Tequila business comes to Minneapolis agencies

  • Article by: DAVID PHELPS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 7, 2014 - 8:39 PM
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Antiguo Refresco cocktail made with Antiguo Tequila from Herradura.

Before you know it, Minneapolis might be known as “tequila town,” at least in the advertising world.

Two Minneapolis marketing firms have been retained to promote brands of upscale tequilas for Kentucky-based distillery giant Brown-Forman.

The brand design shop Cue has redesigned the bottle for el Jimador Tequila, the top selling tequila in Mexico, in hopes of making similar inroads in the U.S. market.

Ad agency Fallon, meanwhile, is in the middle of ad production for Tequila Herradura, a 144-year-old handcrafted version of the agave plant’s fermented specialty.

With 1,300 tequila brands in the marketplace, advertising and design can be critical to success with consumers.

“It goes back to brand values,” said Ed Mathie, Cue managing director. “What is in the mind of the target consumer in Mexico and the audience here?”

Mathie said the tequila demographic tends to skew young, although older consumers are revisiting their drink of years gone by.

“These are people in a transitional stage asking who they are, what do they bring to the world?” Mathie said. “It’s a mixture of culture, talent and maturity.”

The new el Jimador bottle has a smaller label, allowing the purchaser to see more of the contents, which is common with premium brands, Mathie said. The illustration on the bottle of a farmer, or el jimador, harvesting an agave plant is etched, giving the bottle a more sophisticated look.

Fallon was named global agency of record for Herradura in January and expects the first ads for the premium tequila to start running in the spring.

Like el Jimador, Herradura is hoping to capture more market share in the U.S., where sales of upper-end tequilas have grown at a 13 percent pace over the past three years, according to industry data. That growth is expected to continue.

“Mexico has remained secret to most people,” said Jeff Kling, Fallon’s chief creative officer, who promised that Herradura “will blow people’s minds.”

Fallon also is agency of record for Brown-Forman’s upscale Woodford Reserve bourbon. Cue has a history with Brown-Forman, as well, most notably with the 2011 redesign of the distiller’s best-known brand, Jack Daniel’s, as well as new packages for brands including Southern Comfort and Canadian Mist.

“Tequila Herradura’s marketing team has long been impressed by the creative process of our partners in Minneapolis. We’ve had a long relationship with Cue and look forward to a similarly long and prosperous relationship with Fallon,” said Greg Pestinger, Brown-Forman’s global marketing director for its tequila brands, in a statement to the Star Tribune.

 

David Phelps • 612-673-7269

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