Zac Brown Band Meets Jack Daniel’s Brand
More than a decade since Jack Daniel’s last worked closely with a major music artist, the Lynchburg, Tenn. distillery is teaming with Zac Brown Band for a campaign that combines Southern gourmet food, the band’s genre-bending music and the pleasures of good ol’ fashioned Tennessee whiskey.
“There are so many synergies between the two,” said Dave Stang, Assistant VP, Brand Awareness, Home Place, Jack Daniel’s. “We get calls all the time: ‘Sponsor our band’ or ‘sponsor our tour.’ For years we didn’t do it, but then this fell in our lap. There is nothing phony about Lynchburg. And with Zac Brown there is nothing phony about him. It works real well.”
It all began more than four years ago when Zac Brown Band signed with ROAR management and Brown began thinking about brands he might consider as partners. One was Jack Daniel’s, so over the next two years the band made several trips to Lynchburg, while the company’s representatives saw their live shows. The band met with distillers to watch the whiskey-making process and to learn the Jack Daniel’s history and traditions.
The partnership, launched in September 2011 with sold-out concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Morrison, Colo., includes advertising, social media campaigns and promotions across the U.S. and Canada as well as a responsible drinking campaign. It has a commemorative bottle program featuring whiskey from the band’s unique barrel; proceeds support Brown’s charitable organizations. Brown has even incorporated the whiskey into his famous eat & greet events, where he offers concertgoers original culinary creations prepared by Southern Ground Executive Chef Rusty Hamlin. In addition, Jack Daniel’s is rolling with its “Lynchburg on Wheels,” a mobile Lynchburg museum of sorts that appears at the band’s select tour dates, Southern Ground Music and Food Festivals, ticket giveaways and other activities.
“There are just some brands out there that are uniquely American, that speak to all of us in a way that is hard to explain sometimes,” said Bernie Cahill, a partner at ROAR. “Jack is one of those iconic brands that exhibit all of those pillars of authenticity that are so important to consumers these days.”
Part of the appeal of Zac Brown Band is the demographic of the group’s fan base, which tends to be on the younger side of legal drinking age, according to Stang. He also sees strong similarities between the artist and “Mr. Jack,” as the brand’s now-deceased founder is known around Lynchburg.
“Jack believed in fraternity and Zac also believes in fraternity,” Stang said. “They’ve got Southern roots, and that’s the epitome of Americana. Mr. Jack and Zac are both free-spirited people. And if you look at it in their trade, they do things their own way. Zac has his standards and sticks to those standards, and certainly Jack does. What we see is what we get, and we’ll not change our ways.”
By Christian Bottorff