Women in the Tequila Industry: Cleo Rocos

Cleo in Pool with AquaRIvaActress, comedienne, narrator, pop music collaborator, singer, producer, writer, world traveler, radio announcer, book author, and tequila brand owner.  Those are just a few of Cleo Rocos’ credentials.

Best known for her years as a sidekick on the BBC’s beloved Kenny Everett Television Show, she is often compared to Lucille Ball for her beauty, wit and business acumen.

Her circle of friends range from kings of comedy, queens of countries, princes ofCleo_Emma industry, and girls of spice.

Learning from a prized friend and mentor, Tomas Estes (Tequila Ocho), she established The Tequila Society in the UK, and launched her own AquaRiva tequila in 2012.

This Tequila Boss Lady pulls no punches when it comes to 100% agave tequila.  Here, she shares her views on our customary handful of questions.

***

TA:  How would you describe your experiences as a woman in a primarily male dominated industry?  What are the challenges you face when dealing with the male dominated Tequila Industry?

CR:  Everyone assumes that because Tequila is a male dominated industry that I would have to face challenges.  I love men and working with them.  I have always been treated with great respect and my thirst for knowledge willingly nurtured by everyone that I have met.

CleoCertificate

In fact in 2009 I was recognized by the CNIT with a coveted award, presented to me at the annual Dia del Tequilero, in Guadalajara.  A great honour.

I love the people in the tequila industry.  I spend a lot of time in Mexico and I have never encountered any negative experiences as a woman.

The tequila industry is cool and some of the coolest people in it are older than your grandparents and can show you how to really party.

It is well recognized that people live long and happy lives in this industry.

TA:  How have you been able to change things within the Tequila Industry?

CR:  I have been able to change things extensively in the UK, turning around theAquaRiva_Syrup negative misconceptions by relentlessly explaining the dramatic difference between mixto and 100% agave tequilas and encouraging people to actually give tequila another try.

I actively get the tequila message out to a much wider audience through my career in television.

I appear on many TV and radio shows, write articles and give interviews explaining the truly exquisite experience of a well crafted 100% Agave Tequila.

TA:  What do you see as the future of women working within the Tequila Industry?

CR:  If you are a woman who can bring something to the tequila industry and have a real passion for it then there are great opportunities as there are equally for men.

CleoRocos with Richard Branson enjoying the worlds best tequila AquaRiva copyMost people are not aware that women have a more sensitive and accurate palate than men.  It is a fact of nature.  Many more women are now top tasting and spirits profile experts throughout the wine and spirits industries.

TA:  What facets of the Tequila Industry would you like to see change?

CR:  The most important facet to change is to implement legislation demanding the clear labeling Mixed Tequila [mixto] as “MIXED” or even “Tequila FLAVOURED.”

Mixed tequila is generally only 51% agave tequila and not the “real deal.”

This lack of label clarity is highly confusing for the new consumer and detrimental to the tequila industry.

The experience of drinking “Mixed” Tequila is why most people think that they hate tequila.

It is unfair to the producers of 100% Agave brands to have to constantly battle to re-educate consumers due to this lack of label clarity.

TA:  Do you approve of how tequila brands are currently marketing themselves?

CR:  Each brand obviously has their own marketing strategy.  We all know that good 100% agave tequila is to be sipped and enjoyed.

The versatility of this incredible (100% agave) spirit is having a profound influence on cocktails globally and is now the favourite spirit of top bartenders.

I do not agree with promoting rounds of inferior mixed tequila shots to CleoBarrelscustomers to shoot down in one go.  This gives Tequila a bad reputation.

I always warn against any drink having to be consumed ice cold or in one go.  No one needs to drink like that unless they are going to have a limb removed without an anesthetic.

TA:  Is there anything you’d like to say to women who may be contemplating entering and working in the Tequila Industry in one form or another?

CR:  I have been very welcomed and totally embraced by the Tequila Industry.

