Coors Light gets 2021 off to a fiery start

Coors Light has launched a new year’s promotion featuring all the news that’s fit to flint. Timed to coincide with the start of what will hopefully be a bit of rebound year for, well, the world, the beer brand last week released a product called Chill Starters—triangular (sorry, mountain) shaped fire starters that are literally made from shredded newspapers containing some of the bad news from 2020.

“These weirdly cathartic, very flammable mountain-shaped firestarters are handmade from real news ranging from March to November. Murder hornets, not being able to hug your family, Zoom fatigue, you name it,” said the beer brand in a release announcing the product.

“Coors Light is Made to Chill. But this year’s been everything but,” said Garrick Fritelli, senior marketing manager at Molson Coors. “We wanted Canadians to be able to close the year off on a chill note, and what better than a cold one beside the fireplace to relax and reflect.”

The Chill Starters—featuring the word “chill” in the instantly recognizable Coors Light font—were conceived by Rethink’s Montreal office as a nod to the beer brand’s new “Made to chill” brand platform.

The idea arose from conversations between Molson Coors Canada and Rethink around how to best kick off 2021 amid unusual circumstances, said Rethink’s Alex Lefebvre. “We knew big celebrations, big cheers and plainly telling people to chill wouldn’t cut it,” he said. “So the notion of ‘saying goodbye to this year’ in a chill way became our approach.”

All of the Chill Starters are made from old newspapers that were obtained from Canadian newspaper publishers. “[The] suggestion that we burn the shitty news away as people chilled was the cherry on top,” said Lefebvre.

The project was originally conceived as a small Quebec-based promotion, with about 200 of the Chill Starters sent to Molson Coors staff and some select influencers. However, Lefebvre said they were caught off guard by a flood of requests from people asking where they could be purchased.

“In hindsight, this was a miss on our part, not to have this biggest from the outset,” he said, before issuing a prediction we fervently hope doesn’t come to pass. “[Depending on] how this year goes, maybe they’ll resurface next year to say goodbye to 2021. Who knows.”

Chris Powell