How Tequila Avi贸n Convinced Customers It's Real After 'Entourage' Fans Thought It Was Fiction

This Marketing Strategy Was So Perfect, Customers Thought The Product Was Fake

You may recognize Tequila Avi贸n as the spirit company that Turtle promoted as part of a major story arc on HBO's "Entourage," but don't call it "made-for-TV" tequila.

Ken Austin, chairman and founder of the company, joined HuffPost Live on Monday and explained that Tequila Avi贸n had been in the works years before it ever made its television debut. In fact, the feature sprung from a conversation with his friend Doug Ellin, who created "Entourage."

"We were literally in a hot tub in Nantucket at [fitness expert] Jake Steinfeld's house ... and Doug said, 'I want a storyline for Turtle that he can win. I want an arc where he can win,'" Austin said. "I said to Doug, 'Why don't you just do the tequila?' And he goes, 'That's a great idea. ... I'll do like 50 Cent and Vitaminwater.' And that was it."

The "organic" partnership gave Ellin the storyline he wanted and provided great exposure for the budding spirit company, Austin told host Caroline Modaressy-Tehrani.

"Doug did us an amazing favor, but 鈥 it worked for his storyline. So for him it was about the creative and about the viewer. For us it was a home-run because we got exposure that money couldn't buy."

But interestingly enough, Tequila Avi贸n sales didn't skyrocket immediately following the episode.

"We picked up, like maybe 2,000 new fans [on Facebook]," Austin said. "Because we were so new on the market, people thought it was made-for-TV tequila. They didn't go and search and say, 'This may be real.' The only people that really looked for it were people within the wine and spirits industry globally."

The Avi贸n team quickly used that momentum to reevaluate their marketing campaign, changing their slogan from "Taste Elevated" to "Yes, It's Real."

"Whenever somebody would see [our product] they would say, 'Oh my God, it's real.' So we said let's answer the question ... and people would see it [and] get a chuckle out of it."

Watch the full HuffPost Live segment with Tequila Avi贸n founder Ken Austin here.

Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live's new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!

Before You Go

The Perfect Margarita

The Best Tequila Cocktails

Popular in the Community


What's Hot