Jim Beam Pours Into Cable


Commercials for Jim Beam bourbon are appearing on TV for the first time in the history of the medium. The campaign debuted Sept. 5 on cable networks, including Comedy Central, Discovery and Spike, Jim Beam Brands Co. announced Wednesday.

The ad draws from a recent print campaign, “The Stuff Inside Matters Most,” which began in 2004. The theme of the commercial, which depicts the history of the 210-year-old brand, is change—or a lack thereof. At one point, the voiceover declares: “Here’s to stubbornness.”

Jim Beam Marketing Director Keith Neumann said the historic and story-telling nature of the commercial is powerful. “At the same time, the toast to stubbornness is a nod to the fact that we don't take ourselves too seriously,” he said.

Broadcast and cable networks are divided over liquor ads. Since the liquor industry’s self-regulated ban on ads was lifted in 1996, most spots have run on cable. Broadcast networks have largely avoided them, though NBC briefly tried them, but national beer ads flow freely and affiliates of all the networks carry local liquor spots, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.

In its announcement, Jim Beam Brands Co. stated: “The media buy exceeds the distilled spirits industry's voluntary commitment that legal-purchase age adults comprise not less than 70% of the viewing audience.”