The smashing windows, explosions and other special effects depicted in the ad signal an abrupt change from Maker’s Mark typical ads, which tend to lean into its heritage and history, using what Hall called the conventional codes of aged spirits and bourbon ads, such as wheat fields and cocktail bars.
“This time, we’ve decided to step out and show the consumer how we can show up in their life, how we can ideally tell our story and inspire them to ask ‘what if?’ the way our founders did,” Hall said. “So we’ve tried to bring a much more contemporary approach to telling this story while also paying homage to that handcrafted spirit,” which the ad demonstrates by showing the brand dipping its bottle top in red wax by hand.
Leo Burnett, which was retained by Maker’s Mark earlier this year, is the global lead strategic and creative agency. Longtime shop Doe Anderson remains the brand’s U.S. lead agency, and is serving as a strategic partner on global, Hall said.
The new ad will debut in the U.S. today on streaming TV and online video, and premiere on broadcast TV in Canada next month. In 2024, the campaign is set to expand to Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Singapore and South Korea.
Marketing to a global audience means looking for “universal truths,” said Hall, and Maker’s Mark found that curiosity is one. “We know that premium spirits drinkers are curious, and they’re always looking for discovery. So we’re tapping into this global consumer and doing so in a way that lands.”
Hall declined to cite ad spending figures but said the brand would shift support behind “Make Your Mark.”