Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"A noble but dumb animal...just like Royalty."

Do not get me wrong, this was said to me, by a Caballerango, (a horse-wrangler) in Mexico, at the Domecq ranch.

I actually love horses; at least I love drawing them.

While running McCann Mexico we got the Domecq account, specifically the Presidente Brandy account.
It is the largest selling brandy in the world, by volume. Mexicans drink it with Coca-Cola.

It was really a big coupe for an International agency, since it was such a traditional Mexican account.

We also handled the Coca-Cola account. There were millions of drinks served in Mexico that we had a lot to do with.

They always used the Spanish horses in their advertising, horses that they bred, originally in Spain. In Mexico they had bred a version called the Azteca, (Google it for more information).

We recommended a campaign where the horses were free; normally they always showed them controlled by a rider or a handler with a long lead.

These horses running free was no easy feat, they are not used to being free in large open spaces. We naturally wanted them running on a beach, what did we know?

We are going to shoot the commercial in Florida, on this wonderful open beach. We arrange for the horses, Spanish ones, locally from a breeder.

The Caballerango comes from Mexico with us to handle the horses.

The first thing he tells us is that we need boats in the sea, since the horses, once in the water, might swim straight out to sea. The last thing we want to do is lose one of these expensive beautiful animals, by drowning. “Sorry, the horse swam away.” To crazy to even contemplate. We get the boats, four to be safe.

The boats are positioned, out of shot, and we release the horses. We work all day to get the shots we need, without losing any horses. Yes, the boats were needed, those animals once in the water headed for Cuba.

Remember what the Cavalarango said.

The Mexican director, Pedro Torres, did a great job, In spite of the “sea horses.”

The horses were beautiful and noble, maybe just a little dumb… I do not know anything about royalty.


  1. I am always learning from your blogs. I always thought horses were beautiful and intelligent. I still do, but I never heard of them drowning themselves in the ocean. But they must because you witnessed it. Does anyone know why?

    Also, I know Brandy and cola is, or was, a popular drink, But I could never understand why. The combination makes me nauseous. Always did. Way too sweet and Brandy slowly sipped by itself is delicious. To me anyway. But what do I know.

    Great story.

  2. I remember that gorgeous day very well. It was so special to see all those exquisite horses and wonderful to be present for the film shoot. And yes, I do remember the darn horses being carefully reined in as they tried to make a brake for Cuba! Ha! I remember also that one very impressive dark beauty, not used to so much free space tried to make a run for it and started jumping over some of the so called safe barriers, as I leaped backward out of the way of this very focused animal the Cavalarango swiftly had everything under control. It was a beautiful day.