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Jack Daniel’s embraces web3 to recruit young people for the 150-year-old brand

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By Danielle Long | Acting APAC Editor

April 5, 2023 | 8 min read

Jack Daniel's has embraced web3, creating a digital music treasure hunt in a bid to recruit and engage young adults with the 150-year-old Tennessee whiskey brand.

Jack Daniel's web3 campaign

Jack Daniel's web3 campaign aims to recruit young people to the brand

The American bourbon, which accounts for more than one quarter (26%) of the Australian whiskey market and more than half (52%) of the American whiskies sold down under, has turned to technology to ensure it remains relevant to its target audience of 20-to-30-year-olds.

"Jack Daniel's is a long-standing brand with a history that goes back over 150 years. It's really important for us to continue engaging with a new generation of Jack Daniel's drinkers," Dimitra Tassopoulos, the senior brand manager for the Jack Daniel's family of brands, tells The Drum.

To maintain its relevance to young Australians, Jack Daniel's has launched the Jack Daniel's Music Drop campaign. It challenges music fans to visit locations at specific times and use their smartphones to collect virtual records and win exclusive digital music pressings.

The campaign, created by Yahoo in partnership with digital music specialists Serenade and augmented reality experts SmartMedia Technologies and Starcom, aims to engage young people with the brand by sharing exclusive music from artists such as Winston Surfshirt, Stand Atlantic, and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, in addition to prizes.

Tapping brand purpose

Tassopoulos says the campaign is a "perfect" fit for the brand. "Jack Daniel's has had a long history in music. This campaign is ultimately bringing the music component to life in a way that is relevant to our target audience - 20- to 29-year-olds - which is through technology.

"To be honest, this is the perfect way to do it. It's less about Jack Daniel's and more about showing up in a way that is meaningful to them, which is through music and through technology."

The campaign, which launched this week and is supported by digital out-of-home and social media channels, plus influencer content, is a first for the brand.

"This is a real global first for Jack Daniel's; it is our first venture into the Web3-powered internet. The brand has a long history of supporting music, and this campaign is a sensational example of pioneering a new way for artists and fans to connect.

"Many people who have grown up in the streaming era have never owned music, and we want to help them understand how magical it can be. It's been great partnering with Yahoo to be able to harness this technology and bring this remarkable vision to life," she says.

The campaign aims to build Jack Daniel's awareness and engagement with young people while cementing its legacy in music and showcasing its relevance to a new generation.

Staying relevant and future-focused

Ensuring the campaign's relevance to the target market was central to these objectives continues Tassopoulos.

"For brands to make sure their web3 campaigns aren't just a gimmick, they need to have their consumers at the heart of it. If Web3 is where their consumer is and how their consumer wants to be engaged, then the second lens is to see how their brand can authentically show up in that space.

"With regards to this campaign, we know that young adults are very comfortable with what's coming in terms of Web3, and they are very comfortable with augmented reality and gaming. They love music; it's a massive passion point for them. With this campaign, we're meeting our consumers and target audience where they are at this intersection of culture and tech.

"Jack Daniel's has a long history in music, so this campaign was a natural fit for us. It's a natural campaign, none of it has been forced, and I think this needs to be the lens that brands are overlaying when they're thinking about web3. It needs to start with 'where are the consumers and what are they naturally doing?' and then followed by 'can we authentically engage with them and meet them where they are?'," she says.

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Yahoo's director of innovation and creative studios across ANZ, Zoe Cocker, says, "For this campaign, Web3 technology was the enabler of the experience, rather than the reason why."

"We're not just adding to the hyperbole of the Metaverse and web3; we've actually done it in a very meaningful way that takes advantage of a cultural trend, which is the shift of digital ownership and how musicians make money," says Cocker.

"Through this campaign, we're trying to ignite a new type of fan for both Jack Daniel's and Australian musicians, and web3 is an amazing bridge for that technology. Creating this digital wallet means that we can have a destination where all of this content lives, and it's being constantly re-engaged, and then fans can choose to take that out of the ecosystem and place it somewhere else.

"Web3 technology is going to revolutionise how artists and their fans interact and engage, and we believe this campaign is the first step on the road of bringing this exciting future to life in Australia," says Cocker.

The campaign also ties to the brand's long-standing commitment to music and artists, adds Tassopoulos.

"It is extremely significant to the brand; music is a part of Jack Daniel's DNA. It is very authentic for us to continue in the music space.

"With this campaign, it was really important for it to not just be about the fans but also about the musicians. Giving consumers a chance to collect their very own digital pressing of the song as a true NFT means that artists are always making money anytime that song gets sold in the future. Pay equitability for artists is important to us, and we want to continue showing up in this meaningful way in the future," says Tassopoulos.

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