How 5 Alcohol Brands Approached Cinco de Mayo


While it’s far removed from its roots as a celebration of the Mexican army’s military victory over imperial France in 1862, Cinco de Mayo has become a celebratory holiday in the U.S. -- thanks in no small part to advertising efforts from Anheuser-Busch, Miller, and others.

It’s not surprising, then, that Americans continue to closely associate the holiday with drinking.  According to a Numerator survey of consumers’ holiday intentions, 59% of Americans planned to buy alcohol for the holiday.

Here’s a look at how five brands are approaching marketing around the holiday:

1800 Tequila:

Margaritas are the drink most associated with Cinco de Mayo celebrations. For 2024’s Cinco de Mayo weekend, 1800 Tequila launched a campaign celebrating “Mexican and Mexican-American  taste across fashion, music, and food,” as well as tequila.



The brand got the real-life party started early on the second iteration of its “1800 Taste Tiendita” campaign featuring a speakeasy pop-up delivered via 18-wheeler truck in  New York City on May 2. The brand’s event at Pier 76 included a live performance from Mexico City artist Girl Ultra, as well as tunes by hellotones, an "el hijo de PueblaYork," mural from visual artist,Melissa Santamaría, and curated fashion displays by creative director and stylist César Alvarez featuring brands Montserrat Messeguer, de Maria, and Gypsy Sport. Naturally, there were drinks too, with custom cocktails curated by Chicano bartender Michael Aredes.


For this year’s holiday, Espolòn partnered with Mexican street artist Edgar "Saner" Flores on a commemorative bottle celebrating 25 years of its Tequila Blanco. The brand calls Espolòn Blanco a smooth, balanced tequila perfect for holiday festivities.

Espolòn’s visual identity leans on labels which communicate its “rebelliousness and unapologetic originality in Mexican culture” and were  “inspired by the revolutionary spirit of 19th-century Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada,” according to the brand’s website, making the campaign a natural extension.


Margaritas puns, anyone?

Tequila isn’t the only spirit closely associated with the margarita, as traditional margarita recipes also call for triple sec. Since not all consumers might reach for the less-commonly consumed ingredient, Cointreau has regularly taken the opportunity to market around the holiday and remind consumers that its ingredient is required to make a traditional margarita -- or, in the brand’s words, “a Margarita, made MargaRight.”

This year, the brand launched a “Lime of Credit” campaign imagining a fictional credit line tied to the citrus fruit. While limes may not net much ROI in most circumstances, the brand  offered consumers the chance to win real money via a promotional sweepstakes. Running from April 24 through May 2, the “Lime of Credit” sweepstakes promised to award $20 to “thousands” of winning contestants of legal drinking age.

Grand Marnier

Campari’s Grand Marnier, a combination of cognac and orange liqueur, is attempting to position itself as a better alternative to the more traditional ingredients when mixing a margarita.

To help, the brand enlisted hip hop artist and entrepreneur 2 Chainz to spread the message. 2 Chainz steps into the brand’s “Rouge Room” for “The Grand Margarita w/2 Chainz,” a video introducing the brand’s margarita recipe, as well as serving as the inaugural video in a wider “The Rouge Room” content series with the hip hop artist.


Vodka doesn’t have such a natural entry into the Cinco de Mayo conversation.

Smirnoff is attempting to change that by laying claim to the “dancing woman” emoji, claiming the character as “Spicy Tam” as part of a campaign to popularize with American audiences the Spicy Tamarind Vodka flavor it launched in Mexico in 2017 and first introduced to U.S. audiences in 2020

The brand kicked off its “Baila Con Smirnoff” campaign featuring the character ahead of Cinco de Mayo, but it has plans for continuing the effort well after weekend hangovers fade. According to a release from the brand, the campaign featuring its “First-Ever Baila Ambassador” will continue running this summer.

“Baila Con Smirnoff” and “Spicy Tam” follow tamarind being named the “2024 Flavor of the Year” by McCormick.

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