Jose Cuervo’s liquor branding staves off disaster
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
8 March 2017
Jose Cuervo’s own brand equity saves it
Liquor branding and advertising is one of the most difficult chores a marketer faces. We at Stealing Share know, having worked with vodka brands (as well as many beers). There are so many choices that even a well-known brand like Jose Cuervo often fails to stand out.
Also, the triggers for choice vary by type, origin, target audience, age and just about any other way you want to cut up the market. Craft beer drinkers, for instance, are not very loyal. The newest thing drives their choice.
When you get into liquor branding and advertising, an all-new set of clichés enters the market. There’s classy, with ads looking like a perfume spots. There’s the party angle, which only makes the brands look like beer.
Few even have brand equity. Look at the shelves at any liquor store and you’ll be overwhelmed by choices. How does a liquor brand stand out? How do you know any of them?
Jose Cuervo, known for its tequila, is taking a stab at differentiation with new campaign titled, “Tomorrow is Overrated.”
“The Jose Cuervo campaign gets to that in a compelling way because it actually plays off its brand equity. Jose Cuervo comes from something out of a Western, taking place south of the border or like Clint Eastwood in a Western.”
What this liquor branding gets right – and wrong
A few subtexts run through this campaign. Our times certainly look doomed, with the Russians, WikiLeaks, Trump and everything else spelling disaster. Whether things are truly worse than the Cold War, the World Wars or the Civil War isn’t the point. It’s a belief system many of us share.
There’s also the subtext running through all liquor branding and advertising. We drink to, you know, feel better. The Jose Cuervo campaign gets to that in a compelling way because it actually plays off its brand equity. Jose Cuervo comes from something out of a Western, taking place south of the border or like Clint Eastwood in a Western.
Tone separates many brands. This campaign nudges up against the party idea dominating the beer category. But the tone differentiates, more adult somehow. (I could have done without the roof lifting off, however. Too over the top. It makes it all less believable.)
It’s tough to crack liquor branding and advertising. Jose Cuervo here isn’t perfect, but it’s close. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
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