View Full Version : Beam Ad Agency Named

08-26-2003, 15:21
In the advertising world, liquor companies enjoy uptown lifestyles on downtown budgets.

The main story in Jim Kirkís marketing column today in the Chicago Tribune is about ad agency BBDO winning the Jim Beam account. He reports that, in addition to flagship Jim Beam, the assignment includes Beam's DeKuyper cordials, Vox Vodka, and superpremium bourbon Knob Creek, among others. The budget: $15 to $20 million.

Later in the same column, Kirk reports that Grey Global Group has won the K-Mart advertising assignment. The troubled retailerís annual advertising budget: $250 million.

Whatís more, Beamís $15 to $20 million is spread among four or more brands, and several of those brands support multiple products. Beam itself is really two products now, the bourbon and the ready-to-drink Beam and Cola. DeKuyper has dozens of different products. The budget also has to pay for anything they want to do for the other small batchers, or for Old Grand-Dad, Old Crow and Old Taylor. A national mass merchandise retailer and a consumer products marketer are very different kinds of advertisers, but suffice it to say that $20 million is not a lot of money for a national, multi-brand consumer products ad assignment.

And yet it is a prestigious win. The people at BBDO were excited about it. Itís a tough market right now and every win is crucial, but ďJim Beam Brands Co.Ē also looks good on the accounts list. A lot of $20 million accounts donít get the same kind of attention.

When I was working in that field, I frequently was frustrated by the fact that with liquor companies you have all the process expense of a much larger account but when you get through all the process, thereís no money left to spend on getting the message out. The amount of process always seemed all out of proportion to the ultimate impact of the brands in the marketplace.

08-26-2003, 16:34
>He reports that, in addition to flagship Jim Beam, the assignment includes
>Beam's DeKuyper cordials, Vox Vodka, and superpremium bourbon Knob Creek,
>among others. The budget: $15 to $20 million.

Vox is actually a marketing triumph. It looks to me like they positioned
themself into prominent shelf space all over the country with a series of
sharp magazine adverts portraying elegance and sophistication, and a unique
bottle shape.

Tim Dellinger

08-27-2003, 05:27
Hey, T, I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned bottle shape. There are now a number of vodkas and other spirits which come in tall, thin bottles. Ever wonder why? Sure, they look elegant, but is there more at play? Think about this: On what shelf in you local liquor store do you normally find such tall, thin bottles? Around these parts, they're all on the top shelf. Such bottles as Vox, Grey Goose, Chopin, Belvedere, Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection and Citadelle Gin are too tall to fit on lower shelves in our local stores. So, they are literally "top shelf" spirits, benefiting from the cachet that comes with the placement.

Just a thought.


08-27-2003, 10:55
Your point is very well taken, Chuck. While $20 million would be great if I won it in the Lotto, I can recall spending that much per year on ONE brand, TWENTY YEARS ago! But when restricted to regional outdoor billboards and some national print (magazines) it should get fair exposure.

09-08-2003, 10:03
Here's a little more contrast. Smirnoff Vodka, with which Beam competes, has just announced a package redesign, a new ad campaign, and an increase in its U.S. advertising budget from $157 million to $235.5 million.