Corona encourages consumers to take time off

The sun’s out and I’ve spent the day ‘chilling’ in an air-conditioned office looking relentlessly through my calendar for opportunities to plan my next day off (and wondering if it’s acceptable to spend at least three quarters of it catching up on sleep).

And when I do book my time off, I’ll leave absolutely no thought whatsoever to my out of office. Why? Because people who do this tend to, in my eyes, be slightly irritating with a wry sense of humour that makes me eye-roll so much that I get a headache.

But, rather than disregard the humble Microsoft Outlook auto-reply, beer brand Corona is viewing it as an ‘untapped’ opportunity to encourage the UK to relax.

The campaign – aptly and unapologetically named Wooohooo – was developed after research found that 40% of UK adults feel guilty about taking time off and almost a third take less than half of their annual holiday allowance.

Maybe because almost half said that when they were away their workplace expected them to be available at all times.

I can’t have been the only one who felt utterly grateful after reading these statistics to work for an organisation that has a positive attitude and warm culture towards time off. So, no wonder it inspired Corona to take its appreciation to the next level by creating an out of office generator and social media assets to encourage employees to switch off and relax.

By logging onto the very swish flash-based microsite, you can be served up an auto reply at random or create one of your own.

From ‘Work schmerk until D/M/Y’ and ‘On a holiday I’ll want to relive over and over again. Back at my desk D/M/Y’ to even ‘Can this wait? Got to get seawater out of my ear. Back in the office D/M/Y’ – you set your dates and are speedily shared a GIF that you can post direct to your Gmail, Outlook or direct to your inbox for use across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.

Corona's inspirational out of office
It’s a fun, light and breezy campaign which not only gives the brand a data capture opportunity, but produces content for a social brand that hasn’t posted on Twitter for over a month and over half a year on Facebook since launching last week. (I hope it’s not taking advice from JD Wetherspoon.)

With large social numbers but a significantly disengaged audience due to its intermittent communications, and no paid advertising that I can see of at present, it’s a shame to think that this creative idea may have belly flopped into the pool, rather than dived with grace. The issue is that the brand has some really credible research under its belt which consumers can identify with (I need a holiday), but have solely attached it to a problem which people have a desire to resolve (I will book a holiday), leaving the brand to get lost in the crossfire (what do I need to drink on holiday again?)

As a result, the campaign positions itself as one worthy of a ‘nod’ of respect, but little action. After all, it takes big incentives to encourage people to change their social profiles with third party messaging at the drop of a hat.

A free five-star holiday, round-the-world trip or a free case of beer for every day of the summer might have been a place to start to drive comments, likes and shares around these posts – rather than the brand reviving its channels with one hero video.

With another Bank Holiday around the corner, all is not lost for Corona to right its wrongs. But, if you want people to enjoy their holidays, and associate your brand as the one that put them there, it’ll take more than some shareable social assets. Start with the sangria next time. Cheers!

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