Ad of the Day: Michael Imperioli Returns for 1800 Tequila

He's still yearning for a simpler, more manly time

Michael Imperioli hates that you're on Facebook.

Of your 762 virtual friends, how many would you really like to share a glass of premium 1800 Tequila with? That's one of many not-very-provocative questions he asks in a raft of new commercials from ad agency Dead As We Know It—a series of unapologetic riffs on the wimpy trappings of modern life that play up the virtues of old-school values like friendship, authenticity, good conversation and non-virtual camaraderie.

Imperioli has been pitching the brand for a while, and the work always hinges on his personality—the tough-guy persona forged in all those years as Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos. Every one of the eight new spots, breaking on ESPN, begins with Imperioli saying "Whatever happened to …" and then trashes something that just isn't as cool as it used to be—clothes, cars, food, drinks themselves, even men. There's even one spot about commercials. "Whatever happened to commercials?" Imperioli asks. "So many of them don't make any sense, and you can hardly tell what anyone's selling." He pauses, then says, stonefaced: "This is a commercial for tequila."

The whole campaign is just that straightforward—broad and clichéd and extremely safe, a grumpy, manly manifesto for guys who don't get enough guy time and who are a little embarrassed at where the metrosexual world has taken them.

In the end, whether you like the ads might just come down to whether or not you like Imperioli. Some find him annoying. But it's a hard to argue with the bluntness of the approach. Real men drink real premium tequila. Why make it more complicated than that? Those 762 virtual friends can stick to the girly drinks.

CREDITS

Client: 1800 Tequila

Agency: Dead As We Know It, New York

Creative Director: Mikal Reich

Art Director: Charmaine Choi

Copywriters: Ella Wilson, Jesse Adelman

Production Company: Visual Nomad

Executive Producer: Doug Allenstein

Producer: Barbara Gilmore

Director: Alex Winter

Director of Photography: Anghel Decca

Editorial Company: Union Editorial

Executive Producer: Caryn Maclean

Producer: Jen Hargreaves

Editor: Jinx Godfrey

Assistant Editor: Ben Sozanski

Flame: Mark Wilhelm, Phil Akka

Title Design/Animation: Juan Sanabria

Color Correction: CO3

Colorist: Tim Masick

Sound Design: Color

Sound Designer/Mixer: Josh Abbey

Music: The Budos Band

Still Photography: Laurie & Charles Photographs