Sauza Tequila had a major hit last year with its "Make It With a Fireman" video, starring Thomas Beaudoin—which reached No. 15 on YouTube's list of the 20 most watched ads of 2012. The Jim Beam brand had a similar campaign planned for 2013, featuring a lifeguard. But then, days before the big reveal, it saw its surprise new spokesman, the hunky Anderson Davis … doing ads for Kraft Zesty Italian salad dressing in quite a similar style. Both campaigns show Davis talking suggestively to the camera as he mixes up, respectively, salads and margaritas.
Lewis Lazare has more details here. Beam says it knew nothing about the Kraft work, which launched Monday. And the liquor maker is now scrambling to make sure its lifeguard ad doesn't get lost in the shuffle—it's launched the spot now instead of the planned April 15. A Beam rep tells Adweek: "Well, they say imitation is the best form of flattery. And apparently one company believes nothing goes better with Sauza margaritas than a zesty salad. I know you're familiar with the videos that Kraft just launched. … The success of our 'Make It' campaign has opened the door for other companies to do the same—even with the same moves and the same actor who plays our lifeguard. You be the judge…"
The Kraft work has gotten quite a bit of attention, including this Good Morning America segment. And that has put Beam in the odd position of actually drafting off the Kraft success as it introduces the lifeguard. "How do you like your @Sauza #margaritas? #Zesty, we hope," Sauza tweeted on Wednesday night.
Having launched its work first, Kraft, not surprisingly, doesn't seem too stressed out about the whole thing, even giving Davis a shout-out. "It's noted in his biography he was working with Sauza, but we didn't know any specifics about the campaign," a Kraft spokeswoman says. "We think Anderson has done a terrific job for us on Kraft Zesty dressing."