A teeny, tiny Jack Daniel's campaign marketing its whiskey to women is generating some controversy. SpiketheCookies.com leads you to a tab on the Jack Daniel's Facebook page, where you can watch a little video with animated stills of some women drinking whiskey while baking cookies. It also offers a scant two pages of recipes, which include the "You clearly can't cook, so just put some Jack in that store-bought mix" recipe and the "Passed down through the Daniel's family for years" recipe, which has 17 ingredients. Fortunately, fans (male and female) are providing their own recipes in the comments. Newsweek applauds the effort as subversive because it suggests women can drink whiskey for their own reasons, not just to keep up with the guys. Yes, you can drink whiskey and be womanly. You have come a long way, baby. But Jezebel is upset that the central image is the stereotype of women in the kitchen. The Jezebel write-up even says, "It seems this ad was concocted by male ad executives trying to come up with a way to make whiskey less scary for women." That assumption seems a little too Mad Men to me. Using my journalistic powers, I called up the agency—Slingshot in Dallas—to see whether this was indeed an all-male effort.
I talked to Erin Finegold (a woman), who confirmed that the team was evenly split, and it turns out the art director, the two account directors and the producer were all female. But that's just the agency. What about the evil, misogynistic Jack Daniel's execs? A quick Googling shows that Jennifer Powell is Jack's U.S. brand manager. She talks a lot about the brand's marketing to women in this interview. But more important, what's wrong with ladies (or men) getting their holiday bake on in, heaven forbid, a kitchen? Jack has offered recipes for both the inclined and the inept chef—for the Martha Stewart and the Lazy Susan, if you will. Why should being in the kitchen preclude me from being a hard-drinkin' son-of-a-douchebag? I bet even Ke$ha takes time out from brushing her teeth with Jack to splash a little in her cookies.