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By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

July 1, 2024 | 4 min read

The Hilarious ‘Cuervo Challenge’ knocks out critics of the brand by taking them into the UFC Octagon with the interim heavyweight champion.

Jose Cuervo, Proximo Spirits’ best-selling tequila brand and the official tequila sponsor of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), has launched a hilariously bold new campaign with UFC interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall.

The campaign challenges Cuervo’s detractors to put their taste buds to the ultimate test. Enter ‘The Cuervo Challenge’ – a blind taste test that forces Cuervo’s harshest critics to face their tequila perceptions head-on.

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The cast of naysayers includes Ben, a bartender with strong opinions, Brian, a contractor with a penchant for bluntness, and Jackson, a filmmaker with a flair for the dramatic.

Their mission: identify Cuervo as the tequila they’ve so creatively described as tasting “like barbecue sauce mixed with gasoline” or “bad – like ass.”

The ad kicks off with the host setting the scene, telling the trio, “You’re here because this guy heard what you said about Cuervo,” before rolling the now-infamous clips of their less-than-flattering reviews. Their challenge? Pinpoint the offending tequila. The twist? If they guess wrong, they face the terrifying prospect of stepping into the Octagon with the formidable Tom Aspinall.

Predictably, none of them identify Cuervo correctly. Just as the gravity of their impending sparring session with Aspinall dawns on them, the champ reveals a kinder fate. Instead of a physical confrontation, they’re invited to join him for a round of Cuervo tequila shots. The relieved smiles and shared laughs make for a memorable ending.

Directed by Sam Cadman, renowned for his real people and hidden camera-style ads, the campaign is a masterclass in cheeky, irreverent humor. Cadman, known for his recent hilarious campaign with canned water company Liquid Death, embraced the concept with gusto.

“Cheeky and irreverent, unexpected and authentic, I loved this idea from the first read,” said Cadman.

“Flying Cuervo shit-talkers into Las Vegas and confronting them with the man-mountain that is Tom Aspinall is genius, and shooting this in the octagon at UFC Apex was the absolute icing on the cake. Tom and his brother Joe were absolute legends, sparing for five hours straight. TJ, our actor-referee, had me in his ear all day and never broke character once, not even as the real-world participants failed their taste test, one after the other. I absolutely adore these kinds of live and spontaneous shenanigans.”

The creative agency Mekanism led the campaign.

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