Corona and W+K Made a Big Statement About Plastic Pollution on a Beach in Mexico

Brand used waste materials to write a giant letter in the sand

You've seen trash on the beach before, but never quite like this.

Corona went big this week to tout sustainability and raise awareness of ocean pollution. Working with Wieden+Kennedy Portland, the AB InBev brand launched two markedly different global initiatives that encourage everyone to "Imagine a World Free of Plastic."

First, on a strip of coastline along Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the team wrote a huge message in the sand, formed from 1,100 pounds of waste:

World Oceans Day | The Plastic Letter

"These words are written in ocean plastic," copy begins. "They could go on forever. But words won't solve anything. We need plastic gone from beached like this one and businesses like ours." The plea ends with Corona's logo and the URL

To bring the project to life, the beer brand and local partners gathered materials from the shoreline and spent more than a week building the installation ahead of World Oceans Day on June 8.

Click to see a larger image here:

"The clean-up of the beach took four to five days," recalls W+K art director Brad Trost. "That included collecting the plastic and doing a bit of sorting by container type and color, and then removing a substantial amount of seaweed."

Once that was done, "the construction of the actual letter started," Trost says. "Trenches were dug in typographic formations and filled with the plastic—everything from water bottles and sandals to action hero figures. It took around another three days when you account for sea turtles visiting to make nests—and the occasional typo."

Ultimately, of course, "every single piece of plastic was hauled away and recycled, leaving a perfect natural paradise better suited for the wildlife that call it home than it had been for a long time," he says.

The team recreated the "Plastic Letter"—a term associated with outdoor signage—in Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Germany, the Canary Islands, Italy and Puerto Rico. All told, some 300 million tons of plastic collects in the world's oceans each year, accounting for 80 percent of marine debris overall.

"An open letter to the world made out of plastic seemed to strike the right balance of simplicity and sincerity," says Trost. (A rival brewer, Coors Light, envisioned a plastic-free world in its own way a few months back with this pop-up "Future Mart" made entirely from sustainable materials.)

Corona and W+K also devised a poetic short film, "77 Earths," with Stink Film director Douglas Bernhardt. Amid images of everyday folks enjoying Brazil's natural beauty, the spot employs CGI to show a sky crowded with duplicates of the blue orb we call home:

Corona | 77 Earths

"If there were 77 Earths," the narration begins, "nature would be endless. Shorelines and deep blues would go on forever. No shortage of surf breaks or hidden beaches ... We could waste an Earth. Or two. Or 10."

Reality hits at the end: "There aren't 77. That's why we have a net-zero plastic footprint. Join us and protect our oceans."

The premise, well-served by the cosmic sea-sky visuals, feels a bit different in the category, if a tad too brand-boosting for its own good, with Corona bottles invading those spacey frames. (In fairness, the company has long cleaned up beaches and championed the cause, so it's earned the right to show off some merch.)

"We wanted to remind people about the inherent beauty in the natural world—but with a slight twist, by asking what if nature and its resources were endless," says Trost. "That's where the idea of multiple Earths in the sky came from."

"Even though the film feels like it's showing another reality, it's actually showing that even though we all know we only have one Earth, we're acting like there are 77," adds agency creative director Dan Viens.

To drive consumer engagement, Corona will recycle the equivalent of one plastic bottle for each purchase made in Brazil, Chile and Guatemala.

The push also includes OOH and social assets.



Client: Corona, AB InBev
Global VP, Corona: Felipe Ambra
Global Marketing Director, Corona: Antonella Babino

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy
Creative Director: Josh Bogdan 
Creative Director: Dan Viens
Creative - Copy: Marnie Hanel
Creative - Art/Design: Grant Thomas
Art Director: Brad Trost
Executive Producer: Chris Capretto
Producer: Zach Zutler
Producer: Jenny Smith
Design Producer: Samm Oduro
Sr. Design Producer: Amy Streger
Design Director: Patrick Nistler
Designer: Shantanu Sharma
Designer: Morgan Searcy
Group Strategy Director: Scott Woodhouse
Senior Strategist: Rachita Vasan
Group Brand Director: Jesse Johnson
Brand Director: Madeline Parker
Brand Manager: Leila Chee
Brand Manager: Hope Barker
Sr. Business Affairs: Kacey Kelley
Creative Operations Manager: Stacy Grogan

Production Company: Sketch 
Managing Director: Laura Harrison
Production Director: Alice Strutt
Account Director: Emma Clarke

Film Production Company: Barona Productions 
Producer / Owner: Regina Barona
Director / DoP : Agustin Lira
Photographer / Drone: Arturo Martínez Villa

Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: Austyn Daines
Assistant Editor: Jack Kanner
Head of Production: Dre Krichevsky
Executive Producer: Shada Shariatzadeh
Post-Producer: Kevin Gottlieb 

Color: Primary 
Colorist: Kya Lou
Executive Producer: Thatcher Peterson
Producer: Jenny Bright

VFX Studio: a52
Lead Flame Artist: Adam Flynn
Flame Artists: Richard Hirst, Chris Riley
Online Editor: Corey Martinez
VFX Producer: Everett Wayne Cross
Head of Production: Drew Rissman
Executive Producers: Patrick Nugent & Kim Christiensem
Managing Director: Jennifer Sofio Hall

Mix and Sound Design: Lime 
Audio Engineer: Tom Paolantonio
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan
Producer: Kayla Phugglan
Associate Producer: Cassie Underwood

Music: Human 
Head of Sync and A&R : Kamela Anderson
Executive Producer: Carol Dunn
Composer: Gareth Williams

Beach Cleanup and Recycling Partner: Lamerced
Founder: Mercedes Guzman

Art Installation Partner: Konyo Factory
Director: Jez Turner

VO Talent: Egbekhuwa Okoyomo


Corona, Anheuser-Busch: Client
Felipe Ambra: Global VP, Corona
Antonella Babino: Global Marketing Director, Corona

Wieden+Kennedy: Agency
Josh Bogdan : Creative Director
Pedro Izique : Creative Director
Dan Viens: Creative Director
Gus Solis: Copywriter
Brad Trost: Art Director
Mariah Mercier: Copywriter
Chris Capretto & Jake Grand: Executive Producer
Danielle Magee: Lead Integrated Producer
Thais Bonizzi : Producer
Christina Villaflor & George Qatsha: Print Producer
Sarah Starr: Design Producer
Kelly Cousins: Design Producer
Amy Streger: Sr. Design Producer
Patrick Nistler: Design Director
Greg Radich: Retoucher
Matt Blum: Production Specialist
Shantanu Sharma: Designer
Morgan Searcy: Designer
Scott Woodhouse: Group Strategy Director
Rachita Vasan: Senior Strategist
Jesse Johnson: Group Brand Director
Madeline Parker: Brand Director
Leila Chee: Brand Manager
Lisa Lipman: Business Affairs
Kacey Kelley: Sr. Business Affairs

Stink : Production Company
Douglas Bernardt: Director
Pierre de Kerchove: Cinematographer
Mungo Maclagan: Executive Producer
Daniel Bergmann: President
Ari Schneiderman: Head Of Production
Mark Hall: Producer

Cut + Run: Edit
Aika Miyake: Editor
Chance St George: Assistant Editor
Brian Mulvey: Senior Producer
Michelle Eskin: Managing Director
Amburr Farls: Executive Producer

Joint Editorial : Audio Mix
Louise Woodward : Producer
Natalie Huizenga: Audio Mixer

Sergio Pasqualino Jr.: Colorist

Cirilo Bonazzi: VFX Supervisor
Flavia Gannam: Producer

Human: Music and Sound Design
Carol Dunn: Executive Producer
Kamela Anderson: Head of Sync and A&R 
Gareth Williams: Creative Director and Sound Designer
Matthew O'Malley: Composer

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