Sauza tequila hops onto Playboy Web site

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Domecq Importers' Sauza Commemorativo tequila is making its virgin appearance on the World Wide Web with a campaign on Playboy's World Wide Web site. The ads play off Sauza's current ``Life is harsh'' print campaign from Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York.

Unlike other marketers that have created their own Web sites and then advertise them by buying links on other sites, Domecq and Playboy created a campaign specifically for Playboy's Web site. The area features interactive versions of the Sauza print ads and an e-mail function allowing consumers to send in their ``Life is harsh'' slogan ideas and register for a sweepstakes. The top prize is a trip for two to the Playmate of the Year party at the Playboy Mansion next year.

Since the site opened earlier this week, Domecq has received ``thousands'' of e-mail comments and sweepstakes entries, said Gabriel Sagaz, Domecq president-chief operating officer. He said the company hasn't yet decided if it will create a separate Web site of its own.

Domecq paid $40,000 for a three-month run on the site. Playboy's rate card for ads its staffers create runs $50,000, but the marketer got an introductory discount. Hypertext links that don't require any additional work on the part of Playboy staffers cost $30,000 per quarter.

By yearend Domecq will open a ``Sauza Advisor'' feature on the site, patterned after the Playboy Advisor advice column feature. A Playboy editor will work with the magazine's marketing department to develop the column, a potentially controversial move given the usual separation of church and state between advertising and editorial in the print world.

Playboy Publisher Richard Kinsler acknowledged the possible conflicts but compared it to the print magazine designing an advertorial.

``I would sooner say that we're really writing this through the promotion department working with the editor,'' he said. He declined to give the editor's name but said it is not the writer of the Playboy Advisor column.

Magazines have been much more willing to work with advertisers to develop editorial content for the Web than for print vehicles. Conde Nast Traveler is said to have offered to create a business-travel section of its site for Delta Air Lines; Hearst's HomeArts is developing content for its advertisers as well.

Advertisers, too, have been aggressive in generating their own content, under the theory that consumers won't return to their Web site if it consisted only of advertiser-related material. Nissan Motor Cars USA's site for its Pathfinder vehicle contains content related to the outdoors, while Toyota Motor Sales USA's site features editorial related to several lifestyle themes.

Copyright October 1995 Crain Communications Inc.

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