Southern Comfort Ad – What do you think?

The ad below was just released by Brown Forman’s Southern Comfort brand. It’s the first effort by Wieden + Kennedy in New York. The campaign is called “Whatever’s Comfortable” and runs on YouTube and the brand’s Facebook page. It will also run on national TV.
I’ll give you my take on it but first, have a look.

My informal and very unscientific survey revealed a mixed reaction. “I don’t get it,” said one of my participants, “What’s the message… where’s the brand sell?”
On the other hand, there were those who – like myself – thought that it’s excellent on a number of levels. He has an “everyday/everyman look” and the message of whatever is comfortable comes through loud and clear. Whether you like it or not, you have to give it an A+ on the production values – the glasses and shoes he is wearing, the dog, the other people and, above all, the music is well chose.
Oh, and about the brand sell in the ad coming at the very end, all I can say is if you’re watching this on social media, you know the brand because you clicked on it.

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48 comments

  1. I liked the song and I liked the guy. The Ron Swanson (Parks and Rec) and Zach Galifianakas look is good, kind of a 70’s swagger/ saunter to it which is cool. I really liked the pastoral image on their old label, but this is beyond my knowledge but it would be cool to see a bottle with SOCO as the main label and southern comfort fully written in a smaller space on the label, Im guessing they might have tried this and it would probably be risky to break from their tradition/ label recognition but, when I see that guy walking on the beach I think “SOCO” not “Southern Comfort” would come out of his mouth. I’d love to see this original guy, (Nick Offerman)Ron Swansons character AND Zach G. walking down the beach with matching facial hair and glasses, might up the budget, but it would be epic. Maybe they each take a “shift” strutting up the beach, each with their own kind of saunter. A “Saunter Off” if you will. Maybe you don’t even need the famous guys, just guys that look like them kind of.

  2. Thank you for sharing this spot. I think it is pure genius, and yes I think it will drive cases and bar calls alike. On a branding level, they have perfectly tapped a consumer insight precious to the 20-something male – there is high praise bestowed upon friends, acquaintances, or noteworthy strangers: “He just doesn’t *give* a shit!”. The character is perfect 70’s style cheese and inarguably masculine (nails the cocoa-buttered beach images of my youth in L.A.). And LOVE the Hyman Roth/Lee Strasburg lookalike lounging extra!

    It reminds me of The Most Interesting Man in the World (Dos Equis) and Damn Right Your Dad Drank It (Canadian Club) with a little Instagram-film style.

    Importantly, some serious BTL work is going on here too. It’s a hot beach scene, so they are establishing summer refreshment & driving occasionality. It’s a lowball rocks serve, offering masculinity and full whiskey cred to a liqueur. And, there is something about the music and walking the beach with a proper glass that gets me to both on- and off-premise.

    I really, really love this work. Like I want to send my resume to them love it.

  3. Love this commercial! The video and music is absolutely perfect; makes me want to hang out at the beach and chill. My husband came across the commercial and showed it to me, and we both had a good time laughing while viewing. Well done, very catchy! Reaches many age levels.

  4. Was eager to see what a veteran like you would think. I stared at it all the way through and wasn’t sure what to make of it. In light of the above, and the brand name, it’s starting to make sense — a week later. I probably didn’t get TMIMITW for a while either, but now he’s an old friend.

  5. This commercial is great. First time I saw it I didn’t get it. Second time I saw it I realized it was Genius! My wife and I crack up every time we see it. What a great walk. Great music.

  6. I haven’t drank Southern Comfort in over 20 years but after watching this I plan on making it my next drink of choice when in the store…GREAT CONCEPT!!!!!!

  7. Mesmerized! The guy, the music, the way it was filmed, felt like the late 1970’s! I went to a party last week and it was the talk of the party! I couldn’t get it out of my head so I actually Googled it so I could show other people! Crazy how a commercial will click, and yes I’m thinking about having a Southern Comfort this weekend!

  8. Dude reminds me of Harvey Kietel. Atleast its better than the BBC campaign. All of us occasional p@rn watchers know what BBC means, who made that comercial? Lmfao and what executive decided to allow the brand to be named that – Must of been the well sheltered Romney type lmao!

  9. This is definately not enticing women to drink southern comfort. And if this were a woman of the same weight in bikini walking along the beach it would be viewed very differently! I want to see the man with muscles… just like men want to see a woman with a great body! Boo to this ad!!

  10. I know when somethings funny,and can tell if it’s clever. This commercial was well thought out and executed. If you don’t like it, it’s because you don’t get it. A+

  11. This commercial is the work of a genius. so un-cool it’s cool. Music perfect. Swagger perfect. Southern Comfort in the end. Well done.

  12. I am a woman and I LOVE this commercial! You can’t look away! Self confidence is SOOOO sexy! Everything about this is perfection!

