'Fast and Furious' has given Corona $15 million worth of product placement -- absolutely free

When you think about the “Fast and Furious” series, what are the first things that come to mind? Cars? Explosions? Family?

How about Corona?

Throughout the “Fast” saga — starting with the original 2001 film, when Vin Diesel’s Dom tells Paul Walker’s Brian, “You can have any brew you want… as long as it’s a Corona” — the Mexican pale lager has had a starring role.

In an eye-opening feature, The Ringer explored the relationship between the film franchise (whose latest, “The Fate of the Furious,” is out Friday) and the beer. The site uncovered that the brew’s involvement in the films hasn’t been a long-running promotional deal, as you’d likely expect, but instead it’s a natural relationship that just made sense.

“I was trying to make an L.A. saga, and Corona, to me, just seemed like this iconic, Southern California beer,” Rob Cohen, who directed the first instalment, told The Ringer.

Fast and furious coronaUniversalDom (Vin Diesel) enjoys a Corona.

For the first film, there was no formal product-placement agreement. Corona simply sent the production a few cases of beer and granted the filmmakers permission to use the name in the movie.

Little did Corona’s part owner, the global beer company AB InBev — or anyone else — know that the “Fast” franchise would grow into a $US4 billion juggernaut (so far) that now includes the 6th-highest-grossing movie of all time worldwide in “Furious 7.”

Eric Smallwood, managing partner at Apex Marketing Group, estimates that the beer’s placement in the “Fast” films has brought the company over $US15 million worth of free advertising.

But despite the success of the films, the relationship with Corona has remained unchanged. Dom and his crew drink Corona because they like it — it’s who they are.

Read the original story, “How Corona Became the ‘Fast and Furious’ Beer of Choice,” on The Ringer.

NOW WATCH: The ‘Jon Stewart of Egypt’ explains why satirizing Donald Trump isn’t productive

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.