Is It Really?
This commercial isn’t a commercial from some kind of trade group; an association of tequila sellers encouraging tequila consumption in general. It’s a commercial from and for 1800 Tequila.
Why should the consumer pick 1800 Tequila over any other brand of tequila? This commercial doesn’t explain why to any degree (ie: it isn’t “selling” 1800 Tequila – or even tequila in general). What, then, is it “selling”?
The reason why the consumer is supposed to pick tequila over other drinks, and specifically 1800 Tequila over it’s competitors, after watching this commercial is because he is expected to identify emotionally with it’s creators. In other words, he is supposed to subconsciously conclude: “These people are similar to me”, and then make the assumption that because that is true it must also be true that their approach to tequila production is the same as his would be if he were in that line of work. In other words, he is expected to assume that the people who make 1800 Tequila share the same philosophical values as he does.
This isn’t improper in advertising per se. Especially in today’s anti-business culture, there is nothing inherently wrong with reminding the consumer that there are people behind the products and services which he consumes. There is a certain emotional benefit to be gained from the knowledge that one shares the earth with, and trades with, people who hold the same philosophical values he does (specifically, honesty and integrity). It helps to strengthen his own values, and in an indirect way that’s in the company’s interest. However, this should never be the exclusive means of selling one’s product. The reason why is because it isn’t a necessary part of advertising. It is only a secondary, optional benefit and should only be employed if resources allow it (ie: if the primary purpose has been accomplished and there are resources left over). Furthermore, it isn’t necessarily true that the sellers of a product hold the same values as it’s buyers – and, on top of that, even if it isn’t true there are many contexts in which the transaction should take place nevertheless.
1800 Tequila, in this commercial, isn’t selling 1800 Tequila. They’re selling a momentary experience of feeling understood and not quite so alone – and, with the height of irony, they’re doing it in a commercial where they’re specifically criticizing commercials for being unclear about what they’re selling.