Jim Beam Launches First Global Ad Campaign

by , Jan 29, 2014, 7:55 PM
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Jim Beam has signed a deal with actress Mila Kunis to be its international spokesperson for "Make History," its first global marketing campaign.

This multi-media effort spanning 100 markets includes the work of several creative agencies. A TV ad campaign has been developed by an entity known as FutureWorks, a partnership between three independent ad agencies that will lead creative in their respective markets: StrawberryFrog (New York), The Works (Sydney), and Jung von Matt (Hamburg).

The three-way partnership was born from a unique friendship and the desire to achieve excellent work and cost effectiveness through collaboration, said Nicola Conneally, New Business Associate, StrawberryFrog. The founder of StrawberryFrog Scott Goodson, has had a long relationship with Jean-Remy von Matt the founder of Jung Von Matt. He he’s also known Damian Pincus, founder of The Works, for some time.

As part of this campaign, the three lead creatives will share work on a weekly basis, discuss and make decisions. "The partnership allows for a bit of healthy creative competition, grounded by the fact that all three shops are philosophically aligned, pushing for the best creative product possible," says Conneally. 

"Our hands-on, locally-centric approach has worked extremely well in building the equity of the brand and making Jim Beam” the leader in the bourbon market, says Rob Mason, VP Global Marketing, Jim Beam. "It’s now time to take the brand to the next level and further strengthen the brand equity by uniting under a common global identity and campaign. It’s all about making history."

Jim Beam spent $13.9 million on advertising between January 2013-September 2013, down from $16.5 million it spent during the same time frame in 2012, according to Kantar Media. This international push follows news earlier this month that Japan's Suntory plans to acquire the company for a reported $16 billion.

 "Bourbon is on fire around the world -- it is one of the fastest growing categories in spirits, and as the world’s number one selling bourbon, Jim Beam is leading that trend," says Mason. 

In the U.S., the campaign will run across digital, print, and social media promoting the full Beam portfolio.

Kunis will appear via in-store retail materials, as well as in content that runs on Jim Beam's website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. TV Ads will also appear on NBA telecasts, TurnerSports/BleacherReport, FXX, Spike, Food Network, and ESPN networks. 

The concept pays homage to the iconic whiskey brand's heritage. "The concept ‘Make History’ works forwards and backwards," says StrawberryFrog's Conneally. "It enables the brand to talk about its legacy and pedigree. It also focuses on the night ahead and what you can do this evening, right now. It challenges you to make your night memorable together with Jim Beam.”

“The words 'Make History' work globally across all territories,” added Conneally, “which for a global brand on the rise is important."

Adding to the authenticity of the campaign, Kunis spent time in Kentucky with a seventh generation whiskey maker to learn more about the brand's tradition and craftsmanship before she shot her ads. "Mila has long been a fan of whiskey and of Jim Beam, and the feeling couldn’t have been more mutual," says Jim Beam's Mason. "It’s a perfect fit as they both have very American identities, but also a loyal, global fan base as well."

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