I tend to browse the internet a good deal, and a large portion of that stems from reading articles on various websites associated with Gawker (mainly Kotaku, Jezebel, and Gizmodo). Browsing around Jezebel in particular gives me some good laughs throughout the day, indulges my lust of designer fashions, and gives me something to talk about with my boss since she is a frequent reader as well. It also allows me to ask, "wtf?" at many commercials, since even though I have a tv with my roommate, and we do have cable this year, I generally get up and do something or make tea during commercials. If I didn't get my necessary dose of advertised consumption driving capitalism in, then I just wouldn't be a good little American, now would I?
One particular commercial struck me recently.
Jack Daniel's seems to be trying something new: actively marketing their product to the female half of the population. In the past, most marketing has been pushed towards promoting whiskey as the elixer of manhood, dudeness, and all things testosterone filled. Therefore, it is a bit refreshing, personally at least, to get some action for the ladies.
With that being said, cookies? I enjoy baking. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy whiskey. With that in mind, just because I'm female does not mean that my only use for whiskey is in the kitchen. I can not hate too much on the advertisement, because it does go on to show images of women enjoying whiskey based drinks in the rest of the commercial, however, spiking cookies is still the first image presented. Many a marketing person will tell you, first impressions make a ton of difference. With the image of women using Jack for baking cookies as the opener, I ask why can't there just be an ad campaign of women enjoying Jack for Jack's sake?
A while ago, I thought I was a little odd for enjoying whiskey as my go-to alcohol, awesome but still a bit odd. Vodka is normally second or third battling with gin, but I really enjoy whiskey. I'm not really sure where this love affair started, maybe from one too many sips of my Dad's nightcaps of whiskey in an old-fashioned glass over a few ice cubs, but this love will never die. Most girls don't drink whiskey. Apparently we "can't handle it". The girls who do like it, receive some odd intangible "hotness +5" medal for being "man-enough" to drink it. Over the years though, I have met a few female friends who share my tastes. We all seem to wear this medal together, and it still perplexes me. No one gets attention for loving vodka, gin, or rum, however there is a bit of attention attached to tequila (personal opinion here: not a tequila person so I guess certain kinds of crazy can't understand each other). Apparently these drinks aren't as "manly" as whiskey, which just seems silly. I am aware that the association has existed for a long time, but why exactly does a love of whiskey = respectable testosterone?
I love Jack Daniel's and Jim Bean, I enjoy Wild Turkey, Jameson and I go back and forth, and there is a special place reserved for Maker's Mark in my heart. Especially with Maker's, what's not to love about the smoothness, warm caramel tones and the rich taste? My preferred palate combined with an apparently larger than average tolerance for a girl, has given me somewhat of a reputation over the years. I have a good guy friend who has said that I can drink people under the table, and why I do enjoy this compliment, I still can't but wonder if this would be the same if I was known for liking rum.
Women have been enjoying and drinking whiskey for quite some time, so it is a bit disappointing that advertising is just now recognizing this. It is both an accomplishment, and a let down. My Mom drinks just about as much as my Dad, and very similar drinks as well. I have a female friend who I can always count on for getting shots of Jack at a bar. There's even the lovable character of Robin Scherbatsky from one of my favorite shows, "How I Met Your Mother" who enjoys whiskey and scotch just as much as Barney. While my personal sample size is not a good basis, statistically speaking, for a generalization, it is personally a bit of a "meh" feeling with sprinklings of disappointment towards the Jack Daniel's ad and facebook page. In addition, I just have to wonder how cookies were the best thing that the marketing team could come up with to spike. Cookies have nothing on my best friend's grandmother's desert of bourbon balls.
References because I feel like it:
Women Urged to get in the Kitchen and Have a Whiskey [Jezebel]
Women and Whiskey: Why Not? [Newsweek]
Spike the Cookies [Facebook]