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I’m trying to work out why I’m annoyed with Team “Entourage” and its sexy relationship with Tequila Avion.
I know, I know, the show's over, but Avion's all up in my kitchen lately.
The stuff hit big in 2010, when it pretty much starred on Season 7 of “Entourage,” albeit with limited distribution in reality. Now it’s hitting big in liquor stores and bars beyond New York and California and there’s even a new (non-"Entourage"-related) TV commercial for it, plus a new series of satellite radio ads on "The Howard Stern Show."
But still, walk into most package stores now and you’ll see signage proclaiming it “the Entourage tequila” or “as seen on ‘Entourage.’”
And that rings a little cheesy to me. Even cheesier than Sammy Hagar and his Cabo Wabo. Cheesier than the giant Snapple-logo cups on "AGT," the Cokes on "American Idol," or the Jaguar plot device on “Mad Men.”
It's not really the stores' fault. Avion landed in "Entourage"-land a few seasons ago, as a product championed by Turtle: Budding Businessman (Jerry Ferrara). Ham-handed plot device aside (he did it to ... woo... love interest Alex. Period.), and while it got a little tiresome hearing Turtle crowbar into dialogue the merits of the stuff, OK fine, we went with it. Barely. It still reeked of product placement, even before most viewers knew the stuff was real.
Then the press got a huge kick out of the story behind Avion’s big break on “Entourage” as season 7 wrapped up in 2010. As the story goes, the man behind the booze, Kenny Dichter, is a longtime friend of “Entourage” show creator Doug Ellin. As Ellin was plotting out Season 7, he reportedly started casting about for Turtle’s new business project. He talked to Dichter, who happened to be getting together the launch of Avion, and Ellin decided it would be a good idea to use Dichter’s story as a plotline for Turtle. As the season unfolds, Vince (Adrian Grenier) and friends drink tons and tons and tons of Avion, Turtle runs around in search of investors and willing merchants, and the bottle gets more screen time than Johnny Drama has in his entire career
And now Avion is the “it” spirit among celebs.
I guess it just comes off a little produced, or orchestrated, maybe. If I’m being sold a product, I want it to be subconscious and/elegant dammit! That’s the art of advertising. If you pretty much establish an insider and/or overt “all the cool kids are doing it” vibe around your product, in the end it loses cred to me.
Of course, my middle name is She Who Remains Suspicious of Anything Popular and, full disclosure, I haven’t tried to stuff. I hear it’s fabulous, and as a tequila fan, next time I have a spare $50 lying around (next tax return, I’d wager), I’ll give it a shot, so to speak.
But not because Vince Chase told me to.