I have created my own multi award winning brand, AquaRiva Tequila and I have only experienced good will and encouragement all the way.

If you have a true passion, a desire for knowledge and to work with this glorious spirit, there are no barriers.

I love working in this industry.  It’s crammed with enthusiastic people, family traditions and amazing characters.

Cleo_Bottling

The tequila industry is very much a way of life but not as you know it.

Tiny’s Tequila Orange Blossom Tequila Review

TINY’S TEQUILA—-The Official Tequila of “Ladies Night Out”

From the Tiny’s Tequila Website:

When the inspiration behind Tiny’s Tequila, Grammy award winning singer/songwriter and reality TV star, Tameka “Tiny” Harris wanted to develop a line of premium infused sipping tequila’s she wanted to make sure of two things; it had to taste GREAT and it had to have minimal burn! With the introduction of our first two infusions, Orange Blossom (Honey-Orange) and Lime Light (Lime) we think that we have achieved both of those goals.

When it comes to great tasting tequila with a subtle finish, Tiny’s Tequila definitely hits the right note for people looking for the perfect blend of strong but sweet. It proves that synergy can be found between traditional, all natural ingredients and modern, new age refinement. The result is a line of award winning premium artisanal tequila infusions at an unbeatable value.

Whether it is going out with your girlfriends for a night on the town or just hanging out at a friend’s enjoying cocktails, Tiny’s Tequila is the perfect compliment for unforgettable moments……. Tiny’s Tequila, What You Gon Do ……?

 

Tequila AficionadoSiping Off The Cuff tinys

 

 

Sipping Off The Cuff™ began as an audio podcast in 2006 and is Tequila Aficionado’s first and longest running tequila review program.

Sipping Off The Cuff(TM) is broadcast every Friday (and occasionally Tuesdays) on YouTube and TequilaAficionado.com. If you are a Tequila, Mezcal or Sotol brand owner and would like your product(s) reviewed on an upcoming episode of Sipping Off The Cuff(TM), please contact Mike@TequilaAficionado.com. Tiny’s Tequila

 

Tiny’s Tequila Lime Light Tequila Review

TINY’S TEQUILA—-The Official Tequila of “Ladies Night Out”

From the Tiny’s Tequila Website:

When the inspiration behind Tiny’s Tequila, Grammy award winning singer/songwriter and reality TV star, Tameka “Tiny” Harris wanted to develop a line of premium infused sipping tequila’s she wanted to make sure of two things; it had to taste GREAT and it had to have minimal burn! With the introduction of our first two infusions, Orange Blossom (Honey-Orange) and Lime Light (Lime) we think that we have achieved both of those goals.

When it comes to great tasting tequila with a subtle finish, Tiny’s Tequila definitely hits the right note for people looking for the perfect blend of strong but sweet. It proves that synergy can be found between traditional, all natural ingredients and modern, new age refinement. The result is a line of award winning premium artisanal tequila infusions at an unbeatable value.

Whether it is going out with your girlfriends for a night on the town or just hanging out at a friend’s enjoying cocktails, Tiny’s Tequila is the perfect compliment for unforgettable moments……. Tiny’s Tequila, What You Gon Do ……?

Tequila AficionadoSiping Off The Cuff tinys

 

 

 

Sipping Off The Cuff™ began as an audio podcast in 2006 and is Tequila Aficionado’s first and longest running tequila review program.

Sipping Off The Cuff(TM) is broadcast every Friday (and occasionally Tuesdays) on YouTube and TequilaAficionado.com. If you are a Tequila, Mezcal or Sotol brand owner and would like your product(s) reviewed on an upcoming episode of Sipping Off The Cuff(TM), please contact Mike@TequilaAficionado.com. Tiny’s Tequila

 

Tequila: It’s the heart and soul of Mexico, and it’s in trouble.

