TV Ad Featuring Willem Dafoe Builds on 2011 “Bold Choice” Campaign from the World’s #1 Bourbon

Corporate and Financial News


Deerfield, Ill., Dec. 20, 2011 – In TIME magazine’s annual end-of-year reflection, Jim Beam’s innovative “Bold Choices” advertising campaign was selected as one of the top 10 TV ads of 2011. Described by the publication as “a strangely inspiring, and wise, piece of advertisement,” the TV commercial titled “Parallels” can now add TIME magazine’s recognition to a host of industry accolades received throughout the year.

“Our movement to celebrate bold choices and the people who make them has not only resonated with consumers, but it has also driven brand re-appraisal and, ultimately, sales since our campaign launched in February,” said Kevin George, senior vice-president and global chief marketing officer, Beam Inc. “We are proud that the commercial’s creativity and message have helped to generate such positive responses from media, the advertising community and our fans.”

According to Nielsen, Jim Beam’s average dollar sales growth since the campaign’s launch was 6.3 percent. The award-winning “Parallels” advertisement sparks a movement for bold choices. The anthem opens to a young Dafoe weighing his options while waiting at a Greyhound bus station in Appleton, Wis.: play it safe or make the bold choice of pursuing an acting career in the Big Apple. The story unfolds with the exploration of alternate lives, had Dafoe not travelled to New York City: a factory foreman, chess champion, aging punk, even sumo wrestler. But, as Dafoe notes in the ad, there is really only one choice. “All choices lead you somewhere,” he states. “Bold choices take you where you’re supposed to be.”

This latest honor joins an array of accolades garnered by the commercial featuring the iconic American actor Willem Dafoe in his first ever TV advertisement. To date, the “short film” proudly boasts three awards from the American Independent Commercial Producers for Best Direction, Best Visual Style and Best Cinematography.

The “Bold Choice” campaign features TV, print and digital advertisements created by Strawberry Frog and brought to life by Jim Beam’s partner agencies Starcom™ and Edelman. Throughout 2011, Jim Beam celebrated Bold Choices with the release of findings from a “Boldest Towns Survey” that identified the boldest towns in America and also by unveiling the innovative new bourbon Devil’s Cut™ that captures the ingenuity of the brand and the creativity of the family behind it. Not one to shy away from bold choices, Seventh Generation Family Distiller and Jim Beam’s great-grandson Fred Noe decided to embark on a bold choice of his own earlier this month. Despite his fear of needles, he got a Jim Beam tattoo on his arm to celebrate the Jim Beam Facebook® page reaching 1 million fans.

To learn more, visit www.jimbeam.com or facebook.com/jimbeam.

Jim Beam is committed to social responsibility and advises legal purchase age consumers to drink smart®. Through drinksmart.com, Beam Global educates legal purchase age consumers about how to make responsible choices about alcohol.

About Beam Inc. As one of the world’s leading premium spirits companies, Beam is Crafting the Spirits that Stir the World. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including Jim Beam® Bourbon, Maker's Mark® Bourbon, Sauza® Tequila, Canadian Club® Whisky, Courvoisier® Cognac, Teacher's® Scotch Whisky, Laphroaig® Scotch Whisky, Cruzan® Rum, Hornitos ™ Tequila, Knob Creek® Bourbon, EFFEN® Vodka, Pucker™ Flavored Vodka, Larios® Gin, Whisky DYC®, DeKuyper® Cordials, and Skinnygirl® Cocktails. The Beam portfolio includes 10 of the world’s top 100 premium spirits brands and some of the industry’s fastest growing innovations. Beam is focused on delivering superior performance with its unique combination of scale with agility and a strategy of Creating Famous Brands, Building Winning Markets and Fueling Our Growth. Beam and its 3,200 passionate associates worldwide generated 2010 sales of $2.7 billion on volume of 33 million 9-liter cases.

Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Beam is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BEAM and is included in the S&P 500 Index and the MSCI World Index. For more information on Beam, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamglobal.com and www.drinksmart.com.

Jim Beam® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 40% Alc./Vol. ©2011 James B. Beam Distilling Co., Clermont, KY. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.