Rockford student finalist in Art Center College of Design competition

By Susan Johnson
Copy Editor

NEW YORK — Tequila Avion, in collaboration with the Film Department at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., has challenged students to create a commercial or viral video for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize. Through this partnership with one of the world’s premier design schools, Tequila Avion is encouraging fans to tune in to the Tequila Avion YouTube Channel to vote for their favorite video. In mid-July, Tequila Avion will announce the winning viral video and winning commercial that will each be awarded a $10,000 grand prize.

To kick off the competition, Ken Austin, founder and chairman of Tequila Avion, visited Art Center College of Design to share the Avion story. Film and advertising students were challenged to create a commercial video or viral video inspired by the “World’s Best Tasting Tequila.” Entries were narrowed down to compete for the $10,000 grand prize in each category.

Rockford student Kathleen Lorden was selected as a finalist in the commercial category. She is also a Clio Award winner. The Rock River Times obtained a phone interview with her. These are the highlights.

TRRT: How did you find out about this contest?

Kathleen Lorden: It was through my graduate school. I took a break and worked in industry before [enrolling at the Art Center College of Design]. I went to undergraduate school, and then worked in Los Angeles for 10 years; I did commercials. I worked in a business, and then went back to graduate school.

TRRT: Is the contest restricted to students at the college? What are the requirements?

KL: The contest is restricted to students at the Art Center College. I am finishing up my thesis for the Film Department. It had to be a 30-second commercial. We had to use the bottle with the logo. First, we had to submit our ideas, and then they picked the finalists of their favorites. They gave us some money to produce the commercial. Now, there is the vote among six finalists. Voting will be done on Sunday [July 6]. The winners will be announced July 8.

TRRT: Could you tell us a little about your commercial? Who helped you with it?

KL: The commercial is about a bold Mexican woman who tells her inexperienced brother and friends how to treat a woman. They are about to go out for the night. They sit around the table drinking tequila. [They learn] there is so much more to women than they had imagined. These are all guys, and they thought they had it all figured out. Women don’t just drink girlie drinks and margaritas. It uses humor. The “High Standards” part — Avion Tequila is a higher standard of tequila and it’s a premium spirit. This is something you can drink without a chaser. It’s a good spirit on its own. I thought tequila was synonymous with Mexico, so I shot the commercial so the actors spoke Spanish, and I use subtitles. I made sure to combine glasses that they would use in Mexico. I had my friends in Mexico approve it to make sure it was authentic.

TRRT: If you should win the $10,000, what would you do with it?

KL: Good question! I’d buy some more tequila, have a party and shoot another commercial. Another film project.

TRRT: You would like to do some more film projects?

KL: Definitely. I’m a budding filmmaker. I wrote, directed and produced it. It’s a great opportunity.

Tequila Avion has enjoyed exponential growth and is the fastest-growing ultra-premium tequila in the world. At the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Avion was voted World’s Best Tasting Tequila and World’s Best Tasting Unaged White Spirit.

For more about the Tequila Art Center College of Design Program, visit the Tequila Avion YouTube page. Fans can also follow Tequila Avion on Facebook at or on Twitter @TequilaAvion.

From the July 2-8, 2014, issue

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