When Life Gives You a Lime

Kubin-Nicholson and Cramer-Krasselt team up to create a billboard for Corona using an out-of-this-world prop.

The Client: Crown Imports – distributor of Corona Extra

The Players: Kubin-Nicholson (www.kubin.com), Cramer-Krasselt (www.c-k.com), Van Wagner Sign Erectors (www.vanwagner.com)

Tools & Supplies: EFI Vutek 5330 printer, Cooley 7-oz black back vinyl, Inx Triangle solvent inks

The Job: Corona is known for its advertisements that make you want to stop everything you’re doing, grab a cold one, and head to the beach. With its catchy slogan – “Corona Helps You Find Your Beach” – and the accompanying image of a lime wedge that fits perfectly inside the tip of a Corona beer bottle, it’s no surprise the company’s beverage is one of the top-selling imported beers that thrives during summer, beach-season sales.

To switch up its outdoor summer advertising, but retain the iconic lime wedge, Corona, decided to use the actual moon in crescent form – creating the illusion of it as a slice of lime on top of a bottle in the heart of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.

Production: “We were able to determine very quickly that this idea worked,” says Derek Sherman, senior VP/group creative director at ad agency Cramer-Krasselt. “People have been tracking the arc of the moon for centuries – new technology made it as simple as a few minutes online to work out. But confirming this – double and triple checking it – took significantly longer.”

The team worked with two planetariums, one astrophysics professor at a major university, and on-the-ground specialist surveyors to ensure the idea could come to life. “The only threat and significant challenge was the weather,” says Sherman. “We knew going in that clouds, rain, etc. would obscure or eliminate the moon. It was a chance we were all happy to take, given that we had two to three nights, three months in row [May, June, and July].”

The background art was taken from previous Corona campaigns, while the “moon phases” imagery that would accompany the real moon was sourced from stock photography and composited into the background art by Cramer-Krasselt. Adobe InDesign CS6 was used for page layout, and Adobe Photoshop CS6 for image composition; a PDF was supplied to Crown Imports for approval.

Once print provider Kubin-Nicholson received the files, it took just one hour to output the graphic in one piece onto Cooley 7-oz black back vinyl, utilizing its EFI Vutek 5330 printer and Inx Triangle solvent inks. The vinyl was then split into two forms: the bottom graphics measuring 14 x 48 ft for the billboard’s bottom section, while the top-section graphics measured 12 x 38 ft.

Pockets were added using an RF welder in 40 minutes, following media-company specifications, says Sherman. Installation work on-site involved three installers from Van Wagner Sign Erectors, and took 8 hours.

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