Jack Daniel's Gets Ready to 'Rumble' as Link Wray Powers Its New Ad

Guitar-driven spot continues a musical tradition

The distorted guitar licks of Link Wray's "Rumble," an influential 1958 instrumental that set the tone for hard rock and punk, power this new Arnold Worldwide spot positioning Jack Daniel's as the "whiskiest whiskey" of all.

Primal and sleek, the proto-metal vibe drives monochrome images of a band rocking out on stage, intercut with scenes from a hoppin' bar and shots of the Lynchburg, Tenn.-based distiller's hard-workin' crew.

Jack Daniel's | We're Jack Daniel's

With this new push, which also features digital, social and out-of-home treatments, the iconic spirits brand deepens its ties to music and popular culture. Jack Daniel's staked that claim in previous campaigns centered on crooner Frank Sinatra, who was a big JD fan.

Phil Epps, global brand director, says the music tie-in actually began with the company's founder.

"Jack Daniel wasn't much of a musician, but he knew that music had a way of bringing people together," Epps says. "So in 1892, he funded the instruments for the Silver Cornet Band in Lynchburg."

That musical link intensified through the decades. The brand chose "Rumble" for its latest campaign because "we wanted a track that is as iconic and distinctive as our whiskey, but it also needed to allow the voiceover to breath and be heard," Epps says. "The track has been credited with facilitating the emergence of punk and heavy rock—and with that use of the power chord, it felt like a distinctive and timeless choice of music to accompany what we believe to be a great script." 

There's even a second music connection, as Ben Nichols, lead singer of Memphis-based band Lucero, provides the voiceover. 

"We've always said that our fan base consists of bikers to bankers, and that goes for music as well," Epps says. "Jack has been adopted by musicians across genres who all have like-minded values that align with those of Jack Daniel's"—such as independence, authenticity and dedication to craft. 

CREDITS

Client: Brown-Forman 
Chief Brands Officer: Brown-Forman: Mark McCallum
SVP, Global Managing Director: Jack Daniel's Brands: Matias Bentel
VP, Global Brand Director: Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, Gentleman Jack & Single Barrel: Phil Epps
Global Brand Director: Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey: Jamie Butler
Group Brand Director: Jack Daniel's Family of Brands, US & Canada: Matt Blevins

Agency: Arnold
Chief Creative Officer: Icaro Doria
Executive Creative Director: Chris Valencius
Associate Creative Director: Ashley Herrin
Associate Creative Director: Carl Peterson
Executive Producer: Paul Shannon
Managing Director: Paul Nelson
VP Marketing Director: Mallory Brannan 
Photographer: Anthony Adamick
Business Affairs Director: Christine McHugh

Production Company: Knucklehead
Director: Siri Bunford
Managing Partner: Tim Katz
Executive Producer: Cathleen Kisich
Head of Production: Christa Thompson 
Director of Photography: Darren Lew 

Editorial: Whitehouse Post
Editor: Adam Marshall
Executive Producer: Caitlin Grady

Color: Company 3 
Colorist: Tim Masick
Conform: Brickyard VFX
Senior Producer: Ellen Schmidt

Music
Music License: Link Wray, Title: Rumble 

VO
Lead Singer Rock Band Lucero: Ben Nichol's

Record and Mix: Soundtrack Boston
Engineer: Mike Secher 

Profile picture for user David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

Museletter

Get Inspired

Sign up for the daily Museletter for the latest ad campaigns and the stories behind them.

ADVERTISING