Ilegal Mezcal, the small-batch, artisanal Mezcal label, has launched a new, integrated brand campaign inviting people to share their confessions. The campaign includes a confessional social media platform, a billboard installation, “wild postings” of artwork throughout New York streets, presence at art and culture functions, further street art and a 30-second branded film. 

New York production company The Colony and creative agency The Sunshine Mind Collective collaborated, in consultation with the team at Ilegal, to create a film that would resonate with the Ilegal Mezcal narrative. Filming in New York’s Lower East Side they asked random people to admit to their own illegal transgressions on camera in a spirit of artistic freedom, rebellious resistance and frank, fun disclosure to create a more authentic expression of modern city living and evoke the complex and daring layers that make up the contemporary life stories of adventurous people. The story of Ilegal Mezcal itself is a rich, exciting tale that embraces the bohemian and flirts with illegality and the film   dovetails with the brand’s own back story of being smuggled across borders illegally in its early days.

According to the Ilegal Mezcal team, “this is not so much an ad campaign as it is a social experiment focusing on that Outlaw lurking within us… We are intrigued by what happens when people push their own boundaries or cross a line drawn by another. We applaud those who turn away or stand their ground when something confronts their dignity…which is why we want to know your story.” 

The film helped to spark a broader integrated brand campaign, setting up the project that invites the public to submit their own “Ilegal confessions” on an ongoing basis.

Ilegal Mezcal brought photographer Nick LaClair on board as both artist and as one of the first featured subjects. His ongoing photography of selected confession subjects artwork brings a further dimension to the campaign, yielding a series of black and white posters that are to be “wild posted” in an initial 60 locations around New York, forming a composite artwork of 9.5 x 4.5 feet in each location, as well as a 10 x 10-foot billboard at Prince Street and Bowery in Manhattan which was launched on Monday May 12. The photography is also presented as a gallery on the website. Ultimately, the most intriguing responses will be folded into further campaign shoots and street art. 

The rule-bending campaign will be reinforced by a sidewalk chalk graffiti campaign throughout New York featuring the IlegalConfessions hashtag. 

The campaign will continue through arts related partnerships with a series of New York City events, featuring a confessional where people can contribute their own “Ilegal Confessions” and through ongoing photography and postings. 

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