  13. Brilliant! Got the concept, got the branding effort, and love, love, love it! Favorite commercial for 2012 and the brains behind this campaign. Since released, I watch it once a day to boost the confidence! LOL

  14. Brilliant.. A mesmerizing snippet of American Culture.. Dude 15 years past his prime still in the game, confident his barrel chest and the impressive junk he’s still packing in his suit will trump his rapidly emerging belly. And he anchors his personal statement with a glass of Southern Comfort.. Great piece..

  15. got it the first time i saw it….there are followers, then there are leaders, and this guy ain’t
    followin’ anyone……a brilliant spot, and the dos equis guy would never even consider
    the shoulder dip.

  16. fantastic advert the man in the video looks like my farther and even walks like him the adverts genius it shows how you can look good and cool even when your older the very fact were all talking about advert shows it working

  17. My wife ad sons say thats me when im getting my buzz on. As an older pot bellied man I guess I come across pretty good.

  18. Fantastic Add Im addicted to it I think the message is abundantly clear, I got the message the first time I saw it and I have to say its the only add that I have ever researched

  19. I have never before researched a commercial, but when I saw this I saw my grandfather re-incarnate. I couldn’t help but smile and I got the message immediately. Love, love it!

  20. This commercial is, well, in current internet parlance, “amazeballs”! My wife and I are in awe of it, so much so that my wife will rewind the DVR to watch it when she runs across it. I would really like to find out the story behind how this came about because it is so completely different from any other commercials out there. I ran across your site trying to research this.

  21. I love the “Tude of this dude”. He is very comfortable in his own skin…and it shows in his swagger, he exudes sexiness in his overall comfort. I am mesmerized by him, what an unlikely sex symbol he is..but I find myself just wanting to gravitate in his orbit..and though I don’t drink anything but wine …I think I want a drink of what he is having!!!!

  22. This commercial makes me stop whatever I am doing and watch. I find this man to be attractive and sexy~(Even though I am sure I am much younger than him) As a female consumer, this is a WINNER!

  23. I absolutely LOVE LOVE this commercial! They nailed it! It takes you right back to the days of 70’s Cool; muscle cars, real rock music… He is So Sexy, no doubt about it. So great to see as everything these days is about kicking the older guys to the curb for the younger, Unsophisticated crowd

  24. Love this commercial! Dude is super sexy!! Does anyone know the name of the song playing during the commercial?

  25. This was a fantastic commercial but it needs the dog! The guy’s cool but you’ve got to have the dog Too! No Southern Comfort for me. Bring back the dog. The song is Hit or Miss by Odetta.

  26. @Ninefingers
    Love this ad…it’s just so different from the usual stuff that tries to sell us things. It makes you notice it because it is so revolutionary. Am a woman by the way. Might even start drinking Southern Comfort. Company can’t be too bad if they select an ad like this to promote themselves.

  27. Best commercial of the year. This guy is so confident and cool. I’m switching to SC because of this. I’m a serious, middle aged, straight professional and just crack up every time I see it. Bring on more, and keep them subtle and smooth. Love the music too.

  28. Best commercial I have ever seen! I posted on FB about it in the fall, and no one really cared for it that much, but I still swoon over this guy. This is the first time SoCo has been on my radar since Janis Joplin, so brava to whoever made it relevant again.

  29. It is the ultimate classic, to me. I have been a ‘beacher’ since birth (61) and this is my kind of guy. That swagger, sun, sand makes me feel good again. At a time when life is no longer like it was once upon a time – I WANT IT BACK.

    Who is this masked man, Tonto? I want to meet him.

    South Haven Michigan North Beach Dan.

  30. I love this advert. The music is fitting, the setting is perfect, the guy is cool and somewhat alluring (even though everything in my body is screaming that he shouldn’t be!!) and it made me watch til the end to see what it was promoting, so job done wouldn’t you say?

  31. The commercial is great, everyone that knows me says that is me. The reason that I am writing is that I want a set of those glasses. Where can I get them.

  32. I love the music, and I get the concept, but my very first impression was that he reminded me of Josef Fritzl in the holiday videos shown of that horrible case. It was my first impression, and I can’t shake it.That kind of swagger has always put me off, and would never get me to go and buy Southern Comfort. Sorry.

  33. I love this commercial and it’s nice to find others who do, too. The walk: This, with the music, has the same aura as Jeff Bridges as The Dude in “The Big Lebowski” – comfortable in his own skin. The little dip in his walk when approaching the younger woman and the general carefree attitude: perfect. Perfect. I’ve been smiling and laughing out loud at odd times thinking about this commercial for months.

  34. My favourite advert. I have even started walking like him. Well done to the producers of this advert.

  35. This is entertainment in a glass , my husband & I absolutely love this advert & now all are friends love it too , really cheers everyone up , plus southern comfort is really getting looked at in a new light !! Cheers !!

  36. These commercials suck and make me wanna stop drinking southern comfort. Who wants to look at 50 year
    Year old man on a beach with a beer gut and in speedos. …gag . And the guy in the beauty shop????wtf
    Is up with that? Throw some sexy abs. Some tattoos. And maybe a cowboy and a horse in those commercials
    And people will stop laughing their asses off and see that you put the southern back in southern comfort.
    J D dont show these stupid commercials

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