While it's long been a steady companion to musicians like Kid Rock and Motorhead's Lemmy, Jim Beam is perhaps an even bigger staple on the NASCAR/IRL circuit. Now, inspired by its Jim Beam 1100 promotion, where sweepstakes winners get VIP access to root for Jim Beam team drivers during the Indy 500 and Lowe's Motor Speedway 600 in Charlotte, the stalwart whiskey brand has steered its way online to give racing fans a similar, virtual experience.
Thanks to the creative prowess of Energy BBDO, racing enthusiasts can now enter the "Jim Beam 1100 Rally
," a race spanning Indianapolis to Charlotte that also happens to take a detour through Clermont, Kentucky, the town that houses the Jim Beam Bourbon distillery. Players can choose from one of three fictional characters: femme fatale Pink Cougar, Shawn the grease monkey/fast-food junkie and the bourgeoisie, latte-sipping Brad Winthrop III. NASCAR authenticity is also intact thanks to cameo messages from renowned drivers Michael Andretti and Robby Gordon as well as Jim Beam's great-grandson, Fred Noe.
Within both suburban, rural and downtown roads, users can navigate via arrow keys (which control left, right, acceleration and deceleration) through alleyways, backroads and bridges in this the somewhat free-for-all rally. Each of the three drivers comes with their unique "attack," which they can launch at their competition throughout the race. Players begin with five of each, which include a heavy metal cassette for Shawn, a wad of cash for Brad or a large diet soda for Pink Cougar. Attacks aren't the only menace, though, as potholes and oil slicks constitute some of the other obstacles. But players also have the advantage of pick-up items, which include "speed boosts" and Jim Beam wax speed logos, all of which will increase points and standing.
It may not have the graphical extravagance of an Xbox or Playstation racing game, but the "Rally", with send-to-a-friend option in tow, has enough entertainment and branding value to get revved up for.