Hornitos Video Website

June 2013

Hornitos tequila has always been a favorite with those making the most of their night out. But the brand wasn’t as current as it used to be, and their web presence was becoming less relevant to their audience.

New Tagline and New Look

The Barbarian Group was tasked with finding a new voice for the brand to coincide with a new logo, new packaging, and a new flavor: Lime Shot. Part of the project scope meant tossing aside their current web site and bringing in something modern, responsive, and completely unexpected.

The line we chose was “Grab Life by the Hornitos.” Hornitos is all about the moment when the party goes from good to great, and we wanted our customers to be the catalyst for awesome moments with their friends.

“It needs a button”

The site itself wouldn’t have much in the way of content; everything takes place on their social channels and we wanted the site to be an on-ramp for customers to get excited about the product and spread the word. To that end, we needed to communicate our Grab Life stance in a fast and memorable way. We’re no strangers to GIFs at the Barbarian Group and the medium seemed to us an appropriate way of telling people how to do just that.

Hornitos Wireframe 1

Hornitos Site 1

We finalized on a site concept that revolved around dozens of different GIFs playing in your browser, full screen, and the site content would sit on this canvas. Oh, and this is all happening to music.

These GIFs provide all the narrative the concept needs: we had partygoers jumping into swimming pools, making out at the bar, people in bear suits, and bartenders pouring bottomless shot glasses of Hornitos tequila. Press the Grab Life Button to load in a different GIF and your night kicks into high gear over and over again.


A site like this was full of potential user experience pitfalls: age gate, auto-playing video and audio, a zillion social considerations… and all of this was before we got into the responsive requirements.

While we initially saw how little content was going to be on the site, it made for some interesting arguments about what pages would go where and why. But when we got into mobile we began to see it as a blessing: it made our creative assets shine through even more. Our technology team was able to employ some neat tricks to achieve really great compression on the GIFs (rendered as videos on most desktop sizes, by the way) and you can even find a store carrying Hornitos while on the go.

Hornitos Site 2

Hornitos Mobile