Forget the aspirational scenes of men in sharp suits playing poker or hanging out at exclusive roof-top bars. That’s not what whiskey should be about. There’s nothing stuffy about a drink at the heart of social experiences as diverse as the South Africans who enjoy them. That’s the message behind a new ad from Jameson a 239 year old Irish Whiskey brand in the Pernod Ricard stable.
The first Jameson ad to feature a female narrator, the ad breaks new ground in the genre and is a far cry from what you'd typically see in a whiskey spot. That's because Jameson knows that the South Africans who enjoy it don't conform to expectations.
"Most South African whiskey drinkers have a Jameson story and since the first drop was Triple Distilled in Dublin in 1780, storytelling has been a big part of our brand DNA,” says Radley Connor, marketing manager - Jameson & Irish Whiskey at Pernod Ricard of the ad. “We wanted to celebrate local Jameson stories and moments in a way that ALL South Africans can relate to. Showing once again that Jameson is the great tasting whiskey that connects South Africans and makes together better."
Subverting the tropes of traditional whiskey advertising, the spot makes a conscious decision to ‘dedela abanye’ (make room for others) and features scenes including street festivities, house parties, and an intimate gathering of friends at a bar.
“When you ask yourself what a whiskey drinker looks like, you imagine the epitome of success dressed in a suit, sitting on a leather chair,” says Nobantu Sibeko, creative director at FCB Joburg, the agency behind the ad. “When you ask what a Jameson drinker looks like – the picture is different for anyone you ask – because the taste has always been accessible. That’s worth celebrating."
”Ultimately, the ad is a celebration of how South Africans have adopted Jameson integrating it into a variety of social occasions - not just those defined by the whiskey category.
But it also makes the point that there’s no such thing as a ‘Jameson Drinker. Why? Taste, That’s Why.