Lately there have been more and more competitive campaigns. From Crispin’s Domino’s/SubWay brawl (which they call SubMart) to the now classic Mac vs. PC work from Chiat, aggressive campaigns have become more common — and more interesting. So, why haven’t the Irish/Scottish brown liquors jumped on the bandwagon?
Above is a new spot for Jameson, an Irish whiskey that will light a fire in your belly. The spot comes from TBWA\Chiat\Day New York and tells the tale of an imperiled John Jameson who apparently fell off a ship once and was almost eaten by a giant squid.
A recent BBH spot told the tale of Johnnie Walker, a Scottish whiskey you probably know best as “Johnnie black”. The spot told a story, via actor Robert Carlyle, who did one continuous take to complete the 5-minute piece. In it, he basically tells the entire story of the company.
The rivalries between Scotland and Ireland are as old as the ground those countries encompass, yet both these notable alcohol purveyors trend toward safe ads. Personally, I think the back and forth is more compelling — because it creates real drama. The companies are literally fighting for market control, so why not let it play out in your advertising?
And come on — this is whiskey we’re talking about. All whiskey must be at least 10 years old to be good, unless you’re talking about the stuff that’s left to rest in 150 year old oaken wine barrels. Case in point: there’s a ton of heritage to the stuff, and it’s ripe for a little feather rustling. What could be more fun than sampling a few whiskeys and debating which is better — in a Scottish accent? I bet Carlyle is up for the job. From the Irish corner, Robin Williams (who I believe is of English descent).