Ah, the week after the Super Bowl, in which brand marketers return to the sobering status quo of consumer indifference. Hey, y’all had a good run there for a few hours on Sunday. ‘Tis better to have loved and lost, etc.
And still marketing-type people spent most of the week reliving their supposed Super Bowl glories, even as the post-game buzz focused on the cut of Tom Brady’s jib instead of on that one ad - you know, the one with the guy in it. This is why, in my imagination, I’m in deep discussions with an A-list brand to tease a big-ass campaign during next year’s Super Bowl and then launch it, with sarcastic fanfare, the day after the game. Somebody can own this week, as much as one can own anything as intangible and amorphous as time.
Which is a long way of saying: There’s little new brand fodder upon which to gorge, unless you’re into humanity-affirming spots from Danish TV stations that play like a Clickhole parody. And so, as I often do in times of personal and professional tribulation, I turn to Sammy Hagar.
Sammy! The Red Rocker! Decent singer! Semi-icon, in certain circles! Legitimately successful businessman! Even though “Dreams” killed dead the band I once worshipped, I still hold that it’d be more fun to hang out with Sammy than with the other seven or eight guys who have populated Van Halen over the years… so long as there’s a no-music-making caveat attached, anyway. I remain willing to consider arguments in favor of Alex.
So yeah, Sammy’s okay in my book, and he got even okay-er this week when he filled the post-Super Bowl content void with a trio of brand videos promoting his new venture. For this one, he has teamed with fellow polarizing frontman Adam Levine to produce/promote Santo Mezquila, a high-end spirit that melds the tar-pit aftertaste of mezcal with the decision-making-impairment faculties of tequila. This does not sound like something you’d willingly imbibe unless attempting to sedate an alien entity that has taken up residence in your digestive tract, but it’s priced to incapacitate at $55 per bottle.
The three clips that debuted this week take an in-depth look at the craftsmanship and ingenuity that the creation of any new brand demands, complete with commentary from spirit connoisseurs and personal stories from the artisans responsible for harvesting the agave plants that lend Santo Mezquila its distinctive flavor… Ha ha ha no - it’s all boobs and chunky guitar riffs.
Indeed, the clips are willfully, spectacularly dumb, more akin to a Whitesnake video than to anything we’ve seen before from a would-be luxury brand. In “Taste Revelation 8:26,” a model writhes in an expensive-looking bathtub. In “Taste Revelation 25:15,” the setting switches to an expensive-looking elevator. In “Taste Revelation 27:34,” we’re whisked away to the edge of an expensive-looking couch.
At the end of each, Santo Mezquila hits us with its tonally apropos but otherwise unfortunate tagline: “There are still places your tongue has never been.” Semi-related: Remind me to share the story of the time I accidentally crossed “interior of vacuum filter” off my tongue-occupancy bucket list. Or don’t.
Given the shadowy hues, super-stylized settings and presence of multiple immaculate beings, Santo Mezquila is clearly going for a high-fashion vibe here. The problem is that the “Taste Revelation” videos deploy those time-tested elements the same way trashy brands do. One model sucks on an ice cube; another presses herself up against the elevator wall as if overcome by a sudden flash of vertigo. We’ve seen this before, if perhaps with a more expansive and colorful display of tattoos.The moral of the Santo Mezquila story? Sleaze is sleaze, whether deployed for the benefit of a pricey super-tequila or for a local car wash. I’m going to take a shower now.