The latest spot from beer brand Corona deliberately plays on the Republican nominee Donald Trump’s most infamous policy proposal
As the prolonged collective agony of the US election season finally comes to a close, the world of advertising is still struggling to capture the zeitgeist.
The intersection of electioneering, branding and social media has led to some of the most surreal moments in recent political history, but in an election season that’s been in many ways stranger than fiction, ad creatives are hard pushed to reflect our current reality.
That’s not to say some aren’t trying. The latest spot from beer brand Corona deliberately plays on the Republican nominee Donald Trump’s most infamous policy proposal – his intention to build a wall along the Mexican border, and "make them pay for it".
Whether or not that’s the case, the Mexican company repurposes Trump’s nationalist invective for a rather eye-catching (if slightly muddled) metaphor about personal freedom and breaking down borders.
Starring Y Tu Mama Tambien and Stars Wars: Rogue One lead Diego Luna, "The wall" does not shy away from its subject matter.
We open on Luna surveying the skyline, as he laments in Spanish, "All of us are angry at the wall that mad man wants to build".
Just as suddenly, he leaps to the edge of the building and declares that we should be just as worried about the walls we build ourselves. And then he jumps off the building, as if he’s auditioning for Spiderman.
This moment sets the tone for the rest of the spot, which veers between grounded political commentary and magical realist moments which look beautiful without necessarily making a great deal of sense.
For the purposes of the ad, Corona imagines that a Cold War-esque wall cuts this unnamed Mexican city in two. Traversing this dividing line in a very shiny pair of brogues, Luna explains how these unnecessary divisions keep people down and apart from each other.
It’s at this point that Corona’s philosophical message becomes, if not slightly confused, then certainly rather self-helpy. First of all, Luna challenges viewers to "fight for what you want and focus on yourself", which seems a little contradictory for a message about unity and mutual respect.
At one point, Luna says, "You are your only frontier", which is a nice sentiment but also not true when a public figure is literally threatening to build a wall along your border.
So "The wall" may be slightly confusing, but it is an interesting piece of work. Working in collaboration with Leo Burnett Mexico, Corona has never been afraid to shoot for the fences, as they did a few years when the beer brand literally incorporated the moon into one of their bold billboard campaigns.
Injecting politics directly into advertising is a difficult trick to pull off, and Corona’s spot is colourful, entertaining and totally charming thanks to Luna.
Fulfilling his feted role as the "Neo" of this imaginary city, Luna ultimately takes a wrecking ball to the wall, destroying it once and for all. While it’s unclear exactly what this means in the context of Corona’s metaphor, it’s a fitting, stirring end.