1800 Tequila and Chance the Rapper Offer a Complex Portrait of the Modern Man

Masculinity meets high culture

Today’s man is an amalgam of competing influences. Far from the one-dimensional stock characters of yore, he aspires to exhibit both “traditional” masculinity and the affectations of a man of wealth and taste.

1800 Tequila’s new rebranding campaign from CP+B Los Angeles reconciles these disparate influences into one portrait of a modern man by combining fashion sense, athleticism and a dose of high culture. This guy, in the words of the brand, is “Just Refined Enough.”

Tying it all together is a 2014 track from Octave Minds featuring pianist Chilly Gonzales and red-hot Chicago rhyme-slinger and Grammy Awards Best New Artist winner Chance the Rapper.

“We’re trying to … start a conversation about what modern masculinity is,” said 1800 Tequila group brand director Erin Chin. “In a lot of alcohol ads directed toward men, you see stereotypical, single-faceted ideas about what it means to be successful—guys in suits seducing women.”

CP+B L.A. creative director Paddy Fraser said his team made a conscious effort to move away from “lazy portrayals” of men that often fall back on “a woody, smoky library type [or] a flashy, veneered, big-money-helicopters version of success.”

“Guys these days are richer than that. You can have different sides of you existing simultaneously,” he said in explaining the tagline. “You’re not truly refined … you still have this place that you come from and go to.”

Rap music will also play a large role in a campaign that will run throughout 2017. 1800 Tequila has cultivated a relationship with the hip-hop community, appearing in more than 10 videos by artists from Wale to Kid Ink over the past year alone.

“There’s a multi-dimensional quality in the effervescent energy of Chance’s lyrics and the piano work by an artist called Chilly Gonzales, which has the more sophisticated edge,” said Fraser. Chin framed the dichotomy as such: “Maybe you’re a hip-hop artist who might come off as less polished, but you can still clean yourself up and walk the red carpet in a tuxedo.”

“[The new positioning] is a reminder to ourselves and our consumers of where we came from—a tough agave plant refined into premium tequila,” Chin said. “We’ve stayed true to our recipe for 200 years.”

On the high fashion and fine art side, 1800 will debut a series of custom bottles designed by artist Enoc Perez at New York’s Guggenheim Museum tonight as part of its Essential Artists Series, which previously featured Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Future activations in the campaign will focus on up-and-coming fashion designers in partnership with Hypebeast as Billboard helps highlight young musicians.

CREDITS
Client: 1800 Tequila
Campaign: Just Refined Enough
Agency: CP+B LA
Chief creative officer: Kevin Jones
Creative director: Paddy Fraser
Associate creative director, art director: Tushar Date
Associate creative director, copywriter: Henry Kember
Vp, director of content production: Kate Hildebrant
Vp, executive integrated producer: Aymi Beltramo
Integrated producer: Autumn Hines
Music supervisor: Andy Hamm, Good Ear Music
Vp, director of business affairs: Rebecca Williams
Jr. business affairs manager: Taylor Tsuji
Managing directors: Ryan Skubic and Ivan Perez-Armendariz
Account director: Tobey Bennett
Content supervisor: Alex Rossi
Content manager: Paige Poulsen
Project manager: Jade Whitford
Executive strategy director: Benny Thomas
Associate strategy director: Melissa Cabral
Production company: Prettybird, Culver City
Director: Fleur Fortuné
Director of photography: Benoit Debie
Line producer: Hannah Cooper
Production designer: Matthew Gant
Stylist: Elise Bouquet
Co-founder, executive producer: Kerstin Emhoff
Director of production: Tracy Hauser
Executive Producer/Division: Jules De Chateleux
Editorial Company & City: Exile Edit, Santa Monica
Editor: Kirk Baxter
Assistant Editor: Jess Baclesse
Editoral Executive Producer: Cl Weaver
Editorial Head Of Production: Jennifer Locke
Editorial Senior Producer: Remy Foxx
Post Company & City: Electric Theatre Collective (ETC), Santa Monica
Lead Flame Artist: Mark Youngren
Flame Artist: Eric Mason, Eric Bruno
Post Producer: Therese Mayer
Mix Company & City: Lime Studios, Santa Monica
Audio Mixer: Matt Miller
Assistant Audio Mixer: Lisa Mermelstein
Mix Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan
Mix Associate Producer: Kayla Phungglan
Telecine Company & City: Company 3, New York
Colorist: Tom Poole
Assistant Colorist: Jenny Montgomery
Telecine Executive Producer: Ashley Mckim
Telecine Producer: Clare Movshon
Graphics Company & City: Elastic, Santa Monica
Music Track: “Tap Dance” by Octave Minds Featuring Chance The Rapper
Client Title & Names: Mark Teasdale, President And CEO of Proximo Spirits + Erin Chin, Group Brand Director + Kyle Harder, Sr. Brand Manager