The sharp-dressed men of ZZ Top have partnered with Jeremiah Weed Premium Flavored Malt Beverages to give fans a taste of the band’s first new music in nearly a decade.
The creative campaign, which will run throughout the summer, kicked off last week with an exclusive mini-music video featuring the debut of the legendary Texas rockers’ latest single, “I Gotsta Get Paid,” an as-yet-unreleased track produced by Rick Rubin.
The partnership is the work of CAA Marketing, a division of Creative Artists Agency, which seized the opportunity to pair the two clients they felt shared a fan base. “Jeremiah Weed feels classic American but there’s also a little bit of mischief in the brand history,” says Jae Goodman, Co-Head and Co-Chief Creative Officer, CAA Marketing, of the company, which has a long history of music tie-ins, including a collaboration with Bonnaroo. “ZZ Top has that same feeling. They’ve been around a long time, but they’ve always had a sense of fun about them.”
That celebratory spirit is reflected in the branded content, which includes such ZZ Top video staples as classic cars and girls with legs who know how to use them. The concept for the clip was born after a CAA creative director spent a week in Texas hanging out with the multi-platinum rock trio, led by beard-sporting frontman Billy Gibbons. Reports Goodman: “From those conversations came the idea of ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be amazing if you walked into a convenience store in the middle of nowhere Texas, opened up a refrigerator and ZZ Top was playing in there?’”
According to Goodman the veteran band, which has been together for more than 40 years, was down with the clip’s prominent product placement, which includes Gibbons playing guitar with a Jeremiah Weed can and band members handing out the brand’s drinks to awestruck customers. But he admits Diageo, the company that owns Jeremiah Weed, initially had concerns about using ZZ Top’s single, a crunchy blues-rock homage to “25 Lighters,” the underground hip-hop track about drug dealing. “It obviously was a serious conversation,” says Goodman. “The band had a really strong point of view that they didn’t feel that way about this song at all. They said very clearly, ‘Well, that’s not what it means to us.’”
The song, which can also be heard over the closing credits of the recently released film Battleship, is scheduled to appear on the band’s forthcoming studio disc, its first in nine years. While the album doesn’t yet have a release date, fans can also check out “I Gotsta Get Paid” this summer on the band’s Gang of Outlaws Tour. “The Jeremiah Weed brand will be an active participant in everything they do on tour,” assures Goodman. “It will be a grassroots campaign, but we’re not quite ready to talk about [those] elements.”