- Bushmills Irish Whiskey hopes to make a dent in the market this St. Patrick’s Day with a new campaign that plays off the idiom “don’t be a sheep,” according to a press release shared with Marketing Dive.
- A New York bar was recently visited by four sheep named Jim, Jack, Jamo and Johnnie — a reference to whiskeys that U.S. customers often order on the holiday: Jameson, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and Johnnie Walker. The activity was filmed for a new video ad urging consumers to avoid herd mentality and try Bushmills.
- To broaden the effort’s reach, anyone can go to a landing page, forsakeyournamesake.com, to enter to win $10 off a round of the whiskey. The campaign marks the first between Proximo Spirits’ Bushmills and its new creative agency, Mekanism.
For St. Patrick’s Day, Bushmills is looking to ride a growing wave of popularity for Irish whiskey in the U.S., where category sales increased 16% in 2021, reaching $1.3 billion. The Bushmills campaign leverages the concept of herd mentality to urges consumers to try something new. The video ad also features Irish jig music and other elements often associated with Ireland, such as a pub and sheep.
While Bushmills is currently riding a financial surge, recovering to pre-COVID levels by 2022 after revenues rose 36% in 2021, the brand is the fourth most popular Irish whiskey in the U.S. Its latest campaign looks to further drive sales by taking aim at some of its competitors and encouraging consumers to be different.
The campaign, “Forsake Your Namesake” is accompanied by a 15-second promo featuring the sheep in question. The commercial states “don’t be a sheep,” and urges views to skip “the usual.” It also makes reference to Bushmills’ claim of being the original Irish whiskey, based on the fact it is the world's oldest licensed distillery.
The St. Patrick’s Day initiative isn’t Bushmills first effort to drive brand awareness in the U.S., having undertaken several successful campaigns surrounding the Netflix show “Peaky Blinders.”