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South African first for Jack Daniel's TV ad

In a first for Jack Daniel's TV advertising, a TVC has been shot outside the US by South African creative marketing agency, Bletchley Park together with Giant Films. The new commercial is being considered for other emerging markets. (video)
The 45-second commercial, which was shot in Cape Town, follows the story of Jack, a self-made entrepreneur who went from humble beginnings in Lynchburg Tennessee to achieving worldwide acclaim. Before he turned 20, Jack had already established what would become America's oldest registered distillery, eventually cementing a place in popular culture decades after his passing.

Protecting authenticity

According to Bletchley Park's creative director, Kelly Putter, the single biggest challenge was to protect the authenticity and integrity of the brand. "This required a very open and honest relationship with our client as they're the ultimate sense check for authenticity. The brand has a long and proud history so any current-day treatment needs to be handled sensitively, taking the utmost care to fit in with the brand's DNA." Putter adds that Jack Daniel's own historian checked every single word in the script.

Speaking about the context for the commercial, Jack Daniel's marketing manager, Dino D'Araujo says, "What makes Jack's story compelling is that it's a true story about a man who succeeded despite overwhelming odds by simply staying true to his personal code. We reference his determination and independence as the recipe behind his legacy and pose perhaps a provocative question to our viewers, 'What's your story? Make it worth telling'."

Mysterious Old No. 7

One of the brand's more intriguing stories relates to the meaning behind the number 7 in Jack Daniel's Old No. 7. While nobody knows the true meaning behind the number, various theories abound. An innovative addition to the new commercial is the creative placement of the number 7, which features in a number of shots.

This forms part of a digital campaign launching on in which friends of Jack can win tickets to Jack Daniel's BoomTown at the Vodacom Durban July. Putter explains, "Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 is the cornerstone of the brand so we decided to use the number to get as many people as possible interacting with the brand and the ad. We've hidden the number 7 in various forms throughout the ad."

The new commercial flighted locally from 1 June on ETV, SABC & DSTV.

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