Arnold Stirs Woodford Reserve Into the Mix

CHICAGO Woodford Reserve, Jack Daniel’s super-premium sibling, will take its own shot at bourbon drinkers. Its new campaign positions the spirit as “Bourbon in a whole new light.”

The effort from Havas’ Arnold in St. Louis includes five print ads. The first runs on the back cover of Delta Sky magazine, beginning in December. The $2 million-plus campaign also includes January issues of Details, Esquire and Smart Money.

Kentucky Derby-centric print and outdoor ads, boasting that Woodford Reserve is the official bourbon of the race, will run in Louisville.

The ads, meant to be “classic and sophisticated,” center around the upscale bottle. In one ad it sits uncorked next to a glass with ice, in another the spirit is mixed in a Manhattan. Copy reads: “Handcrafted in small batches. Woodford Reserve. Bourbon has arrived.”

The Brown-Forman-owned brand has been marketed to a smaller extent since 1998. But this is its first “true campaign,” said Wayne Rose, Woodford Reserve global brand director. “It’s the right time to add investment for advertising. We’ve reached a level of distribution and awareness where we can begin to connect with new consumers or further connect with existing [ones].”

Woodford Reserve, which retails for about $30 for a 750 ml bottle, is reaching out to men in their 30s who have refined their palates for finer spirits like chief competitor Knob Creek and other high-end brands like Grey Goose. The brand has grown 39 percent annually over the last four years, per the company.