Shaken, Not Stirred

At approximately five p.m. on any given Friday you’ll find me paying homage to ‘Happy Hour’. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States’ 2008 Industry Review, I’m not alone; off-premise spirits volume — alcohol purchased in liquor stores — increased by 2.9 percent from the previous year.

While most of the American economy is bottoming out, it’s bottoms up for the alcohol industry. Is it a surprise the sorcerers of spirits have invested heavily in helping remind you to bring a bottle of their booze home with you?

Open the commercial cabinet and drink these down if you would:

  • Beginning with bagpipes, Johnnie Walker walks through his history, from barrel one to the bevy of distinct labels featured today.
  • Similarly, Jack Daniels shares the long-standing stylings of ‘The Old No. Seven’, pushing you to ponder the sentiment behind its symbol.

Leaving our collective love for liquor on the shelf, how are these spots quenching consumers’ thirst?

There’s something distinctly deliberate in the buzz poured by both; tales told of a storied history of the sultans of shot, decades of delivering a now familiar formula. Both ads place a particular emphasis on pointing out the classic cache of their respective brands, providing some solidarity in otherwise shaky times.

Simply put, there’s something calming in continuity.

These ads speak to more than a consumer’s drive to drown their distress; in a time where volatile economic conditions cause consumers to question their sense of control over their lives, the bottlers of brown liquor offer an opportunity to keep at least one thing static.

Told under the guise of tradition, both ads suggest a sound understanding of the current consumer mindset, placating our desire to keep things simple – effectively stirring consumers’ shaken emotion with sweet stability in every sip.

As you head home or to a Happy Hour near you, join me in raising a glass in honor of the weekend!