Y&R Trumpets Jim Beam Black

Jim Beam appeals to a younger, upscale drinker in its first national ad push behind premium Jim Beam Black.

The Deerfield, Ill.-based whiskey marketer plans to spend about $5 million on the brand through next year and another $3 million over the following two years, a representative said. Global executions are also part of the plan for 2002. Previous spending on ads for Black was negligible.

Multiple print executions from Young & Rubicam, Chi cago, are tagged, “It’s time for a better bourbon.”

In one ad, men dressed in suits with only their torsos showing appear to be enjoying a glass of Jim Beam Black at an outdoor party. The copy reads: “Smooth, mellow and refined. Actually, we’re talking about the bourbon.” Another ad shows men casually attired sitting around with the product. “A quality drink. After all those years of quantity drinking,” reads the copy.

“We are targeting young adult guys who are changing the way they drink,” said Jim Maksymiu, group product director for Jim Beam.

The print work first appeared in a September issue of Rolling Stone. A heavier schedule in December and January includes ESPN the Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, Sports Illustrated, Field & Stream and Texas Monthly.

Jim Beam Black has been on the market for decades, but this is the first major campaign solely dedi cated to it. Recent efforts tied Jim Beam Black to the company’s white label through Y&R’s “Real friends. Real bourbon” campaign.

Y&R executions target men 25-35 who are willing to pay more for what is billed as a better drink. Jim Beam Black is aged for eight years and is 86 proof, while regular Jim Beam is aged for five years and is 80 proof.

Jim Beam markets more than 80 brands in 160 countries. This year Jim Beam Brands entered into a joint venture with The Absolut Spirits Co. The new enterprise is called Future Brands LLC and is intended to provide sales and distribution services for the company’s spirits and wine brands.