To create buzz in Germany about its new flavored whiskey, Jim Beam Honey, the company gave travelers at Munich Airport the chance to see for themselves what it’s like to be a beekeeper—minus the threat of painful stings—and to sample the beverage.
The primary target was males 20-30 years old, both whiskey drinkers and those who didn’t typically consume dark spirits. Being somewhat sweeter than the original Jim Beam, the honey-infused whiskey was considered a good way to introduce newbies to the brand. But time was of the essence, as Jim Beam’s main competitor, Jack Daniels, was planning to launch a similar product in Germany.
In the heavily trafficked airport, Jim Beam, with creative agency Proof and German agency Brand X, set up a mock beehive where visitors could have their image superimposed among a swarm of bees for a photo that both the brand and the guests could share via social media and on the Jim Beam Honey microsite. Visitors could also sample and then buy the whiskey; if they bought two bottles or more from the airport shop, they received a free pair of honeybee-inspired sunglasses.
The promotion was conceived in September 2012 and implemented just two months later, running throughout November. During the campaign an average of 400 samples were savored daily—more than 11,000 in total. Approximately 1.45 million consumers passed by the Jim Beam Honey display, and sales velocity during the four weeks rose from 1.2 bottles to 1.7 bottles. What’s more, Jim Beam Honey beat Jack Daniels Honey to the German market, a feat that had to sting the latter company.