- Espolòn Tequila debuted a print magazine named "Death" that is inspired by illustrated poems written for Day of the Dead called literary calaveras, according to press materials shared with Marketing Dive. Calaveras are satirical obituaries that pay homage to the dead and highlight social injustice, an art form that surfaced in 19th century Mexico and is still written today.
- The magazine will feature modern day calaveras for living people written by authors and pop culture personalities. R&B singer Miguel, actress Mishel Prada, drag queen Valentina and Rolling Stone's Suzy Exposito are among the participants. The limited-edition magazine launched at a Halloween and Day of the Dead pop-up in New York called the "newsstand from the afterlife." At the event, visitors could enter a speakeasy through a fridge full of Espolòn bottles and find a gallery-inspired space filled with the new magazine and merchandise. The pop-up space also highlighted Mexican art, and Espolòn donated $25,000 to art nonprofit PAOS GDL.
- In addition, Campari America ran a calavera as a print ad in The New York Times with the headline "Pour one out for the death of actual fake news." To accompany the print ad, the brand made a $10,000 donation to the International Consortium of Independent Journalists.
Espolòn Tequila bottles feature Day of the Dead-style artwork inspired by 19th century Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada, whose work was heavy with skulls and calaveras. By taking on this classic storytelling form for its Day of the Dead campaign, the brand has the opportunity to highlight its creative and irreverent take while positioning the brand as keeping with tradition in Mexico.
The pop-up in SoHo during Halloween and Day of the Dead, when thousands gather in the neighborhood for the annual Halloween parade, helped the brand integrate itself into festivities and might have increased exposure with revelers during what has become a major drinking holiday. Pop-up activations and bars are popular with millennials, and the "Newsstand from the afterlife" gives a unique twist on this frequent marketing tactic.
The print ad and magazine allow the brand to deepen its connection to modern times by taking on current topics like "fake news" and feature playful fake obituaries about celebrities. Handing out physical copies in a crowded neighborhood could help increase brand awareness and drive social media attention, especially with its striking cover. Plus, a print ad in The New York Times that tackles "fake news" could help insert the brand into today's political conversations.
Espolòn Tequila is far from the first brand to introduce a print magazine. Activewear line Outdoor Voices launched a storytelling marketing platform that includes a print magazine called "The Recreationalist" in July. This fall, REI retired its catalog and launched a new magazine "Uncommon Path." Previously, Staples launched a quarterly magazine for professionals called "Staples Worklife." These branded print magazines provide consumers with a unique, long-form reading experience that swims upstream against short-form — usually mobile — content that is more commonplace.