- Jameson, an Irish whiskey produced by Pernod Ricard, launches its largest U.S. campaign in over a decade today, per information shared with Marketing Dive.
- The campaign, titled “Widen The Circle,” encourages spontaneity and the forming of new connections. The campaign will run across TV, online, social media and e-commerce channels. “Widen The Circle” will be included in upcoming brand activations, the first of which are set to take place during the fall football season.
- “Widen The Circle,” which was created by TBWA\Dublin comes as Irish whiskey experiences significant U.S. market growth. While Jameson remains the category leader, competition is growing from brands like Tullamore D.E.W. and Proper No. Twelve.
Jameson’s “Widen the Circle” campaign kicks off with a 30-second TV spot featuring Aisling Bea, an Irish comedian known for her work on “This Way Up” and “Living with Yourself.” A 15-second spot has also been released. The spots heavily feature in-person experiences and gatherings, the kind of activities many are eager to get back to after years of sticking close to home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The campaign is also notable as it does not center around Saint Patrick’s Day, which is when many Irish whiskeys tend to promote their products. The timing may speak to the growing, year-round popularity of Irish whiskey.
“Widen the Circle is a celebration of those powerful encounters that authentically bring new friends together and ultimately make the world feel like a smaller place,” said Pam Forbus, senior vice president and CMO at Pernod Ricard North America in a statement.
Irish whiskey’s popularity is on the rise in the U.S., the category having grown 16% in 2021 and hitting $1.3 billion dollars in sales. If the trend continues, the category is expected to overtake Scotch whisky in the U.S. by 2030. While Jameson remains the top choice for American consumers of Irish whiskey, rivals have launched aggressive campaigns for a larger piece of the pie. The second most popular Irish whiskey in the U.S., Tullamore D.E.W., has seen sales per year double since its purchase by Willam Grant & Sons in 2010.
Sales of super-premium Irish whiskey are also on the upswing. While Jameson is viewed by many consumers to be an affordable option, the brand is well positioned to take advantage of this growing market. Jameson 18 routinely sells for $160. Pernod Ricard subsidiary, Irish Distillers, also produces a range of premium whiskies, including Redbreast and Midleton.
Jameson has undertaken several marketing pushes in recent years, with a notable focus on social media. Recent endeavors include a Pinterest “color takeover” to promote Jameson Orange. As part of the campaign, the product appeared in searches for things like “orange chicken” and “orange aesthetic.” In 2021, the distiller paid people to take Saint Patrick’s Day off and in 2017, it launched a Snapchat filter for the holiday.