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Jim Beam Targets Beer Drinkers With New Highball Campaign

January 8, 2021

Beam Suntory has debuted a new ad campaign for Jim Beam, focused on introducing the Highball serve to beer drinkers. The campaign launched this week with a TV spot titled “Need a Break From Beer” that will continue to run nationally throughout 2021 on sports and entertainment networks like MLB Network, AMC, Comedy Central, and ESPN2, and broadcast networks like ABC, Fox, and NBC. Beyond TV ads, the campaign will also feature retail and in-person activations throughout the year, including pop-up “Beam Gardens,” a Highball-focused take on traditional beer gardens.

“We’re taking a widely enjoyed cocktail that’s been trending for years and finally shining the national spotlight on it,” said Jessica Spence, president of brands at Beam Suntory. “We know drinkers are getting bored with beer and are looking for new alternatives.” Beam Suntory recommends “mixing chilled Jim Beam Bourbon with ice and ice-cold, highly carbonated ginger ale” to make the cocktail.

Over the last few years, Beam Suntory has successfully leveraged the Highball to dramatically increase Jim Beam’s profile in Japan, where the brand now sells above 1 million cases. With consumers increasingly experimenting with simple cocktails at home, the new push could create a similar dynamic in the U.S. Including its flavored expressions, Jim Beam’s U.S. volume increased an estimated 11% to 6.3 million cases last year, according to Impact Databank. That marks a 2-million-case jump for the brand since 2015.—Shane English

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