For its “Carry the West” marketing campaign that launches today, Coors Banquet took a spin through its rich archives.
What the 145-year-old brand's marketing team found was “a consistent theme that this is a brand that has weathered the test of time. It’s held its own values and gone its own way,” says Ryan Marek, vice president of the Coors family of brands. And it’s embracing those attributes, leaning into themes of independence and the values of the American West in an aggressive national campaign.
Coors Banquet has grown volume for 11 consecutive years, bucking industry-wide trends for premium regular and premium lights. It’s shooting for its 12th. “We have a real opportunity to accelerate this brand,” Marek says.
A handful of new television spots prominently feature scenes of the rugged West, replete with cowboys, ranch hands, motorcyclists, dirt bikers and bow hunters traversing the familiar, dusty terrain romanticized in frontier iconography.
The American actor Sam Elliott, the longtime voice of Coors Banquet, returns as the voiceover for the brand.
In the new round of spots, he elicits the brand’s independent streak. “Out here, everything is earned,” he says over a sequence featuring a rancher mending a fence. On another spot that casts a group of cowboys against the vast expanse of a high desert valley, Elliott intones: “Out here, nothing can be taken from the man who has freedom.” In a another, he says, “If you’re not leading your life, you’re leading someone else’s, and that won’t win much respect out West. So know how to mend a fence, but also know how to bust one down.”
The spots are slated to air during high-profile sporting events, as well as on networks such as The History Channel, FX, The Discovery Channel and Spike TV. Some of the ads also will air in Spanish.
In addition to its television campaign, the brand is making “a significant digital investment” with video and social, as well as more-traditional display advertising such as banner ads and the like. The campaign will have an out-of-home presence on billboards, bus stops and point-of-sale displays.
Coors Banquet will continue to pursue partnerships with like-minded brands, such as the ascendant clothing company Brixton and maintain its sponsorship of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
“When you have a brand with as much heritage as Banquet, your biggest asset is where you’ve been,” Marek says. “We needed to understand what’s fueled the brand’s success and amplify it. For us, that’s this idea of western values. Going your own way, standing for what you believe in and showing conviction even when things get tough.”