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Exclusive: How Jimmy Kimmel Pulled Off Surprise Tequila Shots at the Oscars

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John Campbell, svp, entertainment and streaming solutions, Disney Advertising, told ADWEEK this was the first time an advertiser had been brought into one of Kimmel’s in-show bits, and it was a “no brainer.”

“We have to come to the party with the same caliber as these amazing films, so we challenge ourselves—what boundaries are we going to push this year to surprise and delight these young, affluent multicultural viewers,” Campbell said. “This one did not come with a brief, but if it did, the brief would have said, fun, first and fearless.”

Fearless is one of the operative words, as the integration was semi-improvised.

Though planning began before Thanksgiving, with Disney, AMPAS and Diageo all coming together, ultimately Kimmel and his producers were tasked with finding an organic moment during the live broadcast for the integration, around a time when guests were starting to get “antsy,” according to Christina Choi, svp of tequila, gin and breakout growth brands, Diageo.

Choi noted the brand didn’t know when the moment would happen or what would actually be said.

“Jimmy is a seasoned host. He will know in the show flow when the right moment is for this to happen,” Choi said. “We said this is what we want to communicate, this is what we want people to feel about the brand, why we’re part of this incredible Oscars moment and turned it over to them to fit it in in the right way, the right narrative moment.”

Getting a brunch more support

A look at the Don Julio 1942 Tequila 50ml bottles.Courtesy of Diageo

In addition to Kimmel, Domingo is also a longtime partner of the brand, even hosting the series Bottomless Brunch at Colman’s Presented by Don Julio Tequila. Thus, he was a perfect fit for the bit.

Choi explained the Best Actor nominee was “someone that we absolutely love and respect because of his art form and because he embodies the values that the brand embodies.”

“We are all about ‘Por Amor,’ which means ‘for love.’ We do things for love, and we feel like this particular individual absolutely does that,” Choi said. “It’s just a fantastic fit because it’s someone that we know authentically loves our brand, has the same values as our brand and I think will have a lot of fun.”

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