Negative Press Not Diminishing Aussies’ Thirst For A Corona

KIEV, UKRAINE - 2018/09/26: Detail of lined up Corona beer bottles seen on the store shelf. Corona extra Lager Beer is the flagship product of the Mexican company Grupo Modelo. (Photo by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In this guest post, YouGov Australia’s sales director Giles Haynes (pictured below) says Corona Beer might be getting plenty of iffy press at the moment but the evidence suggests it’s not deterring Aussie drinkers…

‘There’s no such thing as bad publicity’. This phrase coined by American showman and circus owner Phineas T. Barnum over 100 years ago, still lives on. In the complex world of brand marketing that we are navigating today however, how does this really play out for the beer brand Corona under the threat of  coronavirus?

Given the current circumstances and when one considers the loss of life that has and will occur, it’s a fairly degenerate question. However, data from the international research data and analytics group YouGov highlights some noteworthy differences in changing consumer brand metrics amongst key global markets.

News from the US seems to be that Corona as a brand has been very badly affected with headlines stating that 38 per cent of beer-drinking Americans say they now won’t drink the lager and 14 per cent  are confused as to whether there is a link between the beer and the virus. YouGov BrandIndex also reported that Corona’s Buzz score in the US — a net score based on whether US adults have heard anything negative or positive about the brand — decreased among those who have an opinion of the brand, from a high score of 75 at the beginning of January to 51 as of late February.

In China, it appears that all beer brands are experiencing a relative sales slumps because the spread of the coronavirus had generally dampened public activities there, at a period when sales are typically high due to the lunar new year.

Interestingly, Australian consumers appear to be somewhat more stoic. Data from YouGov shows that, since the first reports of Coronavirus at the end of 2019, consideration of Corona amongst Aussies has remained consistent and that certain measures around brand health have actually improved.

YouGov’s daily brand perception tracker, BrandIndex, measures a range of media, brand health and lower funnel metrics and shows that indicators such as ‘Word of Mouth’ (‘Have you talked about the brand?’) and ‘Ad Awareness’ (Have you seen and ad for the brand?’) have increased along with, more surprisingly, Positive Buzz (‘Have you heard anything positive about the brand?’).

Laura Robbie, YouGov’s General Manager in Australia said, “We haven’t seen any negative impact on the Australian data for Corona as yet, but as one of the 500-plus brands we measure daily in Australia, we will be first to know if this changes. At the moment, it seems that Australian consumers do not talk about Corona as a beer in a negative way. Instead, consumers have recently become more aware of Corona as a brand.”



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