Jim Beam is shuffling around its roster of agencies. Mekanism has been named the U.S. market digital agency for the Jim Beam brand, while StrawberryFrog, JVM and The Works, the partners that make up Jim Beam's global agency FutureWorks, have been awarded an assignment to build the client’s new global digital Web site and digital consumer experience for the brand.
Jim Beam held a review for the global digital site with FutureWorks and Mekanism, with no consultant. FutureWorks won the global assignment.
These appointments signal the increased importance that Beam is placing on digital, according to several sources. Beam spent about $21 million on U.S. measured media in 2013, which includes Jim Beam's line extensions like Red Stag and Devil's Cut, according to Kantar Media.
These agencies were already familiar faces with the alcohol brand. Beam works with FutureWorks as its global AOR and Mekanism has overseen another Beam brand, the Calico Jack Rum account, since winter 2013.
The FutureWorks team will begin work immediately. Last February, they created Jim Beam's first global coordinated global marketing effort, "Make History." That campaign included TV spots featuring actress Mila Kunis, digital branded content also featuring Kunis together with Fred Noe (Jim Beam's grandson) as well as print and outdoor advertising.
Formed last year, the FutureWorks global partnership was designed as a way to gather insights to create effective global campaigns for Jim Beam. Now, each agency will be able to translate these regional preferences when building the global digital website.
Meanwhile, Suntory Holdings in January bought Beam Inc. for $16 billion. The acquisition gave the Japanese holding company ownership of brands like Maker's Mark, Pinnacle and Canadian Club.
The Jim Beam brand is the No. 3 whiskey in the U.S., behind number one, Jack Daniels and number two, Crown Royal. Jim Beam had about $117.9 million in U.S. sales for the year ending July 13, up 7.8% from the prior year.