TX Whiskey serves Texas cool on ice with new ad campaign

Linda J. Dodson

TX Whiskey, which is owned by Pernod Ricard, has teamed up with actor Scoot McNairy (“Narcos” and “Argo”) for a series of spots eyeing millennial drinkers while distinguishing itself as a uniquely Texas brand.

The ads show McNairy, a Texas native, enjoying a glass of whiskey on the rocks among a diverse group of people, wrapping with the catchphrase, “Our Whiskey, Our Way.” The new spots were produced with the advertising company Tombras and were shot at TX Whiskey’s distillery, Whiskey Ranch. The rugged environment is meant to invoke feelings of Texas independence and spirit.

Either six or 15 seconds in length, the six new spots will run on digital and social channels.

“We’ve spent the past 12 months really digging into our Texan roots and defining how that could come to life in a creative strategy,” Pam Forbus, CMO for Pernod Ricard USA, said in an email to Marketing Dive. According to Forbus, Tombras already had McNairy in mind prior to the campaign.

Larger growth

Established in 2012, TX Whiskey was acquired by Pernod Ricard in 2019. The whiskey market has seen major growth and is expected to swell 37% between 2021 and 2025 to $108.97 billion. This reflects the recovery the industry is experiencing amid the pandemic, following the market falling from $86.64 billion in 2019 to $76.66 billion in 2020.

Recent growth in the whiskey market is largely fueled by millennials, who see the drink as “fashionable,” according to the Financial Times. Millennial consumers have prompted the growth of American whiskey, specifically, with an annual growth of 5.3% per year between 2017 and 2022. The current size of the American whiskey market is $4.9 billion. Bourbon has been especially popular as millennials embrace craft cocktails. The cohort is also challenging the stereotype of the typical whiskey drinker. They’re more likely to be women and are more diverse than the whiskey-drinking generations of the past. This demographic shift combined with the purchasing power of millennials reflects the whiskey industry’s need to market to younger people.

Authentically Texan

TX Whiskey’s six new spots are meant to invoke feelings of independence and ruggedness, themes that could appeal to hipsters and younger people who enjoy craft drinks. By airing the ads across social media platforms, they’re likely to reach the target millennial audience.

In addition to the Texas-centric campaign, TX Whiskey is also experimenting with local community events, such as the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.

“Texans are always going to be drawn to brands who are authentically Texan; that they can call their own. TX Whiskey is still young as a brand, and has some work to do in proving our Texan bonafides,” Forbus said.

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