It’s September and there’s a lot to celebrate! Well, maybe not too much for me, but I am excited that today marks my 22nd birthday – a year after the landmark age of 21 and one prior to the year where I’ll feel like I’m facing a mid-life crisis. But I can’t complain since 22 is not anywhere near 160.
Not only is September my birthday month, but one of the most popular and most recognized whiskey brands is also celebrating its big day. Jack Daniel’s turns 160 this year and has everyone across the nation partying throughout September with glasses raised to toast Jack and raving about this year‘s limited edition commemorative bottle. But, wait! How did Jack Daniel’s birthday become so popular?
Jack’s PR team took a bold step by launching a campaign – or clever publicity stunt — to have a national holiday declared for the whiskey maker’s birthday. Here’s how:
Go Grassroots: Jack Daniel’s is taking its cause to the people – visiting all states and asking individuals to pledge support on social media channels and at bars in select cities – with the signatures set to be delivered to Washington, D.C.
Use Sight, Sound & Motion: Fans are directed to a Facebook page where they are able to sign the petition to declare Jack’s birthday a national holiday, see a video and a map of state-by-state campaign support and earn status badges which show their level of influence and support of the campaign.
Immerse Your Brand in the Public Eye: To wrap up the “Back Jack” campaign, brand reps will travel in a campaign bus on tour from the Tennessee whiskey’s origin to Washington, D.C. where they’ll deliver the signed petition to Congress.
How successful do you think this campaign will be? With enough support from Jack fans, is there a a chance we may be taking off for Jack’s birthday next year as we do for MLK Day and President’s Day? Federal holiday or not, with Mr. Jack’s worldwide recognition and consumers’ love for the brand, I doubt too many people will turn down any reason to pour a glass of whiskey to celebrate any occasion – especially for Jack’s birthday.
At Cookerly, we created a slightly similar marketing strategy for The Clean Air Campaign during the first-ever Georgia Telework Week by using social media channels, support from the Governor’s office, and the nonprofit’s website to rally support for telework. Was it a success? Yes! With more than 150 Georgia employers participating, we exceeded expectations. Maybe next year we’ll try adding whiskey shots as an incentive. Then again, maybe not.