I heart JD

17 Jul
Jack Daniels cross track

Jack Daniels cross track

As I mentioned in a recent blog, I have just celebrated 25 years in our great city. And as long as I have been living and working here, there has been one constant. Not so much a red thread running through the timeline as a black and white one. I’m talking about the Jack Daniels adverts on the tube. I have no idea how many I must have seen or when exactly the campaign started. It has survived yuppies, grunge, Britpop and hipster. It has seen the government go from blue to red to blue again. It is recession proof, fashion proof and futureproof. It is not bothered that some brands choose to advertise on Snapchat, or demand approval on Facebook, or have funnelled their fortunes into content. It simply sits there above the underground tracks, timelessly, chewing tobacco and making homely small-town pronouncements, creating a myth that the global mega-brand of Jack Daniels is still pulled together by bearded men in lumberjack shirts stoking charcoal on a fire. And that’s the thing about Jack Daniels. Because its a campaign that predates me working in advertising, I am sucked in by it. I become one hundred per cent consumer. I bask in its warm glow. I properly buy into it.

But there’s more to the Jack Daniels campaign than longevity. There’s a certain genius that allows a brand to stick to its guns. To pick one advertising medium, one tone of voice, one font, one photographic style and stick to it. I have no idea which agency creates the work or which creatives over the years have so criminally been passed over at award ceremonies. But to quote Adam Driver’s character in the recent movie, While We’re Young ‘Let’s just not know’. To be honest, I don’t want to abandon the myth that these ads are written somewhere back in Lynchburg Tennessee by folk wearing ten gallon hats and listening to Elvis. Whoever you are, writers of the Jack Daniels ads on the Tube, I salute you!

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