The emergence of the coronavirus could not have come at a worse time for another thing with the word “corona” in it: Corona beer, which has been around for a century, and which has no connection to the deadly virus. And indeed the company is dealing with the fallout of the unfortunate connection between its name and the name of a contagious disease.
As CNN Business reports, Constellation Brands, the manufacturer of the beer, insists that the brand’s nominative affiliation with the virus isn’t hurting sales, saying in a statement that “sales remain strong.”
But is that actually the case?
According to a recent survey, 38 percent of Americans wouldn’t buy Corona “under any circumstances” because of the outbreak, while another 14 percent said that they wouldn’t order one in public. Another survey found that American beer drinkers are less interested in Corona beer than they’ve been in the past two years. The company’s “buzz score” — that is, a measurement of its favorability among consumers — has fallen in the past year as well.
And of course, nothing reveals the rising and falling fortunes of a company better than its stock price, and in the case of Constellation Brands, its stock has fallen 8 percent in the past few days. Although it bears noting that the stock market has been in tailspin of late because of the emerging virus, and stocks have been falling across the board.
Meanwhile, in what may go down in business and advertising history as one of the biggest examples of bad timing, Corona’s manufacturers recently released an ad campaign for its hard seltzer line of products. The ad says that the products will be “coming ashore soon.”
Introducing Corona Hard Seltzer. Four delicious flavors. One splashy entrance. pic.twitter.com/XrPPr6nWrB
— Corona USA (@coronaextrausa) February 24, 2020
To some, that phrase references the fact that the virus is spreading from country to country, and it’s believed to be only a matter of time before there’s a full-blown coronavirus outbreak here in the U.S., as previously reported by The Inquisitr.
Several commenters called the ad “in poor taste.”
Meanwhile, the brand’s management insists that its advertising isn’t going to change.
“Our advertising with Corona is consistent with the campaign we have been running for the last 30 years and is based off strong consumer sentiment,” said Constellation Brands spokesperson Stephanie McGuane.
According to Beer and Brewing, Corona beer takes its name from the crown (“corona” is Spanish for “crown”) that adorns the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Mexican city of Puerto Vallarta.