Originally Published May 11, 2003

vault

 

Tequila has come under enormous pressure in the past decade and it is not faring well in many sectors.

Ian Chadwick, tequila, mexicoBy Ian Chadwick
Tequila Aficionado Magazine
Contributor/Columnist

First, it became a victim of its own popularity. As international – particularly American – drinkers turned to tequila as the new “hip sip,” distillers scrambled to keep up with demand. That demand came at a time when agave production was at a low because prices for the mature plant were equally low. Farmers simply gave up and began to plant more profitable short-term crops like corn and beans.

Second, it came under pressure from a spreading fungus called fusarium, that affected up to a third of all the plants, making them unsuitable for use in tequila. The continuing practice of growing agave from shoots rather than fertilization has sufficiently weakened the blue agave’s gene pool that there is no natural resistance to the fungus.

And third, tequila prices rose in parallel with increasing demand and dropping production. They rose to the point where many tequilas were – ironically – simply too expensive for the average Mexican.

Many distillers reduced production or dropped brands, some closed and even others were forcibly closed by the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT – www.crt.org.mx) for trying to produce tequila with unapproved agave or other ingredients.

Despite the ups and downs of the industry, by December 2002, there were around 90 distillers listed in the CRT directory, making about 700 different brands. An understanding of NOM numbers certainly helps the consumer determine who is making what and the differences – if any – between labels.

Tequila production in 2002 fell almost 4 % over the numbers for 2001 (in 2001, 146 million liters of mixto were produced, compared to 19.272 million liters of 100% agave tequila). The CRT figures show that the production of mixto tequila dropped 6.74% while 100% tequilas – always a smaller production – rose 9.34%. This shows that distillers are trying to supply a market demanding the pure tequilas, particularly the export market.

dos lunas, tequilaDomestic consumption fell too – 6.58% in 2002, no doubt as a result of steeply rising prices. In comparison, exports rose sharply – 16.61% for mixtos and 14.29% for 100% tequilas, an overall increase of 16.4 %. The majority of exports are still to the USA – up 18% in 2002, but the world market is still growing and overall exports increased 16.4% in 2002.

All of this translates into is a crisis on the Mexican homefront. My trip to Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, in February this year showed me that a lot has changed in the market since my previous visit.

First, the number of outlets for tequila had dropped. Several stores were no longer selling tequila or were out of business. I can’t say whether this is a direct result of the market or it reflects the situation in other communities, but it was a disturbing sign something had changed. There may also be increasing pressure in the area from sales from the Comercial, a box store supermarket partially owned by the American giant Wal Mart that opened in Zihua two years ago. It’s bulk sales pitch has affected other small merchants in the region, so it may also play a role in alcohol sales.

Like most box stores in Canada and the USA, the Comercial stocks popular brands like Sauza, Cuervo and Orendain products. They have no interest in being a connoisseur’s shop, but specialize in volume. I noticed most of their stock was mixto, but they did offer some pure tequilas as well, although the variety was limited.

The most notable place where the Comercial had no effect was in the change in brands on the store shelves. Many previously 100% agave tequilas are now merely mixtos. I was surprised by the number of them – two to three dozen of easily recognizable brands and bottles no longer advertised themselves as 100% agave. For the careless consumer, this is a tricky situation. Old favourites like El Jimador are now mixtos.

Another unsettling change was the trend to make numerous “reposado” and “añejo” mixtos. While these are properly aging types, and might be legitimately applied to mixtos, they are more traditionally associated with pure 100% agave tequilas. Again, the consumer has to read the labels closely because it’s easy to pick up a bottle that sells itself as “añejo” without realizing it might be just a mixto!

