There are moments in the life of a creative when you get an inkling that your idea is going to change the client’s life.

Join Todd and Rony on this edition of Brand Stories. In this episode, we unpack our relationship and campaign with the cigar manufacturer, Alec Bradley.

In the case of Alec Bradley, we put it all on the line and it took a lot of pitches to get their attention. Alan Rubin at the company was very intrigued with us at Valiant, and he liked our work so much that he took a risk and hired us on. Because of that initial moment where they took a risk on us, we decided we would take a risk as well. They understood that this was the type of agency we were going to be for them.

In the end, it came down to Alan seeing our video for Paul Stulac. He saw this video and said, “This is intriguing to me, what can you guys do for us?”

Paul Stulac Story

We ended up doing massive video production for Alec Bradley called “Live True” and that started our relationship with their company. This video was our takeaway and introduction into advertising for the cigar industry.

What we wanted to do was tell a story. We hired actors, and as you see the two of them talking in the ad, it signified the story behind the brand.

In the video for Alec Bradley, we see a son coming over and talking to his dad. The son wouldn’t normally want to stay for a cigar, but he decided to stay this time. It was in this moment he learned that his mom and dad got back together because she was pregnant with him.

The actor was telling this story because this was actually his true story. When telling this story, he cried on set. It was awesome to see that kind of passion on screen.

About a year after this ad, we started “The Essential” campaign for Alec Bradley. It shows the owner Alan Rubin and a roller in Nicaragua as both essential components in the production and distribution of cigars. We did this because we saw a disruption in advertising throughout the cigar industry and this provoked businesses to care about what their ads looked like and the messages they delivered.

We were told at the beginning of our relationship with Alec Bradley, “They may spend a lot of dollars on [advertising], but they don’t put a lot of effort into it.” We at Valiant wanted to change that.

And so conceptually and visually we started to help shift things in the industry, and other companies began to take notice.

Live True

Live True: Stories


As creatives, we often get emotionally attached to our ideas, but you can’t have the mentality that, “My idea is the best idea.” It really has to be the best idea. This idea could come from the client, from you, or through collaboration. This specific project ended up being a collaborative effort, and the best idea exceeded the expectations of all parties involved. If you can definitively say you’ve gotten to that point, then you have truly won.

The take-home of this edition of Brand Stories is if you have a big, bold, crazy idea that you possibly shouldn’t do but the client is allowing you to do it, make sure you have a strategy and plan in place to make it happen.

Just because the idea sounds great doesn’t necessarily mean you can follow through.

If you want to be successful, always plan ahead and make sure you do things correctly.