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Cuervo Nation

Paul Holmes 07 May 2005

CuervoNation, a tiny eight-acre island located in the Caribbean just off the coast of Tortola, was founded in 1996 by Jose Cuervo Tequila as a haven for refugees from the “political correctness” movement. The tiny island-nation guarantees citizens 21 or older the right to Life, Liberty and a Pursuit of a good time.

In 2003-2004, the citizens of CuervoNation joined together to generate awareness in the U.S. of the twist that they put on popular U.S. holidays, including Independence Day, Labor Day and Valentine’s Day. On Independent Spirit Day on CuervoNation, which is celebrated on Independence Day in the U.S. citizens celebrate people who are truly independent – single people.  On Labor Day, CuervoNation citizens dispute the early end of summer by petitioning the government to “Delay Labor Day” to the official end of summer, September 23rd.

Finally, on Valentine’s Day, CuervoNation citizens do away with the feelings of trepidation and anxiety that normally accompany the holiday for American men and women by renaming the holiday Stupid Cupid Day and putting an emphasis on celebrating their friendships rather than romantic relationships.

The objective of this year-long campaign was to generate consumer awareness of CuervoNation and CuervoNation Celebrations in targeted national media outlets in an effort to build Jose Cuervo brand recognition, and general knowledge of CuervoNation. By developing fresh takes on traditional holidays for the media to pursue, it allowed CuervoNation and Jose Cuervo Tequila to convey its spirit of mischief and its witty personality.

Challenges faced included: creating story lines that were outrageous but believable alternatives to traditional holiday angles that the media would be interested in pursuing, developing separate executions against each holiday that provided for a variety of journalists and outlets to be targeted and media can be particularly skeptical of events and storylines that incorporate spirits branding, and the holidays needed to find a balance between content and branding.

Each holiday “twist’ and resulting tactics were approached separately. Alan Taylor Communications was selected as the public relations agency to facilitate this campaign and they determined the holiday activities as follows: Independent Spirit Day: July 4, the agency developed an omnibus survey to determine what celebrity in sports, music, film, and politics that Cuervo consumers predict will be the most likely to become “independent” or single next

Delay Labor Day: September 1: The agency coordinated 3 simultaneous movements in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago to denounce the early end to summer and announce a movement to relocate Labor Day to summer’s official end, September 23, Los Angeles All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca, New York infielder Aaron Boone and Chicago infielder Tony Womack, baseball’s original “Boys of Summer” were selected to lead the rallies in the 3 markets and additionally, an online petition was posted on http://www.cuervonation.com/ that consumers could sign in order to help support the Delay Labor Day movement

Valentine’s Day: February 14: Model and actress, Krista Allen, conducted a national media tour in Los Angeles and New York consisting of late night talk shows and phone interviews with print and radio outlets and consumers were driven to http://www.cuervonation.com/ to download their own Stupid Cupid Day cards, one of which was designed in part by the celebrity spokesperson.

ATC conducted aggressive media outreach during each stage of this campaign. However, the strategies to garner media attention differed during each holiday celebration as follows:

Distribution of the survey results for Independent Spirit Day focused almost exclusively on print outlets, especially entertainment and celebrity gossip columns and internet outlets, the Delay Labor Day movement was a visual event that was led by local athletes in the three markets, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, where they were held, b-roll of the Delay Labor Day events was packaged together to support the movement’s nationwide appeal and generate broadcast media placements, the use of a celebrity spokesperson on Valentine’s Day created the opportunity for one-on-one interviews with broadcast, radio and print outlets. Allen was booked on several live interviews to discuss the Stupid Cupid day cards and promote http://www.cuervonation.com/.

Among the 21-29 year old target group, the Independent Spirit Day program reached the largest share of audience with a circulation reach of 15,447,055 and advertising value with $338,403.92, due to its diverse share of coverage. The Stupid Cupid Day initiative drove national broadcast placements, accounting for 43 percent of the coverage (3 out of 7).

Appearances by spokesperson Krista Allen on national broadcast media outlets, Last Call with Carson Daly, The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn and ESPN Cold Pizza accounted for 71 percent of the category’s total advertising value, or $226,254.06. Delay Labor Day secured the third largest share of coverage with 20 percent. Nearly 56 percent of this initiative’s coverage stemmed from local broadcast placements.

All of the local broadcast placements were featured on morning and evening news programs that targeted the 21-29 year old audience, because these placements aired during sports or entertainment segments of the newscast.

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