Southern Comfort’s Next Chapter — Does the new ad work?

Southern Comfort has launched the next chapter in the “Whatever’s Comfortable” campaign that I have been following for about a year (Aug14 and Dec19, 2012 as well as Jan 17, 2013). So far, according to Brown Forman, sales trends have turned around by 6% and the brand grew for the first time since 2008.

This latest effort marks a change in character from the original award winning effort, “Beaches,” which featured an interesting, everyday guy comfortable in his own skin as he casually walks down the beach. Here is the original.

The new ad execution has a different character but the same attitude. “We want to champion consumers to ‘be their awesome selves’ and that attitude comes out through this work,” said Mark Bacon, SVP, Managing Director, Southern Comfort. “We’re comfortable being Southern Comfort and we want our consumers to embody that same attitude about themselves.”

Here’s the ad by Wieden + Kennedy. I enjoyed the original ad a great deal but this one works for me as well.

What do you think? (You can also find it here.)


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Southern Comfort Ad – Revisited

“Whatever’s Comfortable” is the name of the campaign by Brown Forman’s Southern Comfort brand. I blogged about it on August 4th of this year and the comments, nearly all of which are positive, keep coming.

So, I decided to revisit the ad via a conversation with Mark Bacon the Global Brand Director for Southern Comfort.

Like this blog, the feedback they have gotten from consumers has been overwhelmingly positive and is resulting in “significant increases in consumer takeaway.” I think that’s because their target consumer leans toward advertising that is real and doesn’t need the typical models they can’t relate to. According to Mark, “this ad is about it’s cool to be who you are.”

The power of the work from Wieden + Kennedy comes though not only in terms of the message but also the high production value of the ad. The strut, the dog, the shoes, and especially, the song — Hit or Miss by Odetta — with the lyrics, “I gotta be me.” I wish they had been one of my agencies.

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