You won’t see a Jack Daniel’s commercial in Sunday’s Super Bowl telecast on the Fox network -- unless you live in one of a handful of cities.
The venerable Tennessee bourbon has made spot TV purchases in nine markets, geographically arranged so that some major cities in most parts of the country will get a chance to see them. These include New York, Dallas, Nashville, Seattle, Minneapolis, Tampa and Phoenix.
Louisville is also the list — maybe because rival bourbon brand Jim Beam is made in Kentucky. And Kansas City was a late add to that original local buy, when the Chiefs reached it to the big game.
Jack Daniel’s couldn’t have bought a national ad from Fox, even if it wanted to. While hard liquor ads have been allowed within NFL games since 2017, you won’t see liquor commercials in Sunday’s game because Anheuser-Busch InBev holds exclusive alcohol ad rights for the Super Bowl, as it has for several years.
Casey Nelson, vice president and group brand director for Jack Daniel’s in the U.S and Canada, thinks there’s some benefit in buying locally. The spot buy gets the word out in strategic markets the brand wants to reach. (And there’s some suspense, too: Jack Daniel’s won’t find out when its ad will run until the day before the game.)
The ad, titled “Our Responsibility,” focuses on the roles various distillery employees play in producing and distributing the bourbon, ending with how drinkers “are responsible for enjoying it — responsibly.”
“We like this because of the message we deliver on a day when some people drink too much,” Nelson said. “And we get a chance to show our distributors in those markets that we really care about what we do. They’re our stakeholders.”
Jack Daniel’s has teamed with Uber to provide rides home for drinkers who overdo it.
That must be a lot of people. Zoe Financial, a firm that connects investors and financial advisors, in 2018 compiled statistics that said fans of the Super Bowl that year were expected to spend $1.2 billion on beer and cider, $594 million on wine and $503 million on hard liquor.
A survey by the Beer Institute conducted shortly before 2019’s Super Bowl said 76% of those polled planned to drink beer during the game, including 86% of fans between the ages of 21-29.
That “responsibility” message will also be spread by a company called Atmospheres, a content DOOH streaming platform that will feature the Jack Daniel’s/Uber offer on TV screens at bars and restaurants.