Jim Beam goes primeval in $5m ad blitz

Tarzan calls, monkey noises and primeval cries of the wild reminiscent of a Jim Carrey film are the means with which Jim Beam is now targeting 25-30 year-old drinkers.

A new campaign by The Works sees the bourbon brand move away from the appeal of pretty girls, the premise of its last campaign ‘The dilemma’, to focus on the feeling the drink gives its target group of young men and women.

The Works’ creative partner Damian Pincus said the campaign was based on “an infectious, social idea”.

The ads were directed by UK-based director Tim Brown.

The $5m initiative marks a tripling of advertising spend on ‘regular’ levels, according to the advertiser.

Teaser stunts kicked off the campaign on Friday. Calls featured in the ads were played back over speakers around Sydney.

The ads will run as 15- and 30-second spots in cinema as well as on subscription and free to air TV. Ambient, point of sale, press and direct marketing will run in support.

A social element will follow in April where Jim Beam fans will be encouraged to post their own calls of the wild on the brand’s Facebook page to create a “wall of calls”.

In a press release, Jim Beam’s brand director, bourbon, said: “Jim Beam is a category leader and will again push boundaries by continually reinventing our marketing activities to keep consumers and trade engaged in the brand. The ‘It’s time’ campaign is something we are confident consumers will make their own, talk about and share.”


  • Brand director, Jim Beam: Ray Noble
  • Creative agency: The Works
  • Creative Partner: Damian Pincus
  • Creative Director: Kevin MacNamara
  • Creatives: Will, Steve, Shelby
  • Creative Project Manager: Lindsey Carmichael
  • Production Company: Mosaic Films
  • Executive Producer: Craig Bolles
  • Director: Tim Brown
  • Media agency: Unity Communications
  • PR agency: Burson-Marsteller


  1. Thomas
    19 Mar 12
    8:58 am

  2. It’s ownable, creates brand interaction and would probably work well on-premise when choosing/ordering a drink, but christ it’s annoying.

  3. TR
    19 Mar 12
    9:27 am

  4. Holds

  5. TR
    19 Mar 12
    9:29 am

  6. Holds a mirror up to the consumer quite nicely. I don’t have the language skills to order one so I’ll just scream like a simian until the barman hands me a can.

  7. lol
    19 Mar 12
    9:50 am

  8. Yes it is a fabulous social idea! I hope there is a swift take up. I can’t wait to get to my local and have everyone screaming like a banshee then laughing as if it is hilarious.

    Bourbon drinkers are bad enough, don’t give them ideas on how to be more abrasive.

  9. Lucio
    19 Mar 12
    10:10 am

  10. Love it. It’s fun and I suspect the campaign will lead to excellent brand recall.

  11. big ears.
    19 Mar 12
    11:12 am

  12. Sorry, don’t get it.

    Strong creative, but what’s the link back to brand?

  13. goodone
    19 Mar 12
    12:03 pm

  14. saw the tvc on the weekend, didn’t really know what was going on and annoying as hell. after reading the above, seems like a good strategy poorly executed?

    i’ll withhold judgment on the social element until I come across it, could work I guess…..

  15. Mitch
    19 Mar 12
    12:55 pm

  16. Most annoying TVC I have ever seen! Hard to know what’s being promoted when you’ve been forced to change channel 10 seconds into a 30″ due to impending insanity from the horrific audio.

    Not a fan at all.

  17. Nat
    19 Mar 12
    1:05 pm

  18. Drinking Beam makes you an animal?

    Could have legs in social sense. I mean the real one with mates hanging out drinking beam.

  19. Matt
    19 Mar 12
    1:06 pm

  20. Sums up their target market perfectly in my opinion – drink Jim Beam and act like a complete animal.

  21. Ron Jeremy
    19 Mar 12
    1:11 pm

  22. Massive fail on so many levels.

  23. John Grono
    19 Mar 12
    1:19 pm

  24. It’s time … I will never get back in my life.

  25. les wood
    19 Mar 12
    1:36 pm

  26. It’s a great idea – but it will be annoying after the second viewing

  27. Kylie
    19 Mar 12
    1:46 pm

  28. Agree, most annoying – target market nailed

  29. Sammy
    19 Mar 12
    2:19 pm

  30. No link to brand?
    It turns me off drinking Beam.
    I am NOT an animal…

  31. Gemma
    19 Mar 12
    2:53 pm

  32. Good work Works…
    Fun idea, should set the tone for a fun night out.

  33. sorry for the staff
    19 Mar 12
    3:05 pm

  34. I feel sorry for the staff that had to endure the noises over and over and over again while the brand manager and other brand team members were reviewing whether the noise was in line with the brand image and fit within their brand’s persona.

  35. A
    19 Mar 12
    3:45 pm

  36. What the?

  37. rob
    19 Mar 12
    4:16 pm

  38. can’t go wrong with creating an “infectious” idea for a target audience where heavy drinking and STDs go hand-in-hand……drink this, act like an animal and wake up next to one – job done

  39. Tom
    19 Mar 12
    9:38 pm

  40. Anonymous advertising douchebags East of Petersham either A) don’t get it, B) don’t like it, or C) use it as an opportunity to slag off average Australians (proving how out of touch they really are).
    Mission accomplished!
    Well done lads.

  41. B
    19 Mar 12
    10:02 pm

  42. Can someone please explain this.
    Do i blame agency or client for ruining my F1 viewing

  43. just wonderin?
    20 Mar 12
    4:07 pm

  44. Is Tom having a dig at The Works?

  45. SHarni
    26 Mar 12
    10:25 pm

  46. What a stupid add you are showing here. There are 60 people in this town who all grab there remote & mute it every time. What about all the decent adds you can come up with. We all hate it GET it OFF you IDIoTS

  47. Rabbit
    28 Mar 12
    11:05 pm

  48. Recognised as one of the most annoying ads of recent years, and is turning people off the product rather than on.

  49. Mac
    1 Apr 12
    1:32 am

  50. Worst and most annoying add I’ve ever seen…

  51. Wardad
    3 Apr 12
    8:35 pm

  52. “”based on an infectious social idea ” what like VD? or national socialism? Think I’ll go down to my local bottleshop and yell like a halfwit ,no ? isn’t that the idea ? was always a tossup between Jim Beam and JD ,so Jack Daniels it is then !

  53. Herb
    5 Apr 12
    12:32 pm

  54. Jim Beam has been my choice of drink for about 13 years. Got the Beam shirts, even got a Beam doona cover. This ad is making me switch brands.

  55. beezlebub
    5 Apr 12
    2:09 pm

  56. will work fantastically well for the existing Jim Beam drinkers who also happen to be idiot nerds

  57. Offal Spokesperson
    5 Apr 12
    2:54 pm

  58. 3 times in the past week, i have literally (and yes i mean literally) turned off the TV thanks to this abomination of an advert, still, i guess it means im getting to bed earlier.

  59. Lazza
    7 Apr 12
    8:19 pm

  60. Horrible add, I am/was a Jim beam drinker. I will not buy it anymore whilst that stupid add is being aired. I hate it and mute it or turnthe channel. I have switched to WT and JD . The add be littles the consumer in both its representation and annoyance. We are all not kids !

  61. john
    7 Apr 12
    9:41 pm

  62. I will NEVER drink Jim Beam again because of those adds, I have switched to Scotch.

    Most annoying add ever on tv.

  63. Shikka
    10 Apr 12
    11:42 pm

  64. Whoever paid for this ad got suckered big time. In this time of economic uncertainty its heartening to see money going down the gurgler. Top Job. I used to think our advertising companies had potential …baabow…nope…fail. Bring back smart advertising, any monkey can scream at a camera. If you didn’t mention that it was supposed to be referring to some kind of primal urge i would never have guessed it.

    Actually for that matter, within 2 seconds my brain said, GFY and i didn’t give a rats about the product, all of a sudden reruns of the brady bunch became more interesting then sitting through this ad.

    If any ad promotes turning off the box and going and doing something in the real world..this is it.

  65. ben
    11 Apr 12
    11:47 am

  66. this ad is the worst, i would cross the street to avoid this advert, it is noise pollution.
    who even thought of this tripe ?? pull your head in. alcohol is lame anyway

  67. James
    11 Apr 12
    1:07 pm

  68. I wish I could have been the Marketing Director in the room when that ad was first shown to me, just so I could go Ari Gold at the CD when it finished playing. I sometimes wonder whether creative agencies think to show an ad to someone who doesn’t work in creative before they present. If 10 people off the street watched this, I doubt 1 would have said “cool ad”.

  69. Pagent
    11 Apr 12
    2:25 pm

  70. If you couldn’t string 5 words (Jim Beam & Cola, please!) together before you drink it, you most certainly won’t be doing it afterwards (facedown in the gutter outside, with the can, shoved ringpull first, plugging your mouth!).

    Recognition? Cut-through? at what & whose expensense? I’ll bet some people at the agency will be nervously looking over their shoulders for the imposter police to show-up & take them away to somewhere “digital” . . .

  71. Rob
    12 Apr 12
    12:22 am

  72. I gave up drinking Jim Beam after the ethyl carbamate scare some years back but these latest ads are almost enough to get me back. Greatest advertisements ever.

  73. yvonne
    13 Apr 12
    8:08 pm

  74. The most annoying ad I have ever seen. I switch channel immediately. Would NEVER drink Jim Beam now as it makes me want to scream. I hate it with a passion.