Not only is the smooth-talking pitchman heading to India in Grey Worldwide's latest campaign for the hip liquor brand, but the campaign itself is leaving the 30-second format behind in favor of a 10-minute webfilm directed by Tom Kuntz. Shot as an episode of a tongue-and-cheek travel adventure show called "Globe Probe," the film follows Tony and an intrepid band of explorers on a globetrotting journey to uncover the hidden lime groves of Rangpur, India—the source of flavor for Tanqueray's new Rangpur Gin. The film can be found at GlobeProbe.com, along with cast profiles, cocktail recipes and links to bizarre sites that further expand on the legend of the Rangpur lime.
"The first thing we thought of was a Bollywood film, which we quickly discarded because that's been done a lot," laughs Grey creative director Glenn Porter. "And then we had this notion of an adventure show, which we worked closely with Tom [who helmed Tony Sinclair's previous TV efforts] to develop. We just wanted to try something different—the target audience is a little younger, and they're on their computers more, so it seemed more interesting to go with longer form content because it gives you a lot more creative freedom." It's a freedom that Kuntz fully embraced. "I felt almost empowered to indulge myself, having so many minutes to work with," laughs the director. "I think it's really brave of the client to make something this long. Besides, if you're going to tell people that you're delivering 'content' on a website, in my mind, it's almost a rip-off to only give them a couple of minutes. If people will sit through this and watch it, they're going to get something different and entertaining."
And as far as "different and entertaining" goes, there's no better leading man than Tony Sinclair. "The guy's been reading one line in these ads for the last two years," says Porter. "There's a situation, he comments on it, he says 'Ready to Tanqueray?' and you're done. So I remember when I first texted Tom with the idea of a longer form film, and his response was, 'I think this will be better for him.' Which I didn't completely understand until I saw him in this." Adds Kuntz, "When we first did the original round of spots, we all knew how amusing this guy was, but we couldn't really communicate the depths of his character in 30 seconds. So when Glenn told me about the project, I thought it was the perfect chance to have him not just posturing with a drink in his hand and delivering a zinger at the end of the spot, but show him dealing with bad scenarios and reacting like a real human being. In a way, it was an opportunity to get the original character I always had in my head out into the world."