Hispanic Creative Ad Awards 2009

Courageous Clients: Carlos Boughton

Brand Director for Tecate Equity, Heineken USA

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- A recent Mexican immigrant himself, Carlos Boughton is both a daring client and Tecate beer's own target market.

Carlos Boughton
Carlos Boughton
He hired Tecate's Hispanic shop Adrenalina when it consisted of several guys working out of a Starbucks, and doesn't have a general market agency. To launch Tecate Light, they came up with the idea of yelling at their target market for drinking sissy light beer. Or at least have parents in Mexico bawl out their U.S.-based son for drinking it, in the Gold-winning campaign "Papas."

"Parents can tell you off better than anyone," he says. "It scared us in a good way -- are we really going to tell our consumers off?"

Mr. Boughton, 38, first experienced the U.S. beer market as international brand manager for Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma, the Mexican brewer that makes Tecate in his native Monterrey. He moved to New York five years ago to join Heineken USA, when that company took over marketing and distributing Cuauhtemoc's brands in the U.S.

"He's a client who has the huevos to buy edgy ideas and go with them," says Paco Olavarietta, Adrenalina's chief creative officer and partner. "Although very strategic as a client, he reacts as a human being. He'll say that an idea made him feel something, and that's good."

Mr. Boughton tweets a lively daily insight dubbed "Today's Manly Wisdom" (A TMW sample: "A man never calls another man 'just to talk'"). Mr. Olavarrieta says a few of those insights are finding their way into Tecate's ongoing "Disclaimer" radio campaign, which humorously describes the kind of unmanly men who shouldn't be drinking Tecate.

"I love the way [Disclaimer] walks a very thin line between funny and offensive," Mr. Boughton says.

He also avoids the stereotypes common in both Hispanic and beer advertising, navigating work through Heineken, Cuauhetemoc management and legal teams without watering down the creative.

"It's easy to get sidetracked when everyone wants to play creative, but the direction and strategy are so clear, it's easy to reach agreement," he says.