Pacifico Beer.

Brought all the way from Mexico, just to take you back. 

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.

 

 

Print through the years.

Super 8 films and TV

If there is one thing that stands out about the Pacifico work, it’s the lo-fi handmade quality that we wanted to honor that permeated certain off the beaten path parts of Mexico that really represented the brand. Perhaps the most obvious tactic and perhaps the most unique were the Super 8mm films we made. 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. 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 and touring some of the most beautiful places throughout Mexico.

Sad Hurts

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.

Sun Chasing

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.

 

Cliff Dive

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.

The greatest spend was through digital campaigns. However, we did a lot of experimenting with technology on 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. However, beer is fun and so we always liked to make sure we were treading through the internet with a sense of humor. 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. We created an early online scavenger hunt called the Pacifico Web Trek. And of course there was the ridiculous 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 humorous, but also demonstrate the things you experience in Pacifico's Mexico. 

The world’s first website where you could visit the homepage online and in real life.   Mexico via Pacifico destination website home page. Each page was an actual location. Using webcams and overlaying the UX, Each page was a clickable functional page but also a place you could actually visit.

The world’s first website where you could visit the homepage online and in real life.

Mexico via Pacifico destination website home page. Each page was an actual location. Using webcams and overlaying the UX, Each page was a clickable functional page but also 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. We hired a rooster and a location and set up a webcam and the technology to put it all together. I think we worked with the folks at Unit9 in London.

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. We hired a rooster and a location and set up a webcam and the technology to put it all together. I think we worked with the folks at Unit9 in London.

The Legendary VW vans.   The infamous VW vans. Twenty two of these, many of which were early split window vans, 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.

The Legendary VW vans.

The infamous VW vans. Twenty two of these, many of which were early split window vans, 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.

 

My super 8 obsession

Shooting with my Bolex as these guys toured the city.

Almost everyone on production spent 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, with Super 8. Some people have mastered them pretty well. 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