Exotico is an award-winning, 100% blue agave tequila—a fun, social brand that brings excitement and mystery to any situation and raises expectations of what tequila should be. With limited distribution, it struggles with awareness in a saturated market.


  • Brand Strategy
  • Campaign Development
  • Identity Creation
  • Photography
  • Social Media
  • Video

Make it Exotico

UPBrand has been building the brand through social and digital media since 2017. Through compelling creative, we’ve achieved record-level reach, engagement and audience size, more than doubling Facebook followers and growing Instagram tenfold. 


To reach a target audience of educated foodies and home bartenders, Exotico® Tequila needed a fresh, social-first brand facelift that screamed approachability. To accomplish this, we developed brighter, cheekier brand standards for Exotico’s tequila expressions, captured in an easy-to-use brand guidelines booklet. These guidelines ushered in the brand’s updated typography, an illustrative graphic toolkit, a snappier tone of voice and a summery color palette. Gone were the days of a dimly lit photography, unclear messaging and flavorless type. In were brand elements that spoke to the audience, translated beautifully to social and celebrated the spirit(s) of Jalisco.


To build on the brand’s social-first strategy, Exotico’s website had to be visually stunning, easy to navigate and chock full of shareable content. Every element – down to a witty 404 error page – was built to bolster the brand’s new sociable personality. The homepage went from cluttered, dark and overly limey to a refreshing teal-forward digital space, with a simplified automatic carousel and a front-and-center social feed.

Exotico’s target audience – constantly fed self-serving, inauthentic and heavily branded social content – is weary of the brand barrage. That’s why we aimed to cultivate brand loyalty by developing a more meaningful user-generated content contest, sans excessive logo-slapping and brand placements.

The contest called for original scary story submissions, which inspired original movie shorts for the brand’s second Exotico Mistico Film Contest. We paired each short with a specially-crafted cocktail and theatrical release poster. Winners received movie night gift package including hats, jackets, tumblers and a custom movie poster from their story. The grand prize winner received a trophy and a director’s chair adorned with their name. Enjoy all four of our 2019 videos here. 

The fans weren’t the only winners here. The Exotico Mistico Film Contest was responsible for 36% of the brand’s social engagement for the year. One in four impressions saw users watch videos beyond the first :30 – a sign of authentic engagement. And all engagements – from submissions to social interactions – came from a variety of audiences within our demographic.


Over the summer, one of Exotico’s key selling seasons, we created the world of Destination Exotico. This 12-week campaign was our most engaging of the year – showing a journey of self-expression and discovery through maps, postcards, travel guides and (of course) drink recipes. Strategically planned, eye-catching content delivered Exotico’s magical take on summer.

Hidden Messages

Exotico is more than tequila. It’s a communication from the spirit world, which is bright and full of life. Through Exotico’s unique brand voice, users can see and decipher messages from the beyond, communicated through neon signs inspired by the colors on the label.


Honor the Spirits

During Day of the Dead, revelers create altars to honor their loved ones who have passed, hoping to receive wisdom, fortune and luck in return. Through social content, users were invited to interact with games of fortune and luck, or ask for wisdom from the spirit of Exotico. Custom-illustrated (and Addy-award winning!) Tarot cards were used for online giveaways and event activations.

Cinco de Mayo

In the midst of a crowded, tequila-centric holiday, Exotico is a better-tasting, more premium option. Simple, bold and cheerful photography with traditional Mexican papel picado papercraft brightened timelines and reinforced Exotico’s position as a step above the ordinary.


Taco Tuesday is a mainstay, but why limit such delicious goodness to a single day of the week? An unexpected pro-taco propaganda campaign opened minds, inviting users to join the #TacoParty and indulge in tacos and Exotico Tequila whenever the mood strikes.

Bright Night

Unlike the somber and scary themes of Halloween, Day of the Dead is a time of celebration–and that energetic spirit is at Exotico’s core. To illustrate this upbeat personality in the face of the macabre, a stunning photo series with costumed models and colorful cocktails brought the brand essence to life.


All UPBrand-produced Exotico photography is inspired by the bright colors of the bottle, creating an ownable visual space for the brand and helping audiences recognize it on shelf. We use a variety of production and post-production techniques to achieve the unique look.


Video & Motion

Exotico’s most engaging posts feature motion to demand attention in a user’s feed. Sip-sized content combined with illustration and live footage keeps things fresh for an inattentive audience.

Digital Strategy

To create additional brand touchpoints, a broader digital strategy supplements Exotico’s activity on social media. Branded and non-branded paid search campaigns and display ads with impressive click-thru rates drive users to Exotico’s website to learn more about the product. Ongoing SEO strategy, including recipe and blog content development, continue to improve organic search rankings for the small but mighty tequila.