Driving Forward > Digital Marketing Blog

Maker’s Mark Reverses Decision to Water Down Bourbon


Maker’s Mark, an operating unit of Jim Beam, was faced with a dilemma.  They weren’t able to keep up with the demand for their flagship product and, because their bourbon is aged for five to eight years before being bottled, there was no way to rapidly increase production.  So they came up with the idea of watering down the bourbon from 45% alcohol (90 proof) to 42% alcohