Onion Labs Celebrates Whiskey with ‘Meet The Olds’ Campaign for Jim Beam

By Erik Oster 

I’ve been a fan of The Onion for as far back as I care to remember, so I’m always glad to see them expanding their comedic empire. Their in-house creative agency/studio Onion Labs is responsible (along with Barbarian Group, who put together the website) for a new campaign for Jim Beam’s “The Olds” whiskeys (Old Crow, Old Overholt and Old Grand-Dad). Onion Labs emphasizes the old aspect, presenting “The Olds” as a group of rambunctious, terminally youth-like men with a combined age of 422.

In the spot for Old Crow (featured after the jump), Crow is introduced as “the rare ladies man who is also a man’s man,” not the most original of premises. Sounds a little like the Dos Equis spots, to be honest. I guess the whole “women want him, men want to be him” thing is a pretty standard formula for selling alcohol, really. The execution works pretty well here, however. Crow gets chased offstage after singing about a sexy robot. Clearly the spot doesn’t take itself too seriously. The highlight is probably the woman who claims her father sent her away to boarding school, at the age of 37, to keep her away from Old Crow.

The “Meet Old Overholt” spot (featured above) works better. Old Overholt shares his life’s code: “Don’t be a delicate, lazy, pillow-soft, mamby-pamby, non-sweat-breaking, do just enough to get by, ‘Oh, we better call a plumber to come fix it,’ ‘Can I have a salad with the dressing on the side’ fancy-pants wimp.” Overholt, we learn, had this phrase tattooed on his chest, “at the tail end of the Industrial Revolution.” It’s worth a good chuckle as a kind of self-conscious satire of typical liquor ad machismo (more clearly so than “Meet Old Crow”), and should do well by the brand. (To be honest, I’d never heard of Old Overholt before. So I guess the spot succeeded at making me aware of its existence at least.)

The Old Grand-Dad video is forthcoming, which is a little disappointing since that’s the one I remember drinking in college. But I guess I’ll just have to check back to see when it comes out.

In addition to the video content, Onion Studios worked on the social media campaign which encompasses both Facebook and three Twitter accounts (@MeetOldGrandDad, @MeetOldCrow and @MeetOldOverholt). Check out “Meet Old Crow” after the jump.