Domecq mulls campaign for Sauza tequila

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Domecq Importers is planning an ad campaign to build its Sauza tequila brand.

Domecq, a unit of Allied-Domecq Spirits & Wines, currently runs separate ad efforts for the Sauza Conmemorativo, Tres Generaciones and Hornitos labels; the marketer spent $2.6 million on the trio in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

The Sauza labels, along with the tequila category, have been performing well. But Domecq wants to bolster the brand name as it competes with United Distillers & Vintners' dominant Cuervo brand.


"We're making sure we have a really strong, salient brand positioning," said Cheryl Palmer, VP-marketing for Domecq. The importer "is looking down the road to see what the brand is going to need to keep it on track."

The branding effort is expected to run in the fall, and the nature of the creative is still undetermined. Among the possibilities are an umbrella campaign for the different labels or running a common tagline in individual-label ads.

Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, handles Conmemorativo and Hornitos; Weiss, Whitten, Stagliano, New York, has Tres Generaciones.

No decision has been reached about an agency for the new Sauza branding effort.

Sauza sales nudged up to 750,000 cases for 1997, according to Impact.

Cuervo, Sauza's archrival, grew 7.8% to 2.8 million cases, according to Impact. United Distillers, a unit of Diageo, is supporting the brand with a new $5 million-plus campaign from Grybauskas Beatrice, New York, tagged "Kick it into Cuervo."

Copyright May 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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