Corona's ATP tennis interactive: when big data becomes the ad itself

It's no bottle on a beach, but it works.


Just in case the French Open isn’t enough to fill your tennis fix, this data visualization effort by Corona and ad agency JWT Spain will make any sports nerd giddy with tennis tech joy.

Together with web studio Espada y Santa Cruz, the beer brand and ad agency have created an HTML5 site with 3D interactive maps of three significant ATP matches that tracks the trajectory of the ball and movement of the players. You can filter the data to view only one player at a time, and there’s also a heat map to show player location, as well as the ability to see where the ball had the most impact. It’s a bucket-load of data, distilled down to a fully interactive experience.

So, what does this have to do with beer? Well, not much. But it’s a perfect example of a marketing approach being used (to varying degrees of success) over the last five years often dubbed “brand utility.” As Contagious defined it way back in 2008, it’s “advertising that doesn’t feel like advertising, no longer about reach and frequency, nor about immediate return.” It’s about creating something useful that actually earns people’s time and attention, as opposed to interrupting.

Sports fans are increasingly obsessed with stats and here Corona really serves up an ace (sorry). It may not be a bottle on a beach, but targeted efforts like this, especially when Corona is a major ATP sponsor, will earn the brand the respect and enthusiasm of tennis fanatics far better than a 30-second TV ad alone. Can you imagine the response in this country if they (or Molson or Budweiser) used a similar approach for hockey? Head explosions (and earned media) galore.