From: Adam Rifkin (adam@KnowNow.com)
Date: Sat Sep 16 2000 - 21:35:36 PDT
> The core ads include one that carries the tag line "All work and no
> play is totally missing the point," uttered by a casually dressed
> blonde woman with a wide, toothy grin; another, featuring six
> apparently delirious men and women, declares "Carpe Cuervo!"
Indeed. I think we should elevate FoRK from a mere "party catalyst" to
a medium of "self-expression"... Vive FoRK!
Still waiting for Diageo to slurp up the Seagram's beverage division
when Vivendi slurps up the rest of Seagrams...
> Jose Cuervo Plans Global Campaign to Elevate Its Image
> September 15, 2000
> By BERNARD STAMLER
> IT is a drink whose brand name has long evoked images of salt-covered
> hands, limes and single shots, college parties and some none-
> too-pleasant mornings after.
> But all that is about to change, if the people at Jose Cuervo
> tequila have their way.
> Beginning next week with a reception at the Playboy mansion in Los
> Angeles, they are introducing a global campaign called Vive Cuervo.
> The goal is to elevate tequila from a mere "party catalyst" to a
> medium of "self-expression," said Carlos Arana, the managing
> director of Jose Cuervo International Inc., based in New York, the
> marketing arm of Jose Cuervo of Mexico, which owns the brand.
> United Distillers and Vintners North America in Stamford, Conn.,
> part of Diageo P.L.C., is the brand's United States distributor.
> The brand has not been languishing by any means. Cuervo is the
> most popular tequila in the world, with global sales of more than
> five million cases a year, and it is also one of the best-selling
> liquors in the United States.
> According to the Adams Handbook Advance 2000, an industry
> publication, Cuervo sold 3.2 million cases in the United States
> last year, making it No. 5 in total sales in America after Bacardi
> rum (7.2 million cases), Smirnoff vodka (6.3 million), Absolut
> vodka (3.9 million) and Jack Daniel's Black (3.6 million cases).
> Cuervo's sales put it far ahead of its closest tequila competitor,
> Sauza, which sold about 700,000 cases.
> And Cuervo is growing, too. Despite a shortage of agave, the plant
> from which tequila is made, sales last year increased 8.3 percent
> from 1998.
> Still, according to Mr. Arana, that is not enough for Cuervo's
> owners, who include the descendants of Jose Antonio de Cuervo, who
> began distilling the spirit in the town of Tequila in 1795. While
> supplies are tight, he says there is enough agave available to fuel
> even more growth for Cuervo. And to change and widen its appeal.
> "We want to be more than just a tequila brand," he said.
> And just how do you do that?
> By going to a national -- and then global -- introduction, according
> to Mr. Arana, who said that most Cuervo advertising was previously
> done at a local level.
> And by being "very simple and focused on bringing forward the
> spirit and culture of Cuervo," said Peter Arnell, chairman and
> chief creative officer for AG Worldwide, part of the Draft
> Worldwide unit of the Interpublic Group of Companies, the agency
> handling the campaign, which will have billings of $10 million for
> its rollout in the United States.
> AG Worldwide won the account earlier this year in a competition
> that included Bartle Bogle Hegarty in London, which is 49 percent
> owned by the B Com3 Group; J. Walter Thompson in New York, which is
> part of the WPP Group; and the Leo Burnett Company, Chicago, part
> of B Com3. Its approach, which will be replicated abroad in ads
> that will run over the next couple of years in other big tequila
> markets like Greece, Brazil, Britain and Spain, is to be "more
> sophisticated and more contemporary," Mr. Arnell said.
> "We are making it less young," he added, "and going after the 25
> and older market. And we are upscaling it."
> The ads -- for which Mr. Arnell himself did the photography --
> feature short, snappy copy alongside pictures of stylish young men
> and women in their 20's who, despite their model good looks, are
> supposed to be "normal, approachable real people," Mr. Arnell said.
> A picture of Cuervo Especial -- known universally to consumers as
> Cuervo Gold -- is also shown, together with the "Vive Cuervo"
> slogan. The core ads include one that carries the tag line "All
> work and no play is totally missing the point," uttered by a
> casually dressed blonde woman with a wide, toothy grin; another,
> featuring six apparently delirious men and women, declares "Carpe
> Mr. Arnell concedes that the tequila category "skews male." Still,
> the placement of attractive women in the ads is meant not only to
> draw men's eyes but also to help Cuervo widen its appeal. Where the
> ads run also reflects the diversity of the audience that Cuervo
> wants to reach. The ads, primarily in print for now, will begin
> running next month not only in magazines like Playboy and Maxim but
> also in Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly and People. There are
> also ads focused on the gay market, like one with three men, arms
> around each other's shoulders, that declares "We're here, we're
> Cuervo." That one will appear in Out magazine within a few months,
> Mr. Arnell said.
> All of which makes a lot of sense, said Michael Bellas, chairman
> and chief executive of the Beverage Marketing Corporation, a
> research company based in New York.
> "Everyone is doing this," he said. "In this economy, everybody is
> trying to move themselves to a premium position, to a sophisticated,
> co-ed social look." That is especially important in the case of
> tequila, he said, because its price -- now generally $15 to $20 a
> bottle -- will probably be going up because of the agave shortage, if
> it already hasn't.
> Besides, tequila now accounts for "as much as 20 percent of the
> sales gain" in the liquor industry, he said. To continue that kind
> of increase, the product has to be seen as more than it was in the
> "Today, you want something that is sophisticated, approachable and
> fun," Mr. Bellas said. "If you've got it, then the future is quite
More people are using credit cards instead of cash or bank checks, and more card issuers are encouraging that behavior, offering reward points to customers for each dollar charged. Depending on the program, those points can be traded for airline tickets, hotel accommodations, gift certificates or even a Mario Lemieux hockey stick. Last year, nearly 17 percent of all consumer purchases were made with credit cards, according to Credit Card News, which tracks the industry, compared with 10 percent in 1993. -- http://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/17/business/17CARD.html
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