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Corona Turns Famous Holiday Ad Into AR Experience



Corona Extra is bringing its 30-year-old holiday ad to life in the form of a virtual Christmas tree lot using augmented reality.

The Mexican beer brand has launched an interactive experience called O’Tannenpalm’s Tree Lot that allows users to project a winter scene of snow and palm trees onto a nearby flat surface via their phone cameras. The project is a play on the iconic campaign Corona began running in 1990 in which a palm tree on a beach lights up with Christmas decorations as a whistled version of the song “Oh Tannenbaum” can be heard.

The activation, which was produced by Niantic Labs-owned 8th Wall, also allows customers to place a holiday-decorated palm tree of their own in their homes and enter a contest to win one of five real-life 10-inch palm trees. The experience also sports a hidden element that can only be opened by placing an actual bottle of Corona beer in front of the camera.

Holidays with a twist

The brand said the idea was to put a new spin on what has proven to be an iconic holiday advertising tradition for the brand using the kind of immersive tech that has become more popular with brands in the last couple years.

“We’re thrilled to release a refreshing digital experience this Feliz Navidad season and provide Corona Extra fans instant access to the virtual O’Tannenpalm Tree Lot anytime, anyplace,” Alex Schultz, vice president of brand marketing, said in a statement. “This unique experience allows consumers to kick back and immerse themselves in the ‘La Vida Más Fina’ spirit during the hectic holiday season.”

The virtual experience is not the first time Corona has introduced a new twist on the holiday spot. Surgical-masked brand ambassadors distributed holiday palm trees to residents of Corona Del Mar in 2020 in recognition of the ad’s 30th anniversary and a tongue-in-cheek nod to the coronavirus pandemic.

Augmented reality and metaverse activations have become a popular way for brands to engage young consumers who spend increasing amounts of time in digital worlds. Corona, which is owned by AB InBev internationally and Constellation Brands in the United States, previously used AR in a campaign around the environmental impact of plastics in 2021 and in a collaboration with former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

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