Five times films and TV shows inspired alcohol trends

Mad Men and Canadian Club Whisky

 

Jon Hamm as Don Draper – Mad Men _ Season 7B, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Justina Mintz/AMC

Was there ever a trendsetter like Jon Hamm’s Don Draper? The dapper 60s advertising exec from AMC’s Mad Men had a marked effect on fashion, but his choice of whisky also made its mark.

Thanks to Don Draper ordering it by name in the show and a Mad Men-esque advertising campaign with the tagline “damn right your dad drank it”, sales of Canadian Club whisky began to recover from a 17 year slump. The whisky also appeared on Prohibition era drama Boardwalk Empire. 

A spokesperson for Canadian Club Whisky told AV News that the show “had a huge impact on the brand. People are talking about it again.” If Don Draper is drinking your stuff, why wouldn’t it fly off the shelves?

4 Responses to “Five times films and TV shows inspired alcohol trends”

  1. Tim Clark says:

    Interesting, and fun to look back with hindsight. It’s true that references in popular culture can shape our tastes. I first tried a whisky sour (still my favourite cocktail) for one simple reason: because I read Raymond Chandler’s hardboiled masterpiece “Farewell My Lovely” as a teenager. I simply didn’t think that you could get cooler than this:

    We went over to the bar. The barman swabbed the bar hurriedly. The customers, by ones and twos and threes, drifted out, silent across the bare floor, silent down the dim uncarpeted stairs. Their departing feet scarcely rustled.
    “Whisky sour,” the big man said.
    We had whisky sours.

  2. This article literally hit home with me; I’m a principal at HERO Entertainment Marketing. We placed Grey Goose with Will Smith in Hitch, placed the Jaegermeister bottle on Joey and Chandler’s kitchen counter on Friends, and most recently, we placed a bottle of Chateau Gaby Cuvee in Axe’s hand on Showtime’s Billions. To the article’s point, Axe’s implied endorsement led to a very well known TV personality ordering a case the day after its airing and, once they tasted it, ordering more. We also learned that another of our industry contacts was watching Billions, researched the unfamiliar brand and made a purchase as a direct result of that exposure.

    It’s rare to get anecdotal reports of the power of this kind of influence, so I appreciate the author sharing those great examples, including his own experiences. In today’s marketing world exposures can be amplified by social media so that consumers can learn that, say, Don Draper drinks Canadian Club, even if they don’t watch the show.

  3. Jamie Wheat says:

    There is a different blend of drinks now on the market, and I don’t even know if they can be classed as cocktails? Craft spirits are continuing to grow and grow across all sectors, as with things like the non-alcoholic gin alternative Seedlip, blending of typically alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic is something we can expect to see more and more. As well as this, there are some fascinating gins our there, and I can imagine the growing popularity of rum will start going down the same route. I have started off several new drinks distilleries (not all successful), but I have a good working relationship with a company called Distill Ventures who invest on behalf of Diego in products they believe to have huge potential. Worth checking out the company as they are great at identifying new alcohol trends and helping start-up distilleries realise their potential. It always helps when a film or tv show heavily uses a drink as well as it becomes more part of pop culture and gets a heavy promotion. https://www.distillventures.com/

  4. imagista says:

    the mad men series made me rethink about several old school cocktail that I totally forgot, now I sometimes order an old fashioned, Gibson, or a nice cold Julep like don drapper 😀

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