Thirteen years ago, Jefferson’s Bourbon founder Trey Zoeller had an epiphany aboard the marine research vessel Ocearch while watching his glass of whiskey slosh around in choppy waters: If the sea was churning his drink on deck, surely it would do the same to gallons of bourbon aging in a barrel.
Today, long after the successful launch of the Jefferson’s Ocean variety that was inspired by that observation, Jefferson’s has unveiled a new campaign that harnesses that same power of the sea (and CGI) to advertise its 90-proof whiskey that’s uniquely aged aboard ships as they circle the globe.
“This unique maturation process transforms our bourbon. The constant movement of the ocean and extreme temperature fluctuations as the ships traverse the globe deliver a whiskey that is dark, rich and caramelized,” Zoeller says of the Jefferson’s Ocean blend, which ages on ships that visit an average of 25 ports per voyage.
Created by Tennessee-based agency Tombras, the new “Aged at the Mercy of the Sea” campaign was shot in part aboard the Ocearch vessel where Zoeller was first inspired to create a sea-aged bourbon in 2008.
Since its founding, barrels of Ocean have sailed the seas on 23 separate voyages, each of which are logged on Jefferson’s website. The product’s most recent expedition took it from Savannah, Georgia through the Panama Canal and across the equator as it set course for Tahiti in the South Pacific Ocean.
Anchored by a 30-second spot running on connected TV and over-the-top channels, and complemented by social and digital elements, “Aged at the Mercy of the Sea” leans on computer-generated imagery as it shows what the sea can do from the perspective of a whiskey barrel’s bung hole. (Yes, that’s really what it’s called.)