McCann's new Breezer ad pays Crouching Tiger tribute

LONDON - Bacardi Breezer's Tomcat tries his hand at martial arts in McCann-Erickson's latest ad for the alcopop.

The spot, which breaks in February, echoes fight scenes from The Matrix

and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon as it pitches the feline against an

oriental barmaid in a race to beat last orders. The spot is the most

hi-tech yet in the 15-month campaign, which has previously relied on

stunts performed by real animals.

The Breezer tomcat is suspended in mid air before racing along walls and

sliding along the bar top as he bids to charm his high-kicking rival

before she can sound closing time. He even finds time to tip a nod to

John Woo, leaping through a flock of the Hong Kong director's trademark

white doves. As usual, events are accompanied by a thumping electronic

soundtrack and shots of Breezer bottles.

The ad was directed by Who? through Great Guns. Its national TV run will

be accompanied by a viral version on the internet. Media planning and

buying is by Universal McCann.

Since its 60-second debut in November 2000, the Breezer cat has appeared

in three campaigns. The animal has also been the focus of a

high-spending integrated drive, hosting the Maxim women of the year

awards and appearing in The Sun as well as on rickshaws and postcard

drops.

"Tom is an A-list celebrity," the art director Mark Hurst, who developed

the ad with the copywriter Martyn Smith, said. "As such we felt it was

appropriate for him to take part in his own movie. The thought behind it

could be described as 'Crouching Tomcat, Hidden Breezer'."

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