The opening lines of Chapter 9 of Keith Richards' autobiography Life, in which he describes the Rolling Stones' debaucherous 1972 tour, were all McCann needed to get started on its latest stylish campaign for Jose Cuervo tequila.
"The whole entourage had exploded in terms of numbers, of roadies and technicians, and of hangers-on and groupies," the Stones guitarist writes. "For the first time, we traveled in our own hired plane, with the lapping tongue painted on. We had become a pirate nation, moving on a huge scale under our own flag, with lawyers, clowns, attendants."
The '72 tour was known informally as the "Cocaine and Tequila Sunrise tour," Richards reveals, which is where Cuervo comes in. McCann did some digging, and found out that the Stones were allegedly introduced to the tequila sunrise (a then largely unknown cocktail, actually invented in the '30s with a different recipe) right before the tour started—at a bar in San Francisco called The Trident. Whether or not they were made with Cuervo (this ad claims they were, though of course it hardly matters), the band ended up sucking them down all through June and July on a tour that became a legendary two-month bender.
McCann's new spot doesn't feature the Stones, but is set during that '72 tour—on the Lapping Tongue plane (which here is remarkably lengthy, even if it's meant to be half-fantasy). Daniel Kleinman directed the spot, with Paco Delgado, an Oscar nominee for his wardrobe designs on Lés Miserables, doing the costumes.
The soundtrack is the Stones' "Miss You," from 1978.
A "Drink responsibly" message, this isn't. But it is certainly groovy, in a mellow way, and seems designed to appeal to millennials who might find some appealing mystery in a notorious party scene from 40 years ago.
The spot kicks off an integrated campaign, including online and social, that will roll out over the next six months. And now that you've checked out the tequila sunrise portion of the era, head over here to see the cocaine ads.
Client: Jose Cuervo
Scott Green, Chief Marketing Officer
Daniel Mandelbaum, Brand Director
Joergen Boyschau, Brand Manager
Agency: McCann New York
Eric Silver, Regional CCO, North America
Tom Murphy, Co-CCO, New York
Sean Bryan, Co-CCO, New York
Mat Bisher, Executive Creative Director
Jason Ashlock, Creative Director
Sean LaBounty, Creative Director
Tom Weingard, Associate Creative Director
Ferdinand Daniele, Associate Creative Director
Nathy Aviram, Chief Production Officer
Chance Basset, Senior Producer
Steve Zaroff, Chief Strategy Officer
Julien Delatte, Group Strategy Director
Lauren LaValle – Group Account Director
Jon Armstrong, Account Director
Molly Vossler, Account Executive
Rattling Stick, Production Company
Daniel Kleinman, Director
Johnnie Frankel, Line Producer / President
Joe Biggins, Executive Producer
Rock Paper Scissors, Editorial Company
Carlos Arias, Editor
Lisa Barnable, Post Producer
Martin Lazaro, Lead VFX Artist
Christa Cox, VFX Producer
Tom Poole, Colorist
Steve Rosen, Mixer