I also noticed a trend toward fancier bottles. While tequila makers have always had a flair for marketing and produced some of the nicest and most flamboyant bottles around, I was mildly surprised by the increased number of them this year. However, on closer inspection I found that many of the fancy bottles housed mixtos – an obvious attempt by the producers to distract the unwary consumer from the contents by elaborate packaging.

sauza_gold-287x300, sauza, tequila, mixtoHowever, the prices of these new mixtos do not reflect the contents: they are generally priced to match 100% agave tequilas. Most of these were at medium-to-high price categories, which means they are basically aimed at the tourist because that puts them well outside the average Mexican’s buying power.

As expected, 100% agave tequila prices were up from 2002. Some, however, had not increased substantially (my favourite, El Tesoro de Don Felipe was about the same, given the peso’s devaluation) and some like Cuervo’s superb añejo Reserva de Familia had actually dropped in price! Others had increased marginally.

You now have to read the labels far more closely to determine what you’re getting.

There seems to be a growing trend towards agave liqueurs. There have always been a few that offered a sweeter tequila-like taste, but this year they came in several flavours, including coffee, strawberry and chocolate. I am not personally drawn to the sweeter liqueurs but it’s a trend worth investigating more on my next trip south.

mezcal_harticleI noticed that most remaining stores had little mezcal of note, merely the unpalatable, common varieties like Dos Gusanos and Monte Alban. There were no premium mezcals like Del Maguey to be found at all in Zihua, at least in the stores. Even the medium-quality El Famoso was noticeably absent.

However, on a slightly more positive note, the duty-free shops in the airports were better stocked with both 100% agave tequilas and 100% agave mezcals than in previous years. Again, buyers have to pay close attention to the labels because there are simply too many mixtos hiding under fancy packaging to be careless about your purchases.

I did notice many new brands, although few from new distillers. This may simply be a factor of distribution in the area where I travel. There were still many old favourites on the shelves, but several had disappeared since 2002. Again, this might be a local issue. But with producers focused on the export market, there may be little interest in the domestic market for the smaller producers.

Obviously the Mexican market is changing. It’s getting more expensive to buy tequila and the variety seems to be increasing but the profusion of mixtos masquerading as good tequilas has muddied the view for the consumer. We’ll have to see how this emerges next year when I return to Mexico again.

Sauza–Expect Fake, er, Fresh

Originally Published May 20, 2009 by M.A. “Mike” Morales on Cocktailmatch

cocktailmatch, Sauza
Sauza–Expect Fake, er, Fresh

Sauza, tequila, mixtoSo I’m leafing through my June 2008 issue of New Mexico Beverage Analyst (based in Denver!), and I see this ad campaign for Sauza’s revamped mixto:

“Step into the refreshing and appetizing world of Sauza Gold and Blanco–a world where the Blue Agave is adored and nurtured. We gently extract the flavorful juices from the agave, and then double distill them for that smooth flavor and ultimate fresh experience you expect from Sauza Gold and Blanco. Whether it’s shots or cocktails, Sauza has your customers covered. Step into the unexpected, step into the world of Sauza Gold and Blanco, where you can always Expect Fresh.

Made with gently extracted Blue Agave for Freshness.”

I had previously posted elsewhere about Sauza’s 2008 springtime ad campaign that included their new look bottles, and is geared toward women and food pairing. Analysts at Sauza believe that women make up almost 50% of the tequila drinking market.

Duh!

Notice the words “adored,” “nurtured,” “appetizing,” and “fresh.” The phrases “gently extracted,” and “ultimate fresh experience” also caught my eyes. Not to mention the deliberate capitalization of “Blue Agave.”

It never ceases to amaze how marketers who have no idea how tequila is produced, hack out mindless copy and charge thousands of dollars for it. It’s also interesting that after all these years, marketing and branding companies with no imagination still try to work the “romance” angle of tequila.

coa
The coa – a deadly cutter that must be razor sharp to gut through tough agave fibers

If this is Sauza’s attempt to lure women to their mixto brand, they had better try harder. How dumb do they think they are? How about an ad campaign based on reality?

