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Some people make it look easy. Take Jose, a suave guy who is unfazed by bumps in the road. A stain on the shirt ends up looking like a cool tiger print. A wrong turn leads him to a happening party.
Jose isn’t a real person, but he does represent a new global platform from Jameson Irish Whiskey: Must Be a Jameson.
In the first work from its recently appointed global agency Ogilvy, Pernod Ricard’s whiskey brand hopes the phrase “Must Be a Jameson” will catch on. The tagline embodies both the whiskey’s smoothness and people who don’t take themselves too seriously.
Irish actor Cillian Murphy, known for his starring role in the TV show Peaky Blinders, narrates the ad, which follows Jose through a series of small mishaps. Jose is the kind of person who can turn a spilled drink into a fashion statement or a bumpy boat ride into a journey to remember.
He lands at the party, orders a Jameson whiskey and catches the eye of a beautiful woman from across the lawn. The conclusion? He “must be a Jameson.”
The ad will launch across TV, audio, social, out-of-home and streaming channels in the U.S. before rolling out globally. Oscar-nominated writer-director Bryan Buckley directed the film.
The second spot in the campaign, airing in early 2024, will promote the brand’s latest product release of Jameson Orange and introduce viewers to another character named Julia. Like Jose, Julia embraces adventure and the unexpected twists of life–she also “must be a Jameson.”
“Jameson is a serious whiskey that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and this new campaign is our light-hearted take on connecting people through their shared outlook on life,” Johan Radojewski, vp of marketing at Jameson Irish Whiskey, said in a statement. “Have you ever sat at a bar, saw a stranger, and wondered if you’d be friends in another life? Next time, go say hello. After all, they could be a Jameson, too.”
Ogilvy won the pitch for Jameson’s global account earlier this year against 20-year incumbent TBWA and Publicis New York. At the time, the brand said it aimed to reinforce its presence in established markets like the U.S., as well as winning customers in emerging markets such as South Africa and Asia.
“Jameson is a brand known for having a smooth taste that everyone can enjoy, and a light-hearted nature that welcomes people,” Antonis Kocheilas, global CEO of Ogilvy Advertising, added. “We leaned into that by creating the concept of a family connected by a shared spirit of not taking themselves too seriously.”
In 2022, Jameson spent $30 million on measured media in the U.S. alone, with $13 million of that coming in the form of digital media, according to COMvergence. In its 2022 fiscal year, Jameson sold 10.4 million cases across 130 markets worldwide, ranking it among the top four whiskey brands in the world and dominates the Irish whiskey category with 67% of market share.
Offices: Ogilvy UK, Ogilvy New York, Ogilvy Chicago
Global CEO, Ogilvy Advertising: Antonis Kocheilas
Global Chief Creative Officer: Liz Taylor
Executive Creative Directors: Nicola Wood, Andy Forrest
Creative Directors: Alice Teruzzi, Francesca Ferracini, Liam Butler
Senior Art Director: Mark Harrison
Creative Directors: Jen Richardson, Emily Clark
Executive Producer: Sally Lipsius
Junior Producer: George Ward
Assistant Producer: Eva McAlpine
Executive Design Director: Luke Ridgway
Lead Motion Designer: Alex Dunford
Designers: Kieran Wye, Olivier Lafayase
Head of Strategy, Advertising: Matt Waksman
Strategy Directors: Elise Alverson, Natalie Chester
Project Management Lead: Joel Metcalf
Project Director: Emily Fry
Project Manager: Anna Matyasovszki
Managing Partner: Andrew Brooks
Executive Group Director: Amy Medellin
Client Partner: Kate Woodruff
Business Director: Alex Pryce
Account Director: Rachel Passman
Senior Account Manager: George Skane-Davis
Account Executive: Calvin Twist