Ligia Patrocinio, senior director at Dos Equis, and Cam Levine, chief creative officer at Sid Lee in the US, speak about the partnership’s first campaign and fresh brand platform with LBB’s Addison Capper
Heineken USA beer brand Dos Equis announced in December of 2020 that it had tapped Sid Lee as its creative agency of record, and the end of last month saw the first launch to be born out of the partnership. The transformative new direction for the Dos Equis brand is manifested through a national ad campaign, 'A Dos of XX', and a new brand tagline, 'Get a Dos', a play on the double meaning of the word 'dos' and meant as invitation for consumers to 'Get a Dos' of everything that life has to offer. It's all very rooted in everyday life and is intended to be able to flex to different tones and moments as they become relevant, with Dos Equis serving as an optimistic backbone.
Check out the launch spot below. To find out more about it and the wider, overarching new strategy, LBB's Addison Capper spoke with Ligia Patrocinio, senior director at Dos Equis, and Cam Levine, chief creative officer at Sid Lee in the US.
LBB> Ligia, this is the first project from the Sid Lee x Dos Equis relationship. Going into the partnership, what were your main goals? What did you want to achieve with your new agency?
Ligia> We wanted to refresh our brand to remain agile and relevant to the times we’re in, while having the ability for Dos Equis to participate in culture and invite people into the conversation at the same time. Our goal was to create a platform that speaks to Dos Equis drinkers and can be carried across many moments over time, and ‘A Dos of XX’ does just that.
LBB> Cam, going into the partnership, what were looking to do? What were you tasked with by the client?
Cam> We aimed to design a powerful, timely, and relevant position that brought Dos Equis to the forefront of consumers' minds and met them where they were. We wanted to create something relatable for modern audiences, shifting their everyday perspective towards hope and optimism.
LBB> A big marketing overhaul like this is a big undertaking and comes with a lot of pressure. Firstly, from a brand perspective why did you want to tackle this?
Ligia> We began the brand overhaul last fall, bringing to life a completely new visual identity. Dos Equis was always a very iconic brand but it was time to modernise it, and the results are incredible. The next step was to push innovation out of the gate - industry growth is driven by agile transformation and it is important for us to lean into that. Since late 2020, we’ve launched a new 5L Keg, Dos Equis Lime & Salt, a Dos Equis variety pack with Lime & Salt, Cucumber, Watermelon, and Pineapple, and Dos Equis Ranch Water, our refreshing spin on the seltzer category. With everything in place, it was time for us to introduce our refreshed brand to the world.
We are proud of our history and world class communication and this campaign will support us to increase our connection with consumers on a deeper level. We’re currently seeing impressive brand momentum and ‘A Dos of XX’ is poised to accelerate this. The campaign will live across digital, social, experiential, PR, radio, OOH, and BTL marketing.
LBB> Cam, what are the first steps that you had to take with the Dos Equis team?
Cam> Collaboration is key to any creative endeavour. From the start, we connected deeply with the Dos Equis and the Heineken USA teams. This genuine partnership and our teams' synergies enabled us to co-create and deliver an amazing concept.
LBB> What was the research process like? In the press release it mentions that the campaign is "rooted in deep insights about the Dos Equis drinker of today and their motivators". Can you speak more to that please and how it informed the overarching strategy?
Cam> We ran original quantitative as well as ethnographies with drinkers in the sunbelt to understand them, their lives, motivations and attitudes about life and what’s special about Dos Equis.
LBB> For our international readers, can you give a bit of an outline of Dos Equis' place in the alcohol market in the States as well as how it fits within culture?
Ligia> Dos Equis is a national player, but its strength relies on the ‘Sun Belt’, crossing the country from California, through Texas, reaching the Southeast. We are currently the number three brand within Mexican Imports and number one on draft in Texas, our major volume state. We’re seeing growth both within this market and nationally - we closed March 2021 +2.1% vs. 2020 and YTD we are already +9,2% vs 2020 nationally, according to Nielsen. In Texas, we reached YTD +11.1% volume growth vs. 2020.
LBB> What was the creative process like once you had the strategy nailed? And how did you land on the 'Get a Dos' tagline? Why was it right? And why did you decide to play on the word 'Dos'?
Cam> It’s a fun spin on seeing things from a new angle - something we could all use. The concept puts the brand squarely at the heart of the idea but in a way that feels completely natural and authentic, not forced. The work plays on the double meaning of the word Dos and injects optimism into our every day. It’s an insightful take on life that makes you view things from a new and elevated perspective and a positioning that can evolve to engage with culture, inviting folks in, across all platforms.
Ligia> The new brand direction is designed for the modern Dos Equis consumer of today and tomorrow - whether that means a Dos of comeback this week, or a Dos of the unexpected this summer, it’s centred around finding positivity throughout each and every moment in life. The campaign was thoughtfully created to have longevity and resonate with our consumers as time evolves beyond the pandemic and years down the line. Later this summer, we’ll unveil two additional spots - ‘Breakup’ and ‘Vacation’ - which will continue to speak to the campaign’s core focus: getting the absolute most out of life.
LBB> The launch campaign is really jovial, and one of the first proper looks at 'post-Covid' life that I've seen. What informed your approach to this initial ad? And why did you decide to focus on Covid in that way?
Cam> It was important to us that the concept we moved forward with had the ability to adapt to any cultural moment, and it wasn’t specifically designed around Covid-19. The pandemic is just one example of this and happened to be the first. The platform aims for longevity: it’s never static but responsive, observational, and has room to evolve with the times.
LBB> The whole thing feels, to me, just extremely optimistic and really rooted in everyday life, which is definitely a change of course from former Dos Equis advertising. What are your thoughts on that new realist aspect of the comms?
Cam> That's precisely the idea. We're glad you spotted what the campaign is supposed to do. We wanted to design something that meets consumers where they are, with a positive twist.
LBB> With that in mind, real life isn't an ever-optimistic adventure. How will you deal with the flipside to real life in future campaigns?
Cam> This campaign can flex to different tones and moments but always keeps the aspiration to shift towards the positive. Life throws us all sorts of experiences, from a break-up to an accidental hair blunder to reuniting with our loved ones after the pandemic - it's about infusing optimism by showing real people, actual behaviours, and being more connected with the human experience in an authentic way. The positioning can evolve to engage with culture and invites folks in across all platforms.
LBB> What were the trickiest components during this process and how did you overcome them?
Cam> Working virtually with a client we never met in person until the shoot and producing a host of live-action films during Covid. In the end, it made our collaboration stronger and nurtured our agility throughout the creative process.