Michelob Ultra Mexico ‘Under Pressure’ Campaign Reminded Us That Sport Should Be Fun

Michelob Ultra Under Pressure 1

Seriously competitive sports brand slogans have become close to ubiquitous – pasted across our buses, buildings and billboards, gyms, magazines, shops and televisions – and almost all are aimed at driving and inspiring us on to run faster, jump higher, train harder and win more.


But May saw Michelob Ultra take an alternative approach and instead addressed the pressure that comes with such messaging and reminded us that sport is only worth it when we enjoy it.


Teaming up with a trio and professional Mexican athlete ambassadors – footballer Guillermo Ochoa, diver Arantxa Chávez and gymnast Isaac Nuñez – the beer brand rolled out a campaign called ‘Under Pressure’ which highlights the pressure such advertising has on sports stars and amateur athletes and combat it by reminding viewers that sport is only worth it if we enjoy it.


The integrated campaign, which was created and produced with creative agency GUT and production company Stink Films, is based around intimate moments of frustration and sacrifice in these real athletes’ lives. It aims to highlight that extreme pressure can be damaging to an athlete’s wellbeing.


The work rolled out across TV, outdoor and the beer brand’s Mexican digital and social channels from 22 April.




The hero spot was shot in three days around Mexico City and was backed by a key OOH strand which features posters of the athletes broken by a wall of words – such as high-pressure expectations, cruel press reactions and online hate – which have affected all three sports stars during their careers. These posters are featured on high footfall billboard sites throughout Mexico City.









“In our campaigns, as the brand’s agency of record, we’re trying to create a consistency that helps Michelob Ultra’s brand purpose shine through: which is to challenge the preconceptions of wellness and to communicate that it is possible to have a balanced life without sacrificing the things you enjoy the most,” explained Executive Creative Director at GUT Mexico City Ramiro Rodriguez Cohen. “When we began to discuss the tension of the pressure that exists around highly-competitive sports, many ideas began to appear around the subject because the pressure is everywhere. From there, we looked into the different places where extreme pressure exists to help fight against it.”


Ramiro added that one of the agency’s main considerations was to remember that people are not robots and that too much pressure can affect them emotionally: thus the work needed to have a degree of delicacy around the subject so the campaign could help society release that pressure.


“I liked the idea of using irony to portray the negative impact on athletes’ mental health and pressure that is created by sports brand slogans which are thrown at us daily,” added Stink Films Director Douglas Bernardt. “I always felt the ad should have a contemplative tone – where these new slogans would create a sense of relief both in the characters and audience.”


The agency team on the project was led by Creative Directors Jose Mario Muñoz and Rodrigo del Oso.








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