Actress Mila Kunis ("Black Swan," "Jupiter Ascending") and Jim Beam master distiller Fred Noe were on hand at Bill's Food and Drink in Manhattan February 19 to promote Kunis's appointment as Beam's global spokesperson, and the new face of the brand. Kunis appears in three new ads for the bourbon brand, along with a slew of social media tie-ins, all a part of Beam's new "Make History" campaign.
"Before she would do any photos or ads, Mila said, 'I need to understand the product,'" said Kevin George, SVP and global chief marketing officer for Beam Global during the event for press and local Beam distributors. George and Noe both explained how Kunis came down to the Beam distillery to spend time with Noe and get to know the product before inking anything. "She has a huge appreciation for the brand."
Noe, who has family connections to the brand (Jim Beam was his grandfather, and his "great-great-great-great-great grandfather" established the company that produces the whiskey), told the crowd, "we've been working to make history since 1793." He later explained to Examiner Kunis's appeal for the brand: "The thing about Mila is a lot of women are drawn to her, and all the guys think she hung the moon. There's a lot of crossover."
Kunis will act as the celebrity face for the Jim Beam whiskey portfolio, including Jim Beam Bourbon, Jim Beam Black, Jim Beam Honey, Jim Beam Maple and Jim Beam Signature Craft series.
Before filming the commercials, Noe took Kunis on what he says was an unscripted, unprepared tour of the facilities. The results were compiled into a brief film, shown to attendees and available at Beam's YouTube channel. In the film, Noe shows Kunis a statue of his father (Booker Noe II), and explains the family legacy. She notes, "I love the fact that there's so much genuine history here. It's so special."
During the event, Kunis noted that on her first visit to the Beam complex, Noe's wife kicked things off with a whiskey sour. "Your wife made me a drink before we started filming. I'd already had two whiskey sours at that point."
"She got the whole Beam Visitor Experience," Noe told Examiner. "We hit it off right off the bat."
In January it was announced that Beam Inc. had been acquired by Japanese whiskey producer Suntory. No announcement has been made as to how this might affect future marketing plans for the bourbon label.
In her role as global spokesperson, Kunis appears (so far) in three commercials for the brand extolling its history and encouraging the viewer to make their own history. Each commercial ends with the tagline "That's how Jim Beam Makes history. How will you make yours?" To read a one-on-one interview with Kunis about filming the commercials and her favorite bourbon cocktail, check out this AskMen.com article.
Thirsty for more? Check out National Spirits Examiner or NY Drinks Examiner.
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FTC Disclaimer: The author sometimes receives product samples for review, which carry no cash value and cannot be re-sold, and sometimes attends press events such as lunches or cocktail parties, designed to promote a given product. The author is not paid by any alcohol manufacturer, retailer or distributor, or provided compensation apart from revenue from an assigning publishing company for editorial publication. Opinions are the author's own. By the way, you should be 21 or older to read this page. The author attended an invite-only event featuring Jim Beam's Fred Noe and global spokesperson Mila Kunis. She is as pretty in real life as she seems on screen.