An exploration in Pacifico

A brand built on a sense of adventure. Over 9 years i made and oversaw a lot of the Pacifico work. Someone had to do it. We traveled throughout Mexico to identify  places and experiences that we deemed as quintessentially Pacifico. There was always a subtle sense of humor and sprinkles of absurdity that for me was required of a beer that's mostly about having a good time. The very first ad for Pacifico however set the course for the brand even today. Brought all the way from Mexico, just to take you back. 

 

 

Super 8 films and TV

The very first commercial we did for Pacifico started the Super 8mm legacy. We wanted to capture nostalgia and create a feeling that stood out from any other beer commercial and tapping into a very specific emotion that can be so authentically attached to Pacifico; the pain of heading back home. We wanted to celebrate the adventure of Mexico's memories through this truth. Over time we would film over 25 Super 8mm commercials and films. All gritty and feeling purposefully cheap and unprofessional. Breaking the rules artfully.

The first spot was named Sad Hurts. An unexpected and unusual way to sell a beer we decided to feature honest, looming feeling of sadness that occurs when you realize your amazing beach vacation is about to end. After all, Pacifico was brought all the way from Mexico just to take you back. Directed by myself, the insight, execution and simple truth make it my favorite commercial of all time.

Called Sun Chasing, we shot this authentically capturing surfing on one side of Baja in the morning and driving across to the other side for sunset. It made for a long day despite the pretty simple and fun set ups.

 

While scouting another video we saw these guys jumping off the cliff. We paid them about $100 and for the privilege to film them with our Super 8s and made this TV spot. Typical spontaneity from this campaign and clients.

Experiments in Digital and Mobile. (In both phone and van) 

 

We did a lot of experimenting with Pacifico. I think that both Paul Verdu and John Alvarado were also always pushing us. They could see the future where a lot of content needed to be made. We made the first destination website. That meant you could actually visit the web pages as real life destinations. Hotel California in Todos Santos was where we painted our homepage. A webcam and invisible UX allowed you to click on the hand painted links that would take you to other pages in various locations in Mexico. 

This was our way of taking a rustic brand and applying technology with a wink. We also had the Rooster Alarm Clock. An app that was a camera set to a live rooster in Mexico that would crow when it wanted to. It was meant to be funny, but also demonstrate the things you experience in Pacifico's Mexico. 

Then of course the infamous VW vans. Twenty two of these were purchased, hand painted by artists an then given to various markets. Like the original way Pacifico was distributed by surfers in the day surfing up and down the coast of Baja, we wanted Pacifico to connect to its heritage as impractical as that may be. 

 

Mexico via Pacifico destination website home page. Each page was a clickable but a place you could actually visit.

Mexico via Pacifico destination website home page. Each page was a clickable but a place you could actually visit.

The Rooster Alarm Clock.    In many of the great places in Mexico there are noisy roosters. They wake you up. So we created a actual rooster alarm clock digitally. You can't set it. Only the rooster can. Tune in and wake up when the rooster crows.

The Rooster Alarm Clock.

In many of the great places in Mexico there are noisy roosters. They wake you up. So we created a actual rooster alarm clock digitally. You can't set it. Only the rooster can. Tune in and wake up when the rooster crows.

The Legendary VW vans.   Designed by artists and given to various distributors as “delivery” vans to honor the way Pacifico used to be delivered; by surfers and adventurers.

The Legendary VW vans.

Designed by artists and given to various distributors as “delivery” vans to honor the way Pacifico used to be delivered; by surfers and adventurers.

 

My super 8 obsession

Shooting with my Bolex as these guys toured the city.

Almost everyone on production spend a little time shooting with our vintage collection of Super 8mm cameras. We had about 10 of them including two rare waterproof ones from Germany that we put to good use in the surf and cenotes. There is something pretty special about the quality or lack there of in a Super 8. Some people have mastered them pretty well however. I never found myself in that category. However the inspiration came from a discovery of some 8mm films at an estate sale. They were beautifully shot to the extent they almost felt professional at times. The films captured the adventurous life of a bay area family from the 1940s to the late 1950s on sailing trips to Baja and Hawaii and ski trips to Sun Valley and whatever else they might do. I became enamored with these and in fact they were one of the reasons we chose to work with Super 8mm on Pacifico.

 

Charting the past.

This film was pretty interesting. I wanted to recreate the films that inspired me from the estate sale and so we recreated them as best we could. We cut together a film from the old black and white with the new color film and tried to recreate the moments. Some required me to climb the mast and shoot from above. It made for a nice finale to the Pacifico Super 8 films.

Charting the past - mast slide old .png

From the original found films.

Charting the past - mast slide new .png

The new footage to recreate the past

Charting the past Old gunnal .png
Charting the past new rail .png

Yes, it was as fun as it looks.

Press:

The NY Times did a great job of covering the work.

New York Times  - Pacifico Beer - 2008