What’s Wrong With This Picture?
Dressed in his trademark dark suit, Diddy attempts to sacrifice a blue agave piña while at the same time asking for a moment of silence for “Mr. Pat Ron,” a thinly veiled dig against beverage behemoth, Patrón.
Those in the Tequila Community who make their living day after day selling,
serving and producing tequila, as well as growing and harvesting agave, have been outraged at the clownish way in which Diddy and Diageo have disrespected and belittled the value of one of the last major pillars left in Tequila Culture–the jimador (agave harvester).
The Plight of the Jimador
In an age where modern technology and cost saving methods like the diffuser have been introduced in the Tequila Industry to replace everything from donkeys to bottlers to label applicators, the one skill that it has not yet been able to replace entirely is the hard labor of the jimador.
Those who have seen these men in action, and those of us who have tried to hack off the pencas (leaves) from a blue agave piña using a razor sharp coa, know that it’s not as easy as it looks.
The following video is courtesy of the Tequila Interchange Project, a non-profit organization and consumer advocacy group for agave distilled spirits made up of key influencers such as bartenders, consultants, teachers, researchers, consumers and tequila aficionados. It illustrates just how arduous this work is, and the dangers these men face each day for minimal pay.
For Diddy to be allowed to be photographed attempting a jima wearing a suit and spotless shoes was unconscionable. It makes light of the skill and experience of these journeymen laborers, as well their hardships, in a deplorable and condescending way.
Diddy Commits Commercial Suicide with DeLeón Tequila
If it’s true that Diddy knows what liquor Millennials want to drink as he states in this November 2014 article in Fortune, and wants to “disrupt how [liquor advertising] has been done,” he has already failed miserably.
Claiming that his image won’t be used for DeLeón like it has been attached to his
Ciroc vodka ads (his first successful partnership with Diageo), then he should stick to his word.
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), the national trade association for America’s top distillers, and of which Diageo is a long time member, has strict guidelines when it comes to responsible digital marketing communications.
It is obvious that Sean Combs believes he is above adhering to these regulations, and in the process, managed to insult an entire country.
How Diddy Should’ve Done It
The self-proclaimed tastemaker has proven to be very successful in everything he touches. From music and clothing, to spirits and even reality TV, Diddy has left his indelible mark with sophistication and style. So, when he hooked up with Diageo once more for DeLeón tequila, we expected more from him.
We expected this $700 million dollar mogul to immerse himself in Tequila Culture. To get to know the process and the people of the new spirit he was embracing, and to bring a fresh look to an otherwise unremarkable brand like DeLeón.
We expected he would slap on some Sean John boots and venture out into the
agave fields to absorb its magic. Who knows? Maybe he would become inspired to design a whole new line of menswear made from agave fibers that would appeal to all ethnicities, just as he desires to do with DeLeón’s advertising.
How’s that for doubling your ROI and gaining street cred?
We’re NOT Laughing With You
Instead, we get this…
Perhaps, we expected too much?
[In 2010 there were 6 other brands besides Ciroc that the San Francisco World Spirits Competition bestowed double gold medals to in the vodka category.]