Jack Daniel's creates an ode to drinking and socializing—distantly

‘Cheers to Making Social Distancing, Social,’ the whiskey brand says in the crowd-sourced spot

Published On
Mar 26, 2020

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With ad shoots all but impossible during the coronavirus outbreak, user-generated content is having a moment. The latest brand relying on the tactic is Jack Daniel’s, which today released a digital video called “With Love, Jack” from Energy BBDO that spotlights the many ways homebound people are keeping occupied during the pandemic.

The video includes real-life scenes of people doing everything from engaging in a makeshift game of ping-pong using kitchen pans at paddles to playing chess over a video stream. It ends with shots of drinkers holding glasses of whiskey, giving each other virtual cheers, followed by the message, “Dear Humanity. Cheers to Making Social Distancing, Social.”

The footage was assembled by Flare Studios, the London-based crowd-sourcing arm of BBDO, which scoured the internet for the videos and paid people for the right to use them. The soundtrack is a version of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” performed by the singing duo of Kenny Fleetwood and Whitley Little. (Daniel Kuypers, Energy BBDO’s executive director of music, had previously worked with Fleetwood on other ads.)

The video is the first work for Jack Daniel’s from Chicago-based Energy BBDO, which won the account late last year. Like most shops, the agency is operating under a travel restriction, meaning staffers assembled the spot while working from home.  

“We’ve all had to rapidly adapt to this new reality, and we discovered this magical thing where people are finding really creative and beautiful ways to stay connected during this time of social distancing,” Josh Gross, co-chief creative officer of Energy BBDO said in a statement. Matt Blevins, Jack Daniel’s Global Brand Director, added that  “showcasing how our friends around the world are rallying and uniting together during these times was our goal. It was about capturing real moments that are helping folks find social connection, which is something Jack Daniel’s celebrates.”

The ad comes as alcohol brands operate in a new reality—while bars are shuttered in several big cities, in-store purchases of booze are soaring, as more people take to drinking at home. Store purchases of spirits jumped 26 percent in the week ending March 14, according to the latest data from Nielsen.