Turning ‘I’ll have a shot’ into ‘Cuervo, please’
Intense moments with friends
When we started working with Jose Cuervo, they were the undisputed king of the tequila category. But the category itself was under-developed. So instead of taking market share from other tequila brands, we set out to steal vodka’s place as number one shot. And keep it.
Our audience was fairly familiar with tequila, and they knew the most famous way to drink it (lime, salt, friends). But they couldn’t name a tequila brand, and they didn’t know that it’s traditionally served ice-cold.
So we had some work to do to encourage re-appraisal and consideration. We went about this in three ways: rational (demonstrating the quality of the drink), emotional (dramatising its cultural associations) and functional (helping people experience the product). Across the whole Cuervo portfolio.
The Tequila from Tequila
Our first task was to redesign the Cuervo brand. For this, we used two key insights:
One: Cuervo is the only tequila made in the town of Tequila, Mexico. This gives it an authenticity that others can’t match.
Two: drinking tequila is an intense social bonding ritual that can’t be replicated with other drinks. Friendship and camaraderie are essential to the experience.
We wanted to make Cuervo Cold the most talked-about spirit in Brazil. Bigger than vodka, bigger than cachaça, bigger than any other tequila.
Clearly, we needed a big idea. So we partnered with a band world-famous for their incredibly popular viral music videos: OK Go. And took them on a road trip to Brazil.
There, through a combination of word-of-mouth, digital, live music and a never-before-seen video experience, we made history.
In Brazil, we hit the road to put on a series of surprise pop-up performances around Rio and São Paulo. We called them ‘Shot gigs’.
Here’s how it went: the Cuervo Cold truck pulled up. The side of the truck lifted. Inside were OK Go - in position and ready to play. The lights come on, the bass kicks in, the crowd goes crazy. Then, when the song ends, the sides go back up and the truck heads off to the next gig venue.
Thousands of people were there. We built excitement for the next gig by directing them to Cuervocold.com, where they’d find maps to follow the gigs and exclusive daily content building up to #Shotcast.
The big event. One massive OK Go gig in Rio De Janeiro, streaming live. But here’s the really cool part:
By going to Cuervocold.com, Brazilians could become a pixel in the live stream of the gig. Every pixel you saw on the broadcast was somebody’s Facebook or Twitter avatar. And you could hover over any one to see whose it was, or locate your own. This was a proprietary technique we invented, that’s never been done before.
It was a pretty big challenge, but we pulled it off – just watch the video.