Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jack Daniels Whiskey Bus headed to Capitol Hill

Hey, I'd vote for a "Jack Daniels Day" if I could score one of these sweet freebies! (I'd be a pretty cheap politico, wouldn't I?)

It's all just tschotskes without that glorious bottle of Tennessee sippin' whiskey
(from Patrick Galvin,

If you see some tipsy journalists walking around town this month, it's not simply because it's a lazy August. Jack Daniel's, producer of the famous Tennessee sour mash, has been sending out bottles of the eponymous spirit (along with a fancy press kit) in order to boost awareness of the company's latest idea: to make Jack Daniel's Day a national holiday.

By way of full disclosure, we were one of the publications that received one of the "Back Jack" goody packs (others included Roll Call and The Weekly Standard, just to name a few). The bottle, of course, has remained sealed. But let's take a look at the strategy.

"These kits were shipped to political media as an introduction to our Back Jack efforts in D.C. (only media received the kits), and we look forward to introducing several additional aspects of the campaign throughout August and September," wrote Stacey Wilson, a DVL publicist who's involved with promoting the campaign, in an e-mail.

The folks at Jack Daniel's know what they're doing (i.e., deploying the tried-and-true move of sending journalists free booze to get attention and earn affection). Indeed, the black box sent to reporters proclaims, "Everything you need for the campaign trail ... including whiskey." Inside, the bottle is accompanied by a "Back Jack" baseball cap and T-shirt.

But that's just the beginning. A representative for the campaign tells POLITICO that the "Back Jack" campaign — which hopes to make Jack's 160th birthday in September a national holiday — will go into overdrive this Friday with a Facebook page. And a media site will launch on Sept. 1. Add to that an online petition, "viral videos," a commemorative bottle, a text message initiative and a tour bus, and the whole thing has all the markings of an actual political campaign.

Tennessee Rep. Lincoln Davis had some kind words for the whiskey maker. “I thank Mr. Jack for spreading the spirit of our great state throughout the world and providing jobs for many years to rural Tennesseans," he tells POLITICO.

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