- Jack Daniel's will premiere a documentary that tells the history of the Tennessee whiskey brand and its place in popular culture. "Chasing Whiskey: The Untold Story of Jack Daniel's" will air in theaters on May 11 for one night, according to an announcement.
- Author John Grisham, singer Tina Sinatra, actor Tim Matheson, singer-songwriter Shooter Jennings and singer Eric Church appear in the movie, which was filmed in five countries to show the global appeal of the American brand. The cultural exploration includes Jack Daniel's hometown of Lynchburg, Tennessee, the Australian outback, Beverly Hills and Havana, Cuba, per the announcement.
- Fathom Events, a broadcaster of entertainment events in movie theaters, worked with producers Movie City Films and Evolve Studios on the "Chasing Whiskey" premiere. It will be available in more than 850 U.S. movie theaters at 7 p.m. local time through Fathom's Digital Broadcast Network.
"Chasing Whiskey" aims to show how one of the most storied American brands became known worldwide, including associations with performers ranging from Frank Sinatra to Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, according to a trailer. The filmmakers said Jack Daniel's, which is owned by Brown-Forman, allowed "unprecedented access" to the distillery to help uncover stories about the company and founder Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel. While the movie isn't a paid advertisement for the brand, it does help to publicize Jack Daniel's and tell a more complete story about its history.
The documentary is not Jack Daniel's first push into content that helps to tell the story of the brand, which was founded in 1875. Last year, the brand launched the Jack Daniel's AR Experience app, which let mobile users scan any of its bottles to unlock a series of pop-up book style dioramas that tell the history of the brand. In 2018, it debuted the "Around the Barrel with Jack Daniel's" podcast in a bid to reach target audiences with exclusive audio content.
"Chasing Whiskey" may help to introduce the Jack Daniel's brand to new audiences and is its latest push into content. Parent company Brown-Forman in December reported that its Jack Daniel's family of brands lifted sales 2% from a year earlier, per an announcement. The October launch of a brand extension, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Apple in the U.S., partly offset by a 1% dip in net sales of its Tennessee Whiskey. The company boosted its advertising spending 4% to support the launch of the Tennessee Apple product in the U.S. As for international sales, Russia, China and Brazil were particularly strong, although the Covid-19 outbreak may interfere with global shipments this year.
"Chasing Whiskey" follows other movie theater events aimed at urging people to visit theaters, whose U.S. attendance fell 4.9% to 1.24 billion in 2019 from a year earlier, per National Association of Theatre Owners data cited by the Hollywood Reporter. Fathom Events, which is owned by theater chain companies AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings and Regal Cinemas, has produced other event programming including live performances of the Metropolitan Opera, Broadway stage productions, sporting events and concerts.