Jameson's Beloved 'Lost Barrel' Ad From 2009 Returns for the Holidays

John Jameson battles an octopus, again

A Jameson Irish Whiskey commercial that shows the distiller's 18th-century founder chasing a barrel thrown overboard and battling a giant octopus resurfaces today, anchoring the brand's "Legendary Tales" holiday campaign.  

Here's the spot, "Lost Barrel," developed in 2009 by TBWA\Chiat\Day New York (still Jameson's lead agency) and director Noam Murro, edited just a tad for its comeback:

Jameson Irish Whiskey | Lost Barrel

In addition to the 11-year-old ad's revival, the push includes a social media content series exploring the John Jameson myth in words and pictures:

"2020 has been an unexpected roller-coaster ride, to say the least, and if there were ever a year where the holiday season needed the legendary spirit of John Jameson, it's this one," says Andrew Eis, Jameson engagement director at Pernod Ricard USA. "2020 also marks 240 years since the first barrel of Jameson Irish Whiskey was made, and we thought it was an opportune time to bring 'Lost Barrel' back. It continues to be one of our most popular and best-testing spots, and we hope the playful Irish raconteur offers people a laugh and encourages them to get together, even if just virtually, for a glass of whiskey and to share their own tales."

The return of "Lost Barrel" recalls Geico's push last year to air some of its most beloved ads of the past 20 years. In a broader sense, Jameson taps into a trend toward nostalgia in these Covid times. The '80s icons Michael Bolton and David Hasselhoff appeared in recent ads for Panera and NJSoft's Fuser video game, while Budweiser refreshed "Whassup?" with a quarantine twist.

"It's true, nostalgia has been a huge trend this year, and it inspired us to take a look back into Jameson's rich history," says Eis. "People are looking for things that make them laugh and feel good. Nostalgia—and John Jameson—can deliver on that."


Jameson - Lost Barrel (2009)
Advertising Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day New York
Chairman / Chief Creative Officer: Mark Figliulo
Creative Director: Jonathan Mackler
ACD / Copywriter: Erik Fahrenkopf
ACD / Art Director: Anthony DeCarolis
Executive Producer, Media Arts: Matt Bijarchi
Head of Broadcast Production: Ozzie Spenningsby
Art Producer: Julia Menassa
Letter Press: Peter Kruty
Print Producer: John LaFaso
Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks (Los Angeles)
Director: Noam Murro
Senior Executive Producer: Shawn Lacy
Executive Producer: Colleen O'Donnell
Producer: Scott Kaplan
New Zealand Production Company: Cherokee Films (Auckland)
Producer: Katie Kempe-Smith
Editorial House: Spotwelders
Editor: Brad Waskewich
Executive Producer: Tommy Murov
Music: Human
Effects: Framestore, London

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