Advertising is everything these days. It is hard to imagine a brand that could do well without it. This selection of some of the best (and some slightly weird) Whisky adverts gives us a glimpse into how different brands see themselves and how they want to be seen by their audience. Take a look at the ones we’ve selected, and let us know what you think worked best, or simply didn’t work at all!
- Bell’s The Reader
I’m not going to lie, this advert definitely brought more than one tear to my eye. It encompasses everything that a lot of Whisky brands try to communicate and fail, including family, devotion and the passing of time. Ultimately I think they’re trying to communicate that Bell’s is a Whisky for truly special moments and I think they achieve that in a unique and emotive way.
- Suntory 3D On The Rocks
What I love about this ad is not just the graphics but the bringing together of the rich heritage behind Suntory as well as the modern culture it now inhabits. This ad captures a lot about Suntory, from the purity of the water it is made with, to the art of final product itself. All in all this is just a really interesting ad with some fantastic looking graphics that capture the character of Suntory drams.
- Glenfiddich The Finishing
To celebrate their Rum cask finished expression, Glenfiddich brought together musicians from the Caribbean and Scotland, to watch their effect on a vial of Whisky. This, like the Suntory ad, is really interesting to watch. It combines two things, or places, that no one would really put together normally, and is able to present their Whisky through that.
- Jonnie Walker The Man Who Walked The Earth
If you’ve ever wanted to instantly learn all of Johnnie Walker’s life story in a matter of minutes then look no further than The Man Who Walked The Earth. This is succinct and engaging run down of the brand and how they came to be, directly connecting their past and their future, something a lot of brands can’t pull off.
- Jameson Easy Going Irish
If ever there was an ad to fully capture their determination of the Irish spirit it would be this one. Despite the hurricane blustering outside the Irish just get on with it such is the Irish spirit. And of course the Jameson helps as well. This is a good ad for its humour as well as accurate portrayal of the character of Jameson Whisky.
- Johnnie Walker DearBrother
Dear Brother has been largely touted as the most overwhelming advert ever made. Personally I found Bell’s The Reader more emotional, but this is certainly up there. I won’t ruin it, but you can probably guess what happens really. I think I appreciate this add for the poetic narration more than anything else really, but all in all it is a fantastic commercial.
- Jack Daniel’s Patriotic
There has never been a more American word than Patriotic, and Jack Daniel’s is definitely the embodiment of the American spirit, so why not bring the two together? Of course a lot of American brands align themselves with the idea of patriotism, but I love the way Jack Daniel’s capture it with a sort of rugged air, showing all types of people as the epitome of America, and essentially, of Jack Daniel’s customers.
- Johnnie Walker Joy Will Take You Further
I love this ad. It’s so good. It really does have everything, fro a catching jingle and celebrity endorsements right down to hot air balloons. It is also a fantastic extension of the Johnnie Walker motto of Keep Walking and ties the essence of the brand up well.
Really, this ad is just funny. Being a bit slow on the uptake it took me a while to realise just why he asked the guy to see his ID, so maybe I liked it so much because I was so impressed with what he did next. I won’t spoil it, but you should definitely check it out.
- Tullamore DEW Goodbye
This is quite a confusing ad and I don’t think they pulled off the humour as well as they might have, but it is a good commercial and certainly exhibits a lot of Irish quirks. Take for example the rolling green hills and the pissing down rain, perfect examples of life in Ireland! I also enjoyed that one of the guys poured the water off his hat into the Whisky and then drank it, a nice way to show the benfits of adding a drop or two to your favourite dram.
- Dewar’s, Live True
This is one of my favourite adverts, for a similar reason that I liked the Dear Brother one, it’s for the poetic narration. This is a recital of the poem “So You Want To Be a Writer” by Charles Bukowski and I think it fits wonderfully with the Dewar’s brand. They are great at capturing a message and connecting it with their brand while at the same time not actually dhowing that brand until the end, a feature of ads that I think can work quite well if employed correctly, just as Dewar’s do.
