Knob Creek Broadens Target Audience Via TV

Beam Inc. brand Knob Creek Bourbon is debuting its first television commercial Monday. The new advertisement, which will air nationally throughout the year, highlights the brand’s “big, full flavor” positioning and its “long-time dedication to crafting quality.”

The spot will air on TV networks such as AMC, FX, TBS and NBC Sports, as well as on digital channels via AOL, Microsoft, Scripps and NBC Web sites.

Knob Creek worked with Chicago-based marketing and advertising agency Walton Isaacson to develop the concept and production and creative design studio Brand New School to produce it.

“While super premium bourbons have become more popular in recent years, Knob Creek has always been the category leader -- even without the use of television advertising,” claimed Rob Nelson, senior brand manager of Small Batch Bourbons at Beam Inc. “As we continue to grow this authentic, legendary bourbon brand, we’ve decided the time is right to take things up a notch and allow Knob Creek to reach new audiences on TV.”

The liquor ad category has grown sharply over the past five years. In 2013, spending in the category totaled nearly $590 million -- up 30% from 2008, according to Kantar.  

Knob Creek spent $1.3 million on ads in 2013, per Kantar, down from the $4.3 million it spent in 2012. By comparison, ad spending in the bourbon category last year was $53 million, up about 8% from 2012.

The new Knob Creek TV ad, part of a broader brand campaign that also spans digital media and retail activation, has an animated format and focuses on the product’s age, flavor, quality and heritage. The spot contains the humorous and memorable quote from Knob Creek founder Booker Noe: “If you’re not completely satisfied with the big, full flavor of our bourbon, just send back the unused portion and we’ll drink it for you.”

This story has been updated to include spending data from Kantar for the liquor category.

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