CUERVO GOLD GETS $5 MIL CAMPAIGN: FICTIONAL YARNS FEATURED IN ADS FOR NO. 1 TEQUILA

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United Distillers & Vintners next month plans to break an estimated $5 million-plus campaign for No. 1 tequila Cuervo Gold.

The new outdoor and print ad campaign, from Grybauskas Beatrice, New York, will retain the bright visuals of current ads and introduce fictitious stories describing good times involving Cuervo.

`KICK IT INTO CUERVO'

The new tag, "Kick it into Cuervo," replaces "Cuervo Gold: untamed spirit."

Y&R Advertising, New York, handles media buying.

"Everyone has their own Cuervo story," said Ted Hissey, general manager-Cuervo at the Diageo unit. He added that contests inviting consumers to write in about their tequila experiences may follow.

Diageo is targeting 21-to-35-year-olds with the campaign, Mr. Hissey said.

HOT BRAND

Cuervo is a hot brand in a hot category.

Driven by the growing popularity of Tex-Mex food, tequila sales grew 6% in 1996 to 5.3 million cases, according to industry magazine Market Watch, in the most recent available figures for the category. Cuervo represented 47% of sales; Domecq Importers' No. 2 Sauza represented 21%.

Last year, Cuervo continued to grow in a flat market, with sales climbing 7.8% to 2.8 million cases, according to Impact, sister publication of Market Watch.

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