Grey, Tanqueray Break the Ice

NEW YORK WPP Group’s Grey Worldwide launches its first brand campaign for Tanqueray today, marking the first time the brand will advertise on U.S. television, according to the client.

TV and print ads from the New York-based agency introduce Tony Sinclair, an elegant Briton who frequents swanky parties, always addressing the camera with the new tagline: “Are you ready to Tanqueray?”

In the first spot, a man cuts and drills a piece of ice into a perfect cube to drop into Sinclair’s drink. “You wouldn’t put a donkey in the Kentucky Derby, would you?” Sinclair quips. In another, he is seen on an Arctic expedition, where he muses about the number of ice cubes that can be carved from the Great White North’s icy flotillas. TV ads will run on spot cable buys on CNN and Spike TV.

WPP’s JWT had been the previous agency and its work stressed the brand’s proper British heritage. This campaign is the first by Grey since it won the account last year.

Campaign spending is undisclosed. Diageo spent less than $1 million in U.S. media in 2004, but a client representative said 2005 ad spending would reach $10 million.