Mila Kunis is a 30 year-old, Ukrainian-born American actress, best known for making “most beautiful actresses” lists over recent years (GQ,FHM, AskMen, Esquire, Men’s Health). She has a Bud-Light acting career with one challenging role that she played to some acclaim—the role of Lily, a rival ballet dancer to Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Yet somehow she has managed to team up with Jim Beam as a “global partner” and spokesperson for their first ever global marketing campaign, “Making History.”
I don’t get it. When I think of bourbon, I don’t think of a sexy petite babe who is supposedly “down to earth.” Rather I think of bold, big, brave, a band of brothers. Jim Beam is aiming their new campaign at the 20-somethings, especially in Australia and Germany. It has to be a sex-appeal thing, since bourbon is mostly a guys’ drink. They must know something else that I can’t even fathom, something about how this petite face and frame matches up to the boldness of any bourbon, in this case Jim Beam.
Matching a bourbon with an actress is clever and good marketing. But I would have gone with someone like Cate Blanchett, an Australian and one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation. I would have gone with someone whose resume “matched” the seven generations of Jim Beam makers. At 45, she has won two Academy Awards and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. She has played many tough roles from queens and a nurse captured by the Japanese in WW2, plus played Ophelia in Hamlet. She is known to Jim Beam’s target audience as Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as starred in the The Hobbit Trilogy. She has the global brand and kind of personality and presence that says: bourbon.
Take a look at the three Kunis/Beam ads and see if you are persuaded by them to go and buy Jim Beam. Or, can you see Cate’s brand on a barrel doing the job better.