, and surprisingly the LGBT community, not an easy task for a brand surrounded by controversy for its sexism.
Tecate ad campaigns have always been a subject of controversy, the best example is its 2013 campaign named “Es Fácil Ser Hombre” (It’s easy being a man) created by the agency Olabuenaga Chemistri – now part of Leo Burnett -, which provoked protests by several groups of women and a signature collection on change.org that sought to withdraw the campaign from the media because of the way it portrayed women as sexual objects. So actually it is very surprising this change, but what really calls my attention is the time when they decided to launch this new campaign.
Currently, in Mexico we are experiencing a period in which women’s rights and respect towards them is a topic of discussion everywhere, sadly because of the scandals of abuse, sexual harassment, and rape; and if that wasn’t enough, everyone has their eyes on the LGBT community due to shooting in Orlando, Fl. Two issues that Tecate wants to attack and that fortunately for them are trending topic these days.
I have no doubt this video was created due the controversy of the VAW and women’s rights in Mexico, and that with this campaign the brand will reach the female market, but by including sexual diversity and the fact that they launched it when there is all the mood of the pride month and the Orlando shooting makes me think that they launched the campaign earlier than planned to seize the moment and reach more people, disguising the strategy by saying that the campaign was planned to be first on social networks (where the issues of women and Orlando are trending) and then on 5 months on tv, which happens to be November, the month of the fight against violence against women.
And I don’t want to sound cold and heartless, I’m just trying to be objective and explain that as designers/strategist we have to be aware of what happens around us that can help the brand achieve its goals, but always thinking that we are people and as big brands they have the capacity and power to promote values.
P.S The day when as humans we learn to respect everyone that doesn’t fit in our “bubble”, will be the day when this world will be a better place.
But well.. at least this is my f opinion