Beam Suntory, a world leader in premium spirits, has named Leo Burnett, a leading advertising agency within Publicis Groupe, its global creative agency of record for Jim Beam. The agency will develop a new global positioning and creative platform for the iconic bourbon.
“As our flagship Jim Beam looks to the next 225 years of its history, we needed an agency partner that could truly dig into the brand’s DNA and connect with both loyal and curious consumers through rich, immersive storytelling,” said Jessica Spence, Beam Suntory president of brands. “We believe that Jim Beam has the right to lead in American Whisky globally, and we can’t wait to partner with Leo on creative that will support the continued growth of this incredible brand.”
This is the latest and largest new business win for Leo Burnett with Beam Suntory this year. This summer, following a competitive pitch, Leo Burnett was appointed agency of record for Legent, a Kentucky whiskey crafted in the traditional Japanese technique. Work is underway to tell the emotive story of the quality, distinct flavour, and uniqueness of its bourbon experience. Leo Burnett earlier won a pitch to launch a new ready-to-drink product within Beam Suntory’s portfolio in 2023. Work is currently in-market for Knob Creek and Basil Hayden, including a new brand platform for Basil Hayden – Light the Way.
“Crafting the next chapter of an iconic brand like Jim Beam is a responsibility we don’t take lightly,” said Britt Nolan, Leo Burnett Chicago’s president and chief creative officer. “We’ve been proud to deliver strong results for Beam Suntory’s small batch portfolio and couldn’t be more excited about this next stage of our partnership.”
The upcoming campaign will be Beam Suntory’s latest investment in Jim Beam. The company recently completed a $60 reinvention the brand’s homeplace in Clermont, KY, uniting its family of brands, elevating its visitor experience, and establishing the Fred B. Noe Distillery, where 8th Generation Beam Distiller Freddie Noe will craft the Beam whiskies of the future. Earlier this month, Beam Suntory announced a $400 million investment to expand capacity for Jim Beam leveraging renewable energy at its Booker Noe Distillery in Boston, KY.
In the first half of 2022, Beam Suntory reported net sales up 13% versus the year-earlier period, and a 25% increase from the pre-pandemic period in 2019. The company will complete the relocation of its global headquarters to New York City next month.
Leo Burnett launched the '6ourbon 7ime' campaign for Beam Suntory in January 2021, encouraging audiences to reclaim their happiest hour from 6-7PM at the height of the pandemic. This campaign won for Craft at the ANDY Awards, a Bronze Cube and Merit Award at the ADC Awards, two Merit Awards at The One Show, five Silver at the ADDY Awards, and one Bronze at the CLIO Awards.