Distilling A Digital-First Campaign With Jack Daniel’s & Yahoo Creative Studios

Distilling A Digital-First Campaign With Jack Daniel’s & Yahoo Creative Studios

Jack Daniels and Yahoo Creative Studios have teamed up for a new Web3-based campaign bringing collectable music from Aussie bands, gift vouchers, and even a trip to the Jack Daniel’s distillery, to Australia’s streets.

“Pokemon Go isn’t a bad definition in terms of it being a gamified experience for consumers, said Zoe Cocker, director of innovation and creative studios for Yahoo ANZ.

“It’s all in augmented reality and uses a map-based system to drop AR surprise and delight boxes or a Jack Daniel’s crate in your local area. When you find one of the Jack Daniel’s crates in augmented reality in your area, it will open up and you’ll get a digital copy [of the collectible]. We built a digital wallet for Jack Daniel’s to allocate all these kinds of prizes to consumers. In the wallet, they can reveal songs or exclusive content. We’ve got some behind-the-scenes videos with the artists and albums. ”

Those artists are Aussie bands Winston Surfshirt, Stand Atlantic and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets.

Should a consumer grab one of the collectibles, they can mint it on the blockchain platform Polygon.

“There are digital pressings in the game, all based on smart contracts. Then you can mint them on Polygon and move them to [NFT marketplace] OpenSea to create a true NFT. We’re not trying to force Jack Daniel’s customers to be NFT owners but if they love the concept of owning a Stand Atlantic original song, for example, they could mint it and keep it forever,” explained Cocker.

There are 2,000 tracks up for grabs and, the companies hope that a campaign like this would bring back some of the fun from the old days of CDs, vinyl, and LPs.

“I remember when bands released music and people lined up to purchase it. They could see the cover art and open it up to see the lyrics. That’s something that the younger generation has not had the joy of discovering because things seem a little less personal when you’re streaming the song rather than owning the song,” added Dimitra Tassopoulos, senior brand manager for the Jack Daniel’s Family of Brands.

Yahoo Creative Studios and Jack Daniel’s came together through an open pitching process that saw as many as 15 agencies throw their hats in the ring to win a very loose brief.

“We briefed our media agency, Starcom, and said to them ‘we’re a big brand, we need to push boundaries and look at doing stuff differently.’ We’re going to do out-of-home, digital, social and events but we need to find new and innovative ideas,” explained Tassopoulos.

“A series of different agencies were briefed and five were shortlisted who ended up presenting to us in an open pitch format. We were enthused and excited about what Yahoo pitched to us and that was over a year ago now.”

“There are not a lot of opportunities like this for media brands like Yahoo to work in the way that we have with Jack Daniel’s,” added Cocker.

“It’s taken a year to get there because we’ve workshopped this together. I was looking at the original pitch this morning and the fundamental blocks are there but we have grown this exponentially since then.”

Of course, creating a fun game for consumers — who Tassopoulos reminded us frequently were young adults aged 21-29 and that the game was age-gated — is one thing. Getting those consumers to play the age-gated campaign is quite another.

“As it’s a mobile game, we’re going to be using a variety of mobile formats but also adding the levers of Yahoo’s owned brands promoting the competition. Fingers crossed we’re going to get some TikTok signed off, as well from our Yahoo account. We’re using the full digital ecosystem, out-of-home, native, mobile and media. You should see the asset list — it’s vast.”

Cocker also explained that Yahoo’s demand-side platform came in particularly useful when planning the media activations — almost as useful as the bands’ social media presence, with the three groups spruiking the campaign to their actual fans.

Digital out-of-home is also a particularly important lever for the campaign. Cocker explained that the entire point of the game is to get consumers out on the streets and interacting with the brand in the real world. As a result, a well-timed and well-placed QR code on a billboard could be a great way to get users on board.

“In terms of locations, [the game will] be in the five national cities,” explained Tassopoulos.

The drops will not be clustered in the trendier areas of those cities — such as Sydney’s Surry Hills or Melbourne’s Fitzroy, for example.

“It was really important for us as a brand to not simply be focused on those areas. When it comes to drop strategy, it is those high-traffic, high-footfall areas. As it was music, we wanted it to be where people go out to see bands, right? Like Marrickville [in Sydney] where there’s a little bit more of that grungy nightlife. But even in Parramatta and Penrith, we wanted people to be able to play the game,” said Tassopoulos.

Whether the campaign takes off in the way that Pokemon Go did remains to be seen. And, before you start thinking that Jack Daniel’s is simply giving away free alcohol to remind consumers to mix their bourbon and cokes with the brand from Tennessee rather than rivals from Kentucky, Tassopoulos explained that simple giveaways are a big no-no for the brand.

Regardless, mixing music and whiskey rarely makes for a bad time and B&T reckons that a chance to win a trip to Tennessee, or some drinks vouchers and the very least, will be enough to turn at least a few heads.


Yahoo Creative Studio

  • Zoe Cocker – Director Yahoo Creative Studio
  • Nick Gorshenin – Creative Strategist
  • Dan Phillips – Senior Project Manager
  • Luke Worsfold – Senior Design Lead
  • Andrew Mo – Digital Producer
  • Akiko Tomiyoshi – 3D Artist
  • Keren Homan – Media Strategist
  • Julia Edwards – Sales Director

Brown-Forman Australia

  • Dimitra Tassopoulos – Senior Brand Manager
  • Scott Henry – Brand Manager


  • Katie Brown – Artist & Industry Partnerships Lead


  • Will Kitching – Operations Director
  • Mina Savjak – Business Director

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