Coors Light launches new ads that celebrate March hoops

For the first time since 2019, March basketball -- one of America’s rites of spring -- is back, and Coors Light is unleashing a marketing blitz including a new video campaign that will air throughout the college basketball tournament.

A new 15-second-TV spot that celebrates the routine of posting up on the couch with a cold beer (or hard seltzer) and a friend (or lover) and settling in for a long stretch of high-stakes hoops.

Set to begin airing on Friday across CBS, the Turner networks and other networks and streaming services during March basketball games, the spot is littered with relics of quarantine life, such as an exercise bike that’s turned into a laundry hanger, a pet puppy that’s chewing a sneaker, a struggling sourdough starter and a half-completed puzzle. Country music singer Johnny Lee’s hit “Lookin’ for Love” (in all the wrong places) plays over the top.

Once a couple cracks open a Coors Light and a Coors Seltzer and relaxes in front of a televised basketball game, an announcer says “We’re finally back,” while text proclaims Coors Light “The official beer of finding your true love again."

“The tournament was the first thing cancelled because of the pandemic, but it’s back and we’re celebrating it,” says Chris Steele, North American marketing director for Coors Light. “The biggest thing that Coors Light provides right now is a sense of chill, and the tournament is a nice moment to kick back, crack open a Coors Light or a Coors Seltzer, relax and watch basketball.”

The spot, which is slated to run throughout the three-week tournament, is the latest salvo in Coors Light’s “Made to Chill” campaign, which has helped Coors Light gain share in the premium lights segment and propelled the brand’s sales in the off-premise channel. It also marks the second time Coors Light and Coors Seltzer have partnered up for an ad. The two brands were featured in a spot around pro football’s championship game, where they explored whether people could dream an ad while they sleep.

Sales of Coors Light finished 2020 up 6.2%, per IRI multi-outlet and convenience data. And it’s off to an even better start to 2021, up 8.8% year-to-date through March 7, data show.

The brand also will support its March hoops campaign with a robust social and digital advertising plan, as well as a two-city stunt in Las Vegas and Atlanta on Saturday where it is inviting legal-age drinkers to turn in “items they bought during quarantine that did not bring them chill” in exchange for those items’ weight in Coors Light in the form of a rebate, Steele says.

“This is our second big push of the year,” Steele says. “We’re already off to a good start to 2021, and as America begins to shed the weight the last year, we know we’ve got a lot more room to grow.”