I get it, John Jameson was a stud. What does this mean though?
November 11, 2011 6:54 PM   Subscribe

What does this Jameson whiskey ad I saw on the subway mean?

On the subway home (NYC) I was looking at the ads in one of those subway take overs where all the advertising is for one brand ( I work in advertising, this is interesting to me and what I do if I'm alone and bored with my book).

The takeover was for Jameson whiskey. They have one campaign running now which is copy and creative depicting little "anecdotes" supposedly from John Jameson, which are mostly accounts of his manliness and the popularity his whiskey brought him and his town.

One example: A man who stole my whiskey used the defense that no one could resist a bottle of Jameson. I had no choice but to testify on his behalf -- John Jameson.

There's one I really don't understand though. It shows Jameson and another man with their white handkerchiefs out, like they are about to fight. Behind them, about thirty men are standing with handkerchiefs out. The copy reads: I was once famously challenged to a duel by a whiskey rival. At which point my rival was famously challenged to a duel by everyone else in town. --John Jameson.

What does this mean? Why would everyone want to fight the rival? Wouldn't a duel end in death? Would the rival have to fight everyone else first, and then Jameson, so the townsmen were trying to protect him? Or, was everyone else angry that someone would want to fight Jameson and so wanted to fight the whiskey rival?

Thoughts? I don't have a direct link to the ad, but you can see the campaign plus the ad in question on the Jameson site. ( you have to provide birthdate to enter the site).
posted by sweetkid to Media & Arts (23 answers total)
The town wanted to kill the rival before he could kill Jameson.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:58 PM on November 11, 2011

wouldn't Jameson and the rival have to duel first? aren't those duel rules?
posted by sweetkid at 6:59 PM on November 11, 2011

the local high-class Irish whiskey drunks would not tolerate any risk that Jameson would take the dirt nap, if the duel ended badly
posted by thelonius at 7:01 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think the point is that the townspeople were so incensed that the rival had challenged Jameson to a duel that they challenged him. Duel rules don't apply in whiskey ads.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 7:01 PM on November 11, 2011 [11 favorites]

Pretty sure they aren't worried about actual duel rules...

I read it as everyone else in town agreed that Jameson's was the better whiskey and wanted to duel the rival so that Jameson would keep making whiskey.
posted by firei at 7:01 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

tall tales about "the founder", and what a solid Slab of a Real a Man he was, is like an '80's Jack Daniels ad.....
posted by thelonius at 7:05 PM on November 11, 2011

Yup, n'thing the above. The townsfolk so dearly love John Jameson and his whiskey that they're willing to fight down his whiskey rivals, too.

Just a side note, those aren't handkerchiefs, those are gloves. When accepting a duel, you'd throw a glove to the ground. (It's supposed to be an offensive gesture.) cf. "the gloves are off" and "throwing down the gauntlet"
posted by phunniemee at 7:16 PM on November 11, 2011

Yes, I know about gloves and duels, they just didn't look like gloves to me for some reason. I guess the explanation then, everyone else had volunteered to fight the whiskey rival so he wouldn't fight Jameson? I thought he would have to fight Jameson first. Who knew I was such a stickler for duel rules.
posted by sweetkid at 7:20 PM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Another ad features Jameson writing a letter with a 4 foot high feather, they are tall tales.

So yeah no duel rules.

Obligatory Moe: I ain't never been slapped with no deulin' glove before!
posted by Ad hominem at 7:21 PM on November 11, 2011

I'm glad I wasn't on that account, I'd never let it go to the client like that. We'd have to look up duel rules online and everyone would hate me while I insisted Jameson and the rival would need to duel first, and no one would understand the ad based on this.
posted by sweetkid at 7:39 PM on November 11, 2011 [4 favorites]

It doesn't necessarily mean that they are trying to prevent the duel (it can convincingly be argued, in the context of the ads, that they have no need to worry about him being hurt.) It can be interpreted simply as villanelles said - it's a gesture of support. 'With him or against him' sort of, or more like 'insult him, you insult us all'. And if the duel is not to the death, then it's not even an empty gesture.
posted by jacalata at 7:44 PM on November 11, 2011

Hmm, jacalata, I'm really liking that explanation.
posted by sweetkid at 7:45 PM on November 11, 2011

Came here to say what jacalata just said. Although you can also argue that duels did not always end in death - in fact far from it, most would end in one or more not-too-serious wounds; in which case other townfolk would step in. Of course you can also argue that they wished to avenge him immediately if he were to be killed by his rival. Incidentally, I really hate Jameson ads.. then again I can only stand maybe 2-3% of ads I see, most people don't seem to mind them that much.
posted by rainy at 8:25 PM on November 11, 2011

Alternately, even if they were duels to the death and Jameson's duel would be fought before any of the other duels, it could be a measure of intimidation meant to stop his rival from dueling and possibly killing Jameson. Even if the rival were to kill Jameson, his chances of winning every duel against every person in town are fairly low, so he might just leave town and not fight any duels rather than dueling Jameson. Thus, the townsfolk would save their favored whiskey maker.
posted by JiBB at 9:35 PM on November 11, 2011

I saw this ad too. I think it was supposed to be a duel to run the run the rival whiskey maker out of town by everyone in town because no one would want Jameson to stop distilling the whiskey. It's inferred that Jameson didn't necessarily accept or decline the invitation to the duel, but he wouldn't have to duel because the townspeople would duel for him and eliminate the rival.
posted by Yellow at 5:23 AM on November 12, 2011

I can't believe I'm posting about a whiskey ad!

My thought is that duels were mainly about honor. So that when the rival challenges Jameson he is saying that his whiskey is better than jameson's and Jameson is a liar. So the townsfolk must all then challenge the rival because they believe that the rival is lying and Jameson's whiskey is better. It doesn't matter if Jameson is dead, what is important is his honor and truthfulness about his whiskey being better.
posted by interplanetjanet at 7:01 AM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

sweetkid, I saw this campaign too -- and while I find the ads obscure and off-point, I keep finding myself staring at them to figure them out. And now here I am, talking about Jameson. Verry effective. Or something.
posted by thinkpiece at 7:04 AM on November 12, 2011

The ad.
posted by TheGoodBlood at 7:41 AM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

"You mess with me, you're messin' with the whole trailer park."
posted by halfbuckaroo at 8:34 AM on November 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

There's a Harlan Ellison short story kind of like this- In the future, you can challenge other drivers to duels. This hot headed Dad-type manages to beat the #1 dueler and the finds himself the target of everyone else on the road.
posted by GilloD at 12:35 PM on November 12, 2011

Why does everyone in town have white 6-button gloves? (And the challenger looks like he's holding a white Gumby.)
posted by kirkaracha at 2:35 PM on November 12, 2011

yes, the gloves look really weird. Also, on review I see that there are women in the crowd as well.
posted by sweetkid at 5:45 PM on November 12, 2011

I was on another Jameson takeover car today and thought of you all :)
posted by sweetkid at 9:58 PM on November 14, 2011

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