20090123

Ad agencies gone wild

The new partying face of Belvedere Vodka (right) and the girl-on-girl faces of Jim Beam Bourbon (below).


Has the liquor industry lost its collective mind?

Right in the middle of an industrywide -- nay, global -- push to drink responsibly rather than drinking just to get trashed, and to stop acting like idiots and actually contribute something to society, a couple of new advertising campaigns threaten to lay waste to the whole mindset.

Belvedere Vodka, for example, has signed up Young Jeezy, a rapper whose 2001 debut album was called "Thuggin' Under the Influence," to be its spokesman. I viewed the ad and had trouble with only two things:

(1.) I could barely understand a word he muttered, and

(2.) I could not comprehend how Belvedere thinks such sleazy stuff will make anyone buy their product. In my case, it will send me screaming into the arms of a competitor. Any competitor.

And Jim Beam has come up with a series of short commercials apparently based on two things:

(1.) All men are pigs, and

(2.) Beautiful women are attracted to pigs. (If not, they may be attracted to other BWs, which pigs usually like.)

On top of that, Beam -- my "house bourbon" and, therefore, a bigger disappointment to me than it may be to some others -- is soliciting people to "remake" the ads and win some prizes.

You can get all the gory details of that gimmick online as well as view the series of original ads.

Note: You can read the "Code of Responsible Practices for Beverage Alcohol Advertising and Marketing" from the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS) here.

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1 comment:

Katie Young, Director, Qorvis Communications LLC said...

Hi Bill:

I saw your post on the new Jim Beam commercial and just wanted to send you a quick note.

Just so you have all the facts, the Jim Beam advertisement titled “The Girlfriend” is appearing on sports television networks from January 19 through February 15. This is the only commercial that is airing.

Our goal was to gain buzz in a very tongue-in-cheek manner and draw attention to our social media contest “The Remake” online. The Beam-sponsored “Remake” contest is another layer we’ve added to connect with our consumers, through a combination of new and traditional media.

The only way to test a social media campaign is to implement it, learn from it and then adapt accordingly. We know that “The Girlfriend” does not reflect the desired girlfriend for all viewers and we are challenging legal purchase age consumers to create their own, original commercial that imitates, spoofs and improves on “The Girlfriend” commercial through “The Remake” contest.

We truly designed the commercial in jest and to be taken in a lighthearted tone.