what you need to know:
I've always been a fan of Jägermeister's non-traditionalist approach to marketing. After seeing the differences between the US and EU marketing during my study abroad in France and how the brand has shifted its positioning over the years, I was motivated to analyze its history and create a new marketing strategy as an independent project.
STEP 1: A BRIEF HISTORY
Throughout the years, Jägermeister has been the ol’ faithful for people looking for an alternative to ordinary liquor. While sales continue to grow in Europe, the American marketing is meeting strong competition. In 2014, Fireball Whiskey doubled its liquor sales to surpass Jägermeister. In addition, Jägermeister struggled with its brand image when it met the popular “Jägerbomb” phenomenon - a drink combining a shot of the liqueur with a can of Red Bull. Although the trend brought record sales, it pushed the brand into uncharted territory it wasn’t comfortable embracing. With it came risky PR and a potential brand image associated with dangerously excessive drinking. When Jägermeister responded by adopting the slogan “Release the Beast”, they didn’t fully endorse the Jägerbomb, but instead took a middle ground that splintered their message. It was unclear whether Jägermeister was anything more than a party drink for young people. When negative PR about the drink starting pouring in, it was obvious that Jägermeister was playing with fire and had to either take the plunge and embrace it, or ignore it and change their marketing approach. By teetering on both sides, they failed to tell people an authentic story about what Jägermeister stands for.
STEP 2: CHANGE THE CONVERSATION
In the past year, Jägermeister has introduced “56 Parts. Best as One", a new ad campaign created by Deutsch based on a woodworking art board with 56 pieces that together, represent the intricate craftsmanship and quality that goes into making the liqueur. This move, in direct contrast to the "release the beast" campaign, brought the brand's image back to its roots, but didn’t represent the essence of Jägermeister that captured the hearts of younger crowds
When we speak of quality, we almost always use it to compare the quality of different things; the words 'higher' or 'lower' usually accompany talks of quality. When choosing vodka or tequila, we rank brands based almost purely on their quality. The competition between each brand is what quite literally puts one liquor above another and onto the top shelf. "56 Parts. Best as One" falls short in that any boasts of Jägermeister's quality are naturally limited; because the liqueur is so uniquely different from any other liquor in the U.S., there's nothing to compare it to. And that's what makes it special.
STEP 3: A NEW PATH
When everyone else is talking about quality, how do you stand out? You change the conversation. Bold originality is what has always been at the heart of this brand. Whether it's a millennial taking Jägerbombs with her friends, or old friends sharing stories over a digestif, people know there's simply no alternative to Jägermeister. Brands like this demand to be known.
To launch this new campaign, I've created a series of ads that capture the essence of what makes Jägermeister extraordinary. Instead of appealing to younger or older crowds, it transcends both age and experience specific branding that Jägermeister previously relied on
The images dare you to find a new path and embrace individuality. So whether it's someone trying the liqueur for the first time or the seasoned veteran enjoying a classic, this campaign invites everyone to see Jägermeister in a new light.
STEP 4: THE BOTTOM LINE
Jägermeister is in a class of its own and so are the people that drink it. Its taste doesn’t pander to the masses and it isn’t afraid of being bold. Its history is rich and its following loyal. For those who choose a different path and take pride in what they drink, originality has a home...
And they know where to find it.