Actor Michael Imperioli, best known for playing mixed-up wise guy Christopher on "The Sopranos," is featured in 1800 Silver Tequila's first television campaign, which launches this week.
The $15 million campaign, which is being aired on ESPN, Comedy Central and other cable channels, is the latest aggressive marketing volley from Proximo Spirits, Inc. as it seeks to reclaim 1800's position as the #1 super premium tequila.
The ads, from Agent16, directly take on Patrón. One shows Imperioli savoring some 1800 as he criticizes other tequilas for being "all velvet ropes and posture" -- obviously alluding to a bottle of Patrón, which he "accidentally" kicks off the bar at the end of the spot. The tagline: "1800 Tequila. Change the Game."
The TV spots will be showcased online via interactive, expandable rich media on SportsIllustrated.com and Yahoo Sports. The male-oriented campaign also includes online, print and out-of-home advertising.
Just a month ago, Proximo announced that it had signed a multi-faceted sponsorship deal making 1800 Tequila the first spirits sponsor of the L.A. Lakers. Other recent efforts have included signing hip-hop artists Rick Ross and the Triple C's Crew to endorse the brand, and a recent contest featured chances to win $10,000 to create a dream "man cave."
PR also isn't kidding around. An unnamed "spokesperson" from Proximo took direct (er...) shots at the competition in the release announcing the Imperioli campaign. "Unlike Patrón, which was started by a co-founder of a hair care company in 1989, 1800 Silver Tequila has nine generations of distilling expertise behind it...," the remarks read, in part. "In this economy, we don't think consumers need to pay an arm and a leg for a great-tasting tequila."
"We're excited about the campaign -- we think it's quite different for the spirits category, attention-getting and bold, like the brand," Proximo VP of Marketing Elwyn Gladstone commented to Marketing Daily.