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Volume 24 No. 112
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Diageo Runs First Liquor Ad Ever During NFL Regular-Season Game With Crown Royal Spot

Diageo did not waste time "taking advantage of the NFL's new rules allowing liquor ads," as a 30-second spot for Crown Royal whiskey was the "first ad during the first commercial break" of Thursday's Chiefs-Patriots game on NBC, according to E.J. Schultz of AD AGE. Spirits ads are "prohibited from having a football theme, and must [carry] a 'prominent social responsibility message,' according to regulations spelled out by the league in early June." Crown Royal's ad got "pretty close to making an overt football reference with scenes of waterboys squirting water into the mouths of athletes at a training camp." There is "even a shot of a coach at a whiteboard, but no actual footballs are shown." The ad, via Anomaly, N.Y., is part of a season-long campaign called "Hydrate Generously" that "spotlights so-called 'Water B.O.Y.S. (Beverage Offsetters at Your Service).'" Diageo will "deploy real-life Water B.O.Y.S. (which include men and women) to distribute water at stadiums, tailgates, sports bars and in rideshare vehicles throughout the season." Patron confirmed last week that it will run an ad during Giants-Cowboys Sunday night, and Hennessy "bought two 30-second ads in ESPN's preseason in-game coverage." However, other liquor brands are "staying on the sidelines." Brown-Forman, which makes Jack Daniel's, does "not plan to run in-game ads this season," while Pernod Ricard, maker of Absolut, Jameson and Malibu, also "isn't planning any ads." Beam is "taking a wait-and-see approach" (ADAGE.com, 9/7).