Jack Daniels: An ode to Indian Alcohol Advertising

Alcohol advertising is banned in India. Well literally!

There is this interesting read on the ‘Tipsy Liquor Policy of India’ I came across a few months ago.

It is funny how the Government of India makes the sale and consumption of alcohol legal in India but makes advertising and promotion illegal. Hypocrisy is it? By the way the sale of liquor to mortals aged less than 25 years is anyways illegal. But a glance into the numerous pubs shows that perhaps that’s the ‘demographics’ that throngs the bar!

Now lemme do some “Freakonomics” here:

The Government makes oodles of money collecting the zillions of bucks as excise, tax, license fees (from bar owners).
The Bar/taverns/restaurants/liquor shops/soda sellers/those recycled plastic throw-able glass sellers/DJs: all make money.
The liquor companies: they perhaps make more money by spending less!
The Advertising agencies: Well, their gravity prevailing profits are leading them to be “not-for-profit organisations’
And like always the ad-execs end up getting less money!

Until, one stray instance, one brand shows us the way while I am driving on my way to a client meet:


There billboard is on the Delhi-Noida-Delhi expressway. This cheeky, ‘complete the picture’ creative leaves one gasping for more. It is the logo, nothing more, and infact it is not even the complete logo.

It is like saying “If you don’t know me, don’t drink me’… And I love it!

It is not the first time this has been done. I clearly remember the Neil French crafted Chivas Regal campaign


I would certainly like to argue that this “Interactive” in nature. Yeah, go on, get that smirk on your face. But the point is that, it certainly make me interact with a darn hoarding.


For me and others who know Jack Daniels: Well, this caught my attention, my pea-sized brain made me consume the information and process it to say ‘wow’ to myself and gain greater conviction, respect, build stronger bonds with ‘Jack Daniels, the brand’.

While others are using surrogates like sodas, music, events, parties, one brand decided to stick it’s neck out.

It didn’t tell you that alcohol is cool, it didn’t tell you that listening to music, partying or ‘anything lifestylish’ but pure unadulterated branding. It is slow, it is drop by drop, much like the Tennessee Whiskey.
Cheers to Jack Daniels. Cheers to the Alcohol Advertising in India.



  1. IndianPad said

    Jack Daniels – Ode to Indian Alcohol Advertising

    Jack Daniels – Ode to Indian Alcohol Advertising posted at IndianPad.com

  2. I don’t think it’s hypocritical for a government to allow the sale and consumption of alcohol while banning advertising of alcohol. In the U.S. they’re kinda getting there with cigarettees — you can buy cigarettes (if you’re at least 18), but for years now there hasn’t been advertising of cigarettes on TV.

  3. […] The iObserve blog has a good post with a photo of a billboard in India that cleverly circumvents the ban on alcohol advertising there. Jack Daniels: An ode to Indian Alcohol Advertising « iObserve: Advertising Marketing Internet India This cheeky, ‘complete the picture’ creative leaves one gasping for more. […]

  4. Paramesh said

    Alcohol,if we create a BAR,(LICENSED).PAy the tax and sale is legal. Otherwise illegal.
    THey dont care about general health .Yes i love
    So if we pay tax can drugs,prostitution,porn be legal.

  5. peeyush said

    beautifully executed post and it helped me in my presentation ,

  6. Feefannefs said

    ford middlesex

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: