Commercials are awkward now. It’s hard to pitch a product without dealing with that coronavirus-carrying elephant in the room.
Jack Daniel’s aims to acknowledge the times we are living in with a subtle new ad that launched on social platforms March 26. It was produced on the fly by Energy BBDO, the new creative agency partner for the bourbon brand’s parent, Brown Forman.
The ad, titled, "With Love, Jack," was created from a pastiche of user-generated footage.
The Energy agency partnered with BBDO Flare Studio’s ability to corral crowdsourcing resources to collect content of “real” people interacting using social distancing practices, And since in some of the videos they’re conspicuously drinking the product, it obviously wasn’t all just “found” video. But the agency says other clips were found online and licensed.
“We’ve all had to rapidly adapt to this new reality,” said Josh Gross, co-chief creative officer at the agency.
The ad was made in a week. In that week, a lot of shared video -- mini-performances from performers, and serenades by, to and from nurses and doctors -- have provided other too-real life videos to the world.
Beginning the ad, a young man videos himself singing a version of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” while a woman, presumably a girlfriend or wife, watches and hears it in another locations.
Next-door neighbors in a tenement neighborhood salute each other on their windowsills from a distance with a Jack over ice. A couple plays tic-tac-toe on either side of a sliding glass door, making their X’s and O’s with markers on the window. Two guys play a chess game via smartphone.
“Showcasing how our friends around the world are rallying and uniting together during these times was our goal,” said Matt Blevins, Jack Daniel’s global brand director, in a statement.
Schmaltzy yes, but at a time the world probably welcomes more of it. There’s no looming shortage in that stockpile, or probably in Jack Daniel’s warehouse, even though hard liquor sales are reportedly going through the roof.
Brown-Forman is among the distilleries and breweries now producing hand sanitizer with some of their excess alcohol. The company has also donated $1 million to COVID-19 relief efforts.