“Ladies…

Tequila production is harsh–very harsh–on blue agave, and has all the charm of your last mammogram!

shredder
Shredder courtesy of Embajador Tequila

First, its leaves are hacked off with a primitive blade, then they’re tossed onto a truck with hundreds of other piñas. Once at the distillery, they’re axed in half, then quartered.

Next, they’re baked or pressure steamed, pulverized under a huge grinding stone, or fed into a shredder.

Every last once of blue agave juice is squeezed out, shoveled or siphoned into enormous tanks and fermented to a stinky, boyfriend’s-tennis shoe-smelling froth with mounds of sugar!

Can’t you just see the extra calories on your thighs, now?

cane
49% of mixto tequila is made of this (or a cheaper sugar). This is what is responsible for your hangover.

What happens to the discarded chunks and fibers of the blue agave? Like an old girlfriend, they’re unceremoniously tossed back onto the ground as fertilizer, compost, if they’re lucky.

That upchucky feeling in your throat? Not very “appetizing” is it?

And that splitting headache the next day while you “stepped into the unexpected world of Sauza Gold and Blanco?” No—that’s not what “fresh” feels like!

Trade up from mixtos! Sip only 100% agave tequila.

A stand-up tequila will never leave you hungover!”

Just thought I’d set the record straight for the other 50% of the tequila drinking sector.

Change is at Hand for the Tequila Market, Part I

tequila market, masa azulPart I of II

Written by Chris Zarus of TequilaRack

Tequila Brands and Producers Have Already Sailed Into the Sucker Hole

For those new to the expression, a “sucker hole” is a colloquial term referring to a spate of good weather that “suckers” sailors into leaving port just in time for a storm to resume at full force and wreak havoc on the ship and crew.

For both Tequila Brand Owners and producers of a certain size, their ship has already sailed, and the storm is now closing in on them. Some in denial, others looking through rose-colored margarita glasses, still believe they can navigate through to that glimmer of light on the horizon. However, the perfect storm of doom looms just past the horizon of hope, and will soon envelope and destroy most, if not all, in its wake.

Oh, and that’s the good news. The bad news is that only a few of the big and the very nimble will survive.

This is because of a number of factors, primarily that too many of us bought in to the Yankelovich and similar studies that declared premium and above 100% Agave Tequila brands as the next big thing.

While the premises of these market premonitions were undoubtedly true, too many of us jumped headfirst into the juice just before the world economic decline. Six hundred brands have turned into 1200 brands in less than five years. The growth of the market has been dramatic compared with other distilled spirits, yet, it’s still relatively small, ranked only 4th in US volume. It has not grown fast enough to accommodate all of the entries into the field.

Resistance is Futile – Change is at Hand for the Tequila Market

train wreckThe Gravy Train Wreck Ahead

I’m sure that for many of you, in just reading the title of this article, your blood pressure has escalated, and you may already be misdirecting your anger at the author.

For others who have experienced the many similar economic paths to consolidation in the global beverage industry, you have already accepted that change has to occur, and you will soon better understand and appreciate the math behind what I am about to lay out, and why everything I’m about to outline here will happen in due course.

For those of you who have your personal fortunes riding on the Tequila Train, both prominence and profit may still seem to be so close that you think you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, or beyond the next bend. But, I’m sorry to say that for most of us in the biz, the light at the end of the tunnel is that of an oncoming locomotive. This will be a catastrophic collision, albeit in slow motion, that will drain your resources and your resolve.

iwsrWhat can be learned from the Russians? (Excerpted from JustDrinks.com)

The global economic crisis has had a significant impact on the Russian spirits market, changing market dynamics and briefly halting the much-lauded premiumisation trend, according to current research.

