Jose Cuervo “Shatters”

Some words–for instance, “smooth” and “shatters”–don’t coexist very smoothly, which is why this spot for Jose Cuervo Silver tequila feels disjointed. Created by Colangelo, it encases a bottle of Cuervo Silver in a brick of ice, which then shatters. The shards of ice are further crunched when some merry-makers bang their shot glasses down on them before toasting one another and downing the tequila. It all leads up to the voiceover’s praise of Jose Cuervo Silver as “So smooth, it shatters expectations.” Granted, the unconventional pairing of “smooth” and “shatters” does get your attention. But I’ve got my doubts that viewers will come away from the spot with a belief that Cuervo Silver really is exceptionally smooth. The flying pieces of ice (and what looks like the near-breaking of the glasses toward which they fly) leave too strong an impression of jaggedness. Under the circumstances, “shatters” comes across a whole lot more vividly than “smooth,” though the latter is the term the brand needs to convey as its defining product benefit. The claim that this tequila is smooth is more overwhelmed than emphasized by the visual display of non-smoothness.–Mark Dolliver