Jose Cuervo Toasts the End of the World in Apocalyptic Ad From CP+B and Ringan Ledwidge

Tequila and Elvis are all you need

Headshot of Tim Nudd

When the apocalypse comes—and it may be sooner rather than later—liquor brands will be well positioned to see an immediate (if brief) surge in consumption. And so will Elvis Presley records, according to CP+B’s fun new campaign for Jose Cuervo.

Cuervo uses an end-of-days scenario in charming fashion as a metaphor for living in the moment in the two-minute spot below, directed by Rattling Stick’s Ringan Ledwidge (who previously brought us such gems as the Guardian’s “Three Little Pigs” and Audi’s “Duel”).

The ad, which will run on TV nationally as a :60, opens in a remote bar as an announcer on TV is delivering the bad news. He’s quickly cut off, however, which is just as well. It gives the bar patrons a moment to consider their options. And while many bolt for the exits, several consider tequila and the jukebox to be a wiser choice.

Check out the spot here:

The coolness factor is stratospheric here. There’s an element of Southern Comfort’s beach guy, mixed with a bit of CP+B’s oblivious-to-danger characters from the Letgo campaign. And the Elvis ballad, “It’s Now or Never,” which was the second best-selling single of Presley’s career, is conceptually perfect and cuts right through the mayhem.

The tagline at the end reads, “Tomorrow Is Overrated,” which is a fun way to highlight tequila’s reputation as a liquor that can lead to unparalleled nights of abandon—and a way to emphasize the primacy of now in times of uncertainty.

“This campaign bluntly points out that whatever awaits us tomorrow might not be that great of a reason to miss out the fun you could be having tonight,” says Kevin Jones, chief creative officer at CP+B LA. “And with all the uncertainty there is in the world now, this message seems particularly relevant.”

“At tequila’s core is an energy and excitement that sets it apart from other alcoholic beverages. But all we see on TV is a string of bottle beauty shots, agave fields and sweaty rocks glasses,” says Daniel Mandelbaum, group brand director at Jose Cuervo. “With over 220 years of tequila-making experience, it’s our duty to remind people that tequila is the ultimate catalyst to fully embrace the moment you are in right now.”

The campaign will also include pre-roll ads that “compare some mundane tasks awaiting people tomorrow to the fun of living in the moment,” the brand says. See some examples of those spots below. The pre-roll ads were directed by Biscuit Filmworks’ Ayse Altinok.

Client: Jose Cuervo
Campaign Title: “Tomorrow is Overrated”
Spot: “Last Days”
Agency: CP+B LA
Chief Creative Officer: Kevin Jones
Creative Director: Paddy Fraser
Associate Creative Director / Art Director: Jeff Dryer
Associate Creative Director / Copywriter: Andrew Jasperson
Vp/Executive Integrated Producer: Aymi Beltramo
Integrated Producer: Jennifer Malki
Music Supervisor: Andy Hamm
Vp/Director Of Business Affairs: Rebecca Williams
Sr. Business Affairs Manager: Joanna Lee
Jr. Business Affairs Manager: Taylor Tsuji
Managing Directors: Ryan Skubic and Ivan Perez-Armendariz
Account Director: Tobey Bennett
Account Supervisor: Nina Rushing
Account Manager: Ana Boyadjian
Executive Strategy Director: Benny Thomas
Associate Strategy Director: Melissa Cabral
Project Manager: Jade Whitford
Production Company & City: Rattling Stick, Santa Monica
Director: Ringan Ledwidge
Director of Photography: Adam Arkapaw
Line Producer: Greg Haggart
Executive Producers: Joe Biggins and Jeff Shupe
Head of Production: Richard McIntosh
Editorial Company & City: Work Editorial, Culver City
Editor: Rich Orrik
Assistant Editor: Ben Foushée
Editorial Producer: Brandee Probasco
Editorial Executive Produer: Marlo Baird
Post FX Company & City: Electric Theatre Collective (ETC), Santa Monica
Post Senior Producer: Louisa Cartwright
Post Line Producer: Therese Mayer
Post Creative Director/TD: Daniel Marum
Shoot Supervisors: James Sindle, Remi Dessinges, Tommy Smith
Post Concept/DMPs: Jamie O’Hara and Mark Sullivan
2D Lead: Tommy Smith
Flame Artists: Adam Watson, Fefo De Souza, Gretchen Capatan
Nuke Artists: Kevin Jones, Dave Damant, Brendan Smith, Joseph Zaki, Krystal Chinn
CG Leads: Remi Dessignes, Corinne DeOrsay
CG Team: Steve Beck, Nate Lapinski, Arrev Chantikian, Katie Schiffer, Jared Broddle, Huisoo Lee, Ali Rizvi, Charlie Deogracias
Post Intern: Christian Olan-Geddes
Mix Company & City: Lime Studios, Santa Monica
Audio Engineer: Mark Meyuhas
Audio Assistant Engineer: Peter Lapinski
Music Company & City: Beacon Street Studios, LA
Telecine Company & City: Company 3, New York
Colorist: Tom Poole
Telecine Producer: Claire Movshon
Client Titles & Names: Mark Teasdale, President and CEO of Proximo Spirits + Daniel Mandelbaum, Group Brand Director + Joergen Boyschau, Sr. Brand Manager + Steve Doan, Brand Manager

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.