A recently released report from the International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR) on Russia’s spirits market claims that the downturn has also led to “…disruptions across the supply chain, with many suppliers and distributors going bankrupt or halting production. For healthier companies, however, it has presented an opening to establish their brands and take market share…”

cloud liningThe Silver Tequila Clouds have a very Dark Lining (Excerpted from Global market review of Tequila – forecasts to 2013 www.researchandmarkets.com )

The history of the Tequila industry has been one of boom and bust. Sales rose during the 1940’s only to collapse again in the mid-50’s. Export sales rose steadily from the 1960’s onward, although domestic sales fell sharply in the 1980’s due again to an economic slump, and the severe Mexican economic crisis of the early 1980’s resulted in plummeting sales.

The market was again disrupted by a critical shortage of Agave beginning in the late ’90’s, which served to hold back the category’s international development as brand owners were forced to divert limited supplies to the core US market, and quality perceptions were damaged as some manufacturers moved from 100% to 51% (Mixto) Agave products.

Today, that dynamic is in reverse, and the market is in oversupply. More and more 100% Agave products are coming into the market. This is helping to raise quality perceptions, and in turn, demand is surging not only in core Mexican and US markets but across a number of other countries.

The outlook for the category has rarely been better, and Casa Noble Tequila president and COO David Ravandi commented, “Tequila is entering a stage of consolidation in the world markets. It is no longer a fad. The fact that 100% Agave Tequila exports have increased tremendously over the last two years is extremely positive for the product’s outlook in the years to come.”

US Tequila Importation is a Sucker Bet

tequila history, santa fe“My cousin will make the best Tequila for you Mr. Gringo”

“So, my friend, you want a great Tequila brand? We will make it for you. Just fifty percent cash up front to start the process.”

Unfortunately, far too many have fallen for this old gag. Relying heavily on the forecasting reports of the early 2000’s that suggested that luxury Tequila would be the next big spirits category after vodka.

With dollar signs in their eyes, the believers drank the Tequila Kool-Aid, most of them spending way too much to buy a brand, custom molded bottles, etc. But the worst part was that this left little if any money for marketing. Many did not even understand brand marketing inflation was happening right under their noses.

It had started soon after Patron hit 100,000 cases in volume in 2001, and the cost to market a Tequila brand in the US went from $1 to $10M per year. Today it takes at least $20M per year just to play in the same ballpark as Patron’s $50M plus, Sauza’s $35M plus, and Cuervo’s $30M plus marketing budgets.

Who could have predicted that a “realistic” business plan for the next successful ultra-premium Tequila brand calling for only 10,000 cases in the first year would end in it’s investors taking a bath?

The problem with this equation is three-fold:

1) Pricing: Unlike vodka and white rum, 100% Agave Tequila is just too expensive to produce and bottle in Mexico. Unless, like rum, vodka and mixto Tequila, it is able to be shipped in bulk and bottled near the final consumer, the cost involved with 100% Agave Tequila is always going to be too high to attain critical volume and profit levels.

2) Volume: US mass volumes are best when a spirits category is between $9.99-29.99/750ml. One hundred percent Agave Tequila is currently profitable only at the upper ranges when higher volumes are attained.

3) Distribution: The US “3-Tier” Distribution System is at best an oligopoly, and 19 states run a monopoly. Of the 1200 plus Tequila brands, want to guess how many they want to carry? Well, after the top 20, you are very lucky to be “special order only”. If you are fortunate enough to live in the states of California or Arizona, where one can be both the importer and distributor, you will find yourself driving your precious Tequila brand around to each account in your car.

Without product volumes or market clout, you will be hard pressed to get even an appointment, let alone a vender number with the chain restaurants and grocery stores. These major chain stores like Chili’s, Chevy’s, Costco, Kroger, etc., drive at least 85% of the combined volume in all but the control states. Without access to the chains, your market becomes the handful of privately owned, “Mom & Pop” accounts that usually know that small independent distributors are easy prey for bending the law on consignment, stringing out payments, or not paying at all.

