Ad of the Day: Jose Cuervo Flies Back to the Famously Depraved Rolling Stones Tour of ’72

Where the tequila sunrise was the muse

Headshot of Tim Nudd

The opening lines of Chapter 9 of Keith Richards' autobiography Life, in which he describes the Rolling Stones' debaucherous 1972 tour, were all McCann needed to get started on its latest stylish campaign for Jose Cuervo tequila.

"The whole entourage had exploded in terms of numbers, of roadies and technicians, and of hangers-on and groupies," the Stones guitarist writes. "For the first time, we traveled in our own hired plane, with the lapping tongue painted on. We had become a pirate nation, moving on a huge scale under our own flag, with lawyers, clowns, attendants."

The '72 tour was known informally as the "Cocaine and Tequila Sunrise tour," Richards reveals, which is where Cuervo comes in. McCann did some digging, and found out that the Stones were allegedly introduced to the tequila sunrise (a then largely unknown cocktail, actually invented in the '30s with a different recipe) right before the tour started—at a bar in San Francisco called The Trident. Whether or not they were made with Cuervo (this ad claims they were, though of course it hardly matters), the band ended up sucking them down all through June and July on a tour that became a legendary two-month bender.

McCann's new spot doesn't feature the Stones, but is set during that '72 tour—on the Lapping Tongue plane (which here is remarkably lengthy, even if it's meant to be half-fantasy). Daniel Kleinman directed the spot, with Paco Delgado, an Oscar nominee for his wardrobe designs on Lés Miserables, doing the costumes.

The soundtrack is the Stones' "Miss You," from 1978.

A "Drink responsibly" message, this isn't. But it is certainly groovy, in a mellow way, and seems designed to appeal to millennials who might find some appealing mystery in a notorious party scene from 40 years ago.

The spot kicks off an integrated campaign, including online and social, that will roll out over the next six months. And now that you've checked out the tequila sunrise portion of the era, head over here to see the cocaine ads.


Client: Jose Cuervo

Scott Green, Chief Marketing Officer

Daniel Mandelbaum, Brand Director

Joergen Boyschau, Brand Manager

Agency: McCann New York

Eric Silver, Regional CCO, North America

Tom Murphy, Co-CCO, New York

Sean Bryan, Co-CCO, New York

Mat Bisher, Executive Creative Director

Jason Ashlock, Creative Director

Sean LaBounty, Creative Director

Tom Weingard, Associate Creative Director

Ferdinand Daniele, Associate Creative Director

Nathy Aviram, Chief Production Officer

Chance Basset, Senior Producer

Steve Zaroff, Chief Strategy Officer

Julien Delatte, Group Strategy Director

Lauren LaValle – Group Account Director

Jon Armstrong, Account Director

Molly Vossler, Account Executive

Rattling Stick, Production Company

Daniel Kleinman, Director

Johnnie Frankel, Line Producer / President

Joe Biggins, Executive Producer

Rock Paper Scissors, Editorial Company

Carlos Arias, Editor

Lisa Barnable, Post Producer

Framestore, VPX

Martin Lazaro, Lead VFX Artist

Christa Cox, VFX Producer


Tom Poole, Colorist

Sonic Union

Steve Rosen, Mixer

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