- Haig, David Beckham
Ah David Beckham. He really through his weight behind Haig and although the ad had many critics, I think it works well. The only thing I really don’t like is the bottle that the Whisky is in as it looks quite awkaward, but that’s not the worst reason for disliking an ad.
- Ballantine’s Stay True
This is commercial right in the same vein as Dewar’s Live True but it stands out as specifically for Ballantine’s. It targets a totally different audience and works well for the same reasons as Dewar’s.
This is short but effective advert that captures everything about Jura and its island home. There’s really nt a lot to it but I think that works in their favour since it tells you everything you need to know in one quick movement, making it easy and engaging to watch.
- The Famous Grouse, Drop
This is perhaps one of the most iconic adverts for Whisky and I wouldn’t be surprised if most people reading this had already seen it. The Famous Grouse have made themselves instantly recognisable through their simple marketing and mascot. Who doesn’t immediately think of the brand every time they see a grouse?
- Chivas Regal, The Evolution of Ice
Like the Suntory 3D On The Rocks, this ad captures one of the essential ingredients of Whisky, as well as the dedication that goes into ,making it. And it’s also just really interesting to watch. It also kind of made me want to go to a giant wind tunnel and see if I could melt ice into certain shapes.
- Grant’s IOU
This is fun ad that speaks to a younger audience, one that Grant’s are definitely trying to get the attention of. It makes you feel like you and your goofy mates could have a great time carrying out various shenanigans and then enjoy a Grant’s at the end of it all!
- Maker’s Mark, Morph
I like this ad because it acknowledges the brand’s biggest and most recognisable rivals and then blasts them all away with a single dip of wax. That dip by the way is something that I have been longing to see for a long time, more out of curiosity than anything else. This is a great ad that sets up Maker’s Mark up as the pinnacle of the industry while at the same time presenting it as a brand with historical roots and some character.
- Wild Turkey, Never Tamed
Again, like a few of the ads on this list, this ad speaks to a very specific audience, almost as a motivational speech or moment of solidarity. It’s along the same lines as Live True or Stay True, but with a Wild Turkey twist. I liked the untamed idea and it fits in well with the brand. They managed to do what many have done before them but with a constant hint of their own brand values.
- Nikka, Orson Welles,
This is a strangely wonderful ad. It simply had to be included for the fact that it is so old and Orson Welles is in it. There’s really nothing else to this ad except for Orson Welles, but I think that’s really all you need when you have Orson Welles.
- William Lawson, Haka
If only this happened in real life rugby, I might actually pay attention! This combines too pretty fierce battle techniques meant to intimidate the other side and I think the humour of putting them side by side works well, since one is a serious and ritualistic war dance and the other is flashing the other side with a lif of your kilt.
- Jameson, Ocean
Jameson at it again with a humourous take on the Irish spirit and dedication to preserving any alcohol. They mix history with myth and pull it off well, always nodding towards that idea of “easy going Irish” while they’re at it.
- Southern Comfort, Beach
This ad is another quite well known one and definitely captures the essence of Southern Comfort. This man should surely be everyone’s hero, especially in a world where the “beach body’ is king. If we all lived like the Southern Comfort Beach man, we would all be a lot happier, and not just because of all the Southern Comfort we’d be drinking.
- Jameson Fire
Like the Ocean ad before it, this commercial for Jameson mixes legend and history and comes out with a funny and engaging narrative that perfectly captures the character of the brand. And let’s all be honest, who wouldn’t be running to their Whisky cabinet should they wake up to find fire ravaging their homes? It’s the only logical thing to do really.
- Suntory Crest, Sean Connery
Like the Orson Welles Nikka collaboration before it, this ad is really only in here because Sean Connery is in it and it’s hilariously old and weird. From the lilting piano music to the delicate sunlight, this is an ad that well and truly shows it’s age. But Sean Connery is in it so really it should be seen as the ad we all strice to simulate in day-to-day life.