While driving your own brand around certainly makes time for the personal touch and focus, these hand-selling efforts prove to be the most inefficient ways to distribute one Tequila brand. Your glass ceiling to fame and fortune becomes that next level of chain distribution that can only be had by a state-wide delivery system of the large wholesale distributor.

With Tequila segment Pricing, Volume and Distribution all against you, one will need to have a lot more money than the brands of the past in order to simply survive in the US.

Tanks-a-lot for Nothing

Call the tank maker and raise your stocks of liquid now!

no masUnfortunately, most of the mid-sized Tequila distilleries have bought into the notion that Agave prices will go up in the very near future. They base this notion on the boom and bust cycle of the past, and like Lehman Brothers, believe that they have successfully timed the market.

Greedily, many producers are now mortgaged to the hilt in order to produce all the Tequila that they possibly can afford to store in stainless tanks or wooden barrels. Fear of the impending Agave price increase that has yet to happen (and may not for many, many years) has seemingly forced them all into a squirrel-like stockpiling frenzy.

Are they storing Blanco, like acorns, for the hard winter ahead? These stored nuts of liquid demise are in reality winds conspiring to produce the perfect storm for all but the most financially secure and/or nimble producers.

Copyright 2010 International Tasting Group (ITG), All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, ITG is the legal copyright holder of the material on our blog and it may not be used, reprinted, or published without our written consent.

Links

SPIRITS TRENDS

U.S. Spirits Market 2008, Gross Revenues by Price Category

http://www.discus.org/pdf/2009IndustryBriefing.pdf (This is the most recent report by DISCUS for 2009. Tequila volume is still listed as 4th.)

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Spirits+fast+track+brands.-a0144204154 (shows Patrón reaching 119K cases in volume in 2001.)

http://archive.cyark.org/2012-understanding-the-maya-calendars-blog

http://www.forgottenagesresearch.com/index.htm

http://www.nostradamus.org

http://www.oceanfreightusa.com/topic_impg.php?ch=19 (Bonded warehouses.)

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/02/09/tequila-agriculture.html (agave farmers)

http://www.yankelovich.com/ (state of the consumer)

tequilarack

Originally posted October 1, 2010 by Chris Zarus of TequilaRack.  This is considered a standard in the industry and is even more relevant today.

Please visit TequilaRack, a member of the Tequila Aficionado Flight of Sites.

 

 

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Cue the Mixto Tequila – Jose Cuervo launches national ad campaign

With 100% agave-based spirits slowly eating away at the sales of mixto tequila, the world’s largest tequila producer, Jose Cuervo (www.cuervo.com), today launched a national marketing campaign. “Cue the Cuervo” will roll out on television, Facebook and other online arenas, print and radio advertising, as well as support  and visibility in bars and retail outlets across the country.

The first television advertising spot, “Bar” can be seen on the Cuervo Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Cuervo) and is also embedded below. This ad, plus another called “Apartment” will air on cable networks including ESPN, HBO and FX and on sites including Break.com, FunnyorDie.com, ESPN.com, Deadspin.com and FoxSports.com. The ads center around the concept that Jose Cuervo can transform a night from ordinary to legendary. The logo for the campaign (see above) embeds the word “Cue” into the traditional Cuervo logo.

In a press release, Paul Clarke, Jose Cuervo Brand Director at Diageo explains, “Jose Cuervo has been a category leader in quality and innovation since creating the tequila industry more than two-and-a-half centuries ago, and ‘Cue the Cuervo’ pushes the envelope in marketing quality and innovation…The campaign reminds consumers that Jose Cuervo is the one element that can bring the night together, and it does so in a compelling, interactive manner.”

One of the digital extensions of the new campaign will be an iPhone application that, according to the press release, “leverages mobile technology to provide consumers with a one touch option to request a safe ride home.  The ‘Cue the Cab’ program will synchronize the consumer’s location with a cab company for pick-up at no additional cost for the coordination, ensuring that the most legendary nights out end with a safe, responsible ride home.”

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