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Mexican masculinity for Heineken’s Tecate

Global brand design consultancy Elmwood has reinvigorated Tecate, Heineken’s biggest Mexican beer brand, with a redesign.

Implicitly tied up in the notion of masculinity, the brand and its point of view had aged with its loyal consumers. Tecate needed to engage with a younger generation of men and women. The brand needed to find new ways to lead the masculine conversation without alienating its loyal consumer base

Elmwood’s looked in great detail at the shifting Mexican cultural values and expressions of masculinity. It revealed an optimism, proud patriotism and desire for positive change that has the younger generation feeling energised and proud to be Mexican.

Tecate is deeply rooted in the North of Mexico. Elmwood’s challenge was to understand how they could stay true to these proud roots and values, but develop an identity to be embraced, understood and championed nationally. 

Elmwood captured this insight, strategic essence and cultural momentum with the brand’s new distinct point of view: ‘ NOW. Create the moment’.

Creatively this meant understanding Tecate’s iconic design features, how these could be utilised with the positioning and how a brand that started as one variant could now work as a cohesive and compelling family.

The iconic Tecate Eagle, the symbolic heart of the brand, was given a naïve, yet lovingly crafted facelift. Embracing the offbeat quirk and Mexican character that make it distinctive, Elmwood gave him his pride back, puffing out the ‘T’ emblazoned chest, broadening the shoulders and authoritatively placing him proudly on the modernised word marque. The physical linking of the Eagle and word marque creates a single-mindedness that the masterbrand had previously been lacking.

Elmwood realised that to create a strong brand family, that still celebrated the unique character of the individual beers, the on-pack variant storytelling would have to match the new attitude of the masterbrand. Three new ‘spirit eagles’ were developed to wittily and engagingly bring to life the unique personalities of the variants

Introducing a matte finish, a revolutionary first in the Heineken Mexico portfolio, dramatically sets the brand apart from its competition as well as driving refreshment and quality appeal.

Two new colours – a bolder, richer Tecate red and a refreshing Tecate silver – were created to modernise the Tecate colour palate.

Greg Taylor, global provocation director at Elmwood, says: “Tecate is a Mexican brand that goes to the heart of Mexican identity, and getting into a mindset that was authentic was a challenge that demanded respect. Our unique processes that combine deep forward facing research and Biomotive Triggers mean that we can use the global language of storytelling to tap into authentic issues of national identity and support our creativity with strategy that crosses borders.”

Oli Mason, senior designer at Elmwood, adds: “Delivering a design solution that re-energises such an iconic brand without losing its loyal audience was a task that we’re proud to have done justice to. Carefully balancing the respectful evolution of the Tecate word marque and Eagle with the revolutionary excitement of the matte finish and Spirit Eagles means Tecate can feel reassuringly familiar yet thrillingly fresh.”

Franco Maria Maggi, Heineken marketing director comments: “One of our team members was tasked with finding the best agency in the world to work with and came back with Elmwood. We’ve not been disappointed. Their deep insight processes combined with genuine creativity has resulted in the Tecate brand being taken to places we would never have imagined.

"Elmwood has maintained and respected the brand’s essence while delivering an identity that is fresh and powerful and will leave a mark on the brand and market for years to come.” 

3 August 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor