Our Take: This Week in the News

culture Posted on Oct 01, 2018

The Jim Beam Demo Revolution

We know how hard it can be for a brand to shake up its core demographic, so we were incredibly impressed by the results of the Jim Beam Distillery’s campaign to reverse its decline in the bourbon market.

Though whiskey and bourbon have been on fire for the last five years, the brand was struggling to overcome its reputation as an outmoded “budget mixer,” and noticed millennials were giving it particularly short shrift. After partnering with Mila Kunis as the new brand voice in 2014, the distillery undertook a wide-ranging strategy to turn those tides, to stunning effect.

Now, 70 percent of its drinkers are under 45 and sales have jumped 43 percent. Anyway you pour it, we think that’s an accomplishment worth drinking to!

Michelob Meets Achilles

We love when brands find ways to give new voices a stage, so we were big fans of Michelob Ultra’s recent partnership with Achilles International, a non-profit advocacy group for athletes with disabilities.

We’re not surprised that Achilles International took the brewer up on the offer, considering it was hand-delivered by Chris Pratt. With one of the organization’s members serving as the Michelob team captain for its branded marathons this year, we’re sure both sides will reap plenty of rewards from the partnership.

Instagram Loses Leadership

And finally, the knocks seem to keep coming at Facebook HQ, which recently suffered the news that Instagram’s founders and chief executives are headed out the door. Though the official line is one of "rediscovering creativity," industry scuttlebutt has been pretty definitive that friction with the Facebook C-suite was the root cause.

It’s too early to say what the results will be, but with Instagram having been such a shining light for marketers even while the parent company struggled in recent years, we’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on developments.