auza tequila ads portray some harsh scenarios

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Domecq Importers is breaking six new executions in its year-old print and outdoor campaign for Sauza Conmemorativo tequila.

The new ads by Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, repeat last year's tagline "Life is harsh--your tequila shouldn't be" and depict such nightmare scenarios as a headache-inducing collection of street-parking signs and a Chinese fortune cookie bearing the message, "That wasn't chicken."

Rather than buying two consecutive ads delivering setup and punchline, as Domecq did last year, Sauza will have three single-page and three spread executions.

Domecq is increasing Sauza's media spending slightly, said Marketing Director Lori Tieszen.

The brand was supported by $1.4 million in magazine and outdoor spending last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

FROM MAGAZINES TO PERSONALS

The ads will run in lifestyle magazines for young, mostly male adults, such as Details, Interview, Outside, Spin and Wired, as well as free city weeklies including the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Sauza ads also will appear in more unexpected places, including personals ads.

"We want to be in unexpected places--you can't only interrupt through print," Ms. Tieszen said.

For the Sauza brand, life has been anything but harsh of late. The premium tequila category has grown 4% since last year, with Sauza's growth "more than double" that Ms. Tieszen said. Heublein's tequila category leader Jose Cuervo grew just 1.1% in 1995 to 2.35 million cases.

"We're very happy with our growth and comfortable with our ad spending," Ms. Tieszen said, who compares the growth of Sauza and other premium tequilas with that of microbrews.

"Premium tequila is still up, as Generation X consumers get tuned into defining their tastes," she said. "Like the explosion in premium beers, consumers might get choosy; we're outpacing the other top three [premium tequila] brands."

Copyright July 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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