Woodford Reserve Bourbon - Bookshelf - (2014) :30 (USA)

Dear adgrunts, welcome to the Adland recap of the latest ad-kerfluffle on the horizon. This ad has already been dubbed "sexist" and "confusing" by twitterers worldwide and Gawker. I'm always confused when certain blogs - not advertising blogs - spend writing time on a barely aired ad campaigns, are they paid to do so, are they wannabe ad-men, or are they honestly offended? Lets check out what the scandal is here, shall we?

"When I see a man drinking bourbon, I expect him to be the kind who can build me a bookshelf.
But not in the way one builds a ready-made bookshelf. He will already know where the lumber yard is.
He'll get the right amount of wood without having to do math.
He'll let me use the saw and not find it "cute" that I don't know how to use the saw."

Yes. That's the thing. He'll let her use the saw, and when she's not an experienced woodworker, he won't be patronising about it. That's not something that should be a quality that deviates from the norm, that should be the standard. But alas, today the world is filled with many immature pricks who would rather laugh at your attempts at mastering a new skill than help you achieve one. They're known as "bros". Bros don't drink bourbon. omg product insight!

But hold up, we've just used gender typical examples so Jezebel has to freak out and call it sexist, as per their MO. Oh, it's sexist to expect men to not act like assholes now? I did not get this feminist smoke signal, folks. It's been real cloudy here. The Jezebel author is offended as she, like I, is familiar with woodworking tools (fun trivia: I used to have my own lathe), and therefore the ad is sexist. I'm not hearing it. Lets swap tools. Lets say bourbon man knows how to knit lovely winter scarves "without doing math", meaning he's counting in his head. He'll even let me, unexperienced with knitting needles, try it too. And he won't find it "cute" when I don't know how to use a knitting needle. Because honestly, we all know that if bourbon man thought I was "cute" when I attempted to knit I'd stab him with said needle. Is his non-asshole move still sexist now that we've changed the traditionally gendered skills? Is the Jezebel author angry with the ad, or with the VO-woman who didn't have an interest in woodworking like we did? Is it sexist to be a woman and not use a saw now? But, no worries, this will probably get banned in a fortnight as the tumblr-swarm of non-thinking followers get wind of a new officially sexist thing™ to feed on.

See also the woman version "Shower" and "Story". The other man version "Armwrestle" which is a lot more dudebro than this bookshelf building man, and finally the people/couple ad "Couple".

Now can we talk about the real problem with this ad? The Jazz Drums combined with high-school notebook scribbling. Egads. .. and is that Lee Clow's long lost twin??

Client: Woodford Reserve bourbon
Ad agency: Fallon, Minneapolis

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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kidsleepy's picture

I can't stand the fact they edited the spot to thejazz drums. If I had to much bourbon, I'd be sick.

Also... "he'll get the right amount of wood." Am I the only one who read in to that?

Final question-- how often does this woman "see a man drinking bourbon?"

aburtch's picture

I don't mind the spot itself. But as you mentioned the drums are a strange choice.

And why did they put Lee Clow in the spot!?