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The advantage alcohol marketers have over a lot of other categories is that consumers actually care about the stories surrounding booze brands. A person's ears might perk up, for instance, at discussion of a night out on the town fueled by his favorite cocktail.
This fact is at the heart of a new digital campaign for Jack Daniel's called "The Few and Far Between." The campaign centerpiece is a website that houses stories gathered from across the country that the brand refers to as tales of "mischief, revelry and whiskey."
The effort, by Arnold Worldwide and digital production company MediaMonks, debuts today. The site, which can be viewed here, captures 30 stories from New York City, Santa Monica, Calif., New Orleans and elsewhere using a variety of storytelling methods, including audio, video and the written word. More stories will be released later.
Some of the stories involve Jack. One of them, called "The 200 Shot Salute," is about how the cremated remains of a Boston bartender were poured into 200 shots of Jack Daniel's and consumed by mourners gathered at his home bar. "It was Ralph's wishes that we all take a piece of him with us forever," said the priest, according to the story.
Jack is a brand that is "rich in storytelling," said Laura Petry, brand director for Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, North America region. And because millennial drinkers like stories, "we just thought this made perfect sense," she said.
The Brown-Forman brand will promote the site with paid digital ads, including a partnership with Vice. A photo contest hosted on the Jack microsite asks viewers to submit photos under pre-written headlines. The winning image will be made into an ad featured in Vice.
Many of the tales on the site don't mention a brand. There is one about how a bouncer at a bar in New York City had some fun with a misbehaving patron, who left his cell phone at the bar. The bouncer, before returning the phone, called the guy's mother, who was labeled "mommy," in the phone's address book, and informed her that her son was "being an ass."
"Everybody loves a good bar story. A lot of people have good bar stories. It's something that is kind of a universal truth," said Travis Robertson, an Arnold creative director. "So we set out across the country to really find those in some of the greatest bars in America."