Jim Beam is launching a campaign to protect bees, the producers of honey used for Jim Beam Honey, a new product in the brand’s range. The new humorous initiative, Sue the Bears, is aimed at one of the “bee’s enemy”—bears. As part of the effort, Jim Beam will donate money to real-life organizations that protect bee populations and try to find a solution to what’s called Colony Collapse Disorder. Reports have it that honey bees are now under threat in the USA—they are dying or go missing at tremendous rates, about 1/3 of bees in beehives disappeared from their hives over the 2012/2013 winter season across the USA.
For the promotion, Jim Beam has hired a fictional character, “Seinfeld” attorney Jackie Chiles who agreed to “sue” the bears for their devastating love for honey. “Bears are egregious, devious, and just plain mischievous! I’m here to go on the record—with Jim Beam Honey as my witness—to ensure that sweet, mouth-watering justice is served!” states Mr. Chiles. Consumers aged 21 years can join the movement using the #suethebears hashtag on Twitter to contribute to the cause—for each tweet sent with the hashtag, the brand will donate $100 (up to $25,000) to the Pollinator Partnership, the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to the protection of pollinators.
The brand will roll the campaign out on its social media channels, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Additionally, the brand is collaborating with BuzzFeed, an online magazine producing viral content, which is posting editorials about bees, honey and bears. Currently, there’re three content pieces on the branded Jim Beam page on the platform.
Jim Beam is walking on a slippery ground with such a theme—extinction of bees is a huge environmental problem which is definitely not to inspire fun-packed advertising initiatives. A range of brands including Gap, American Apparel and many more made epic fails integrating a tragic event into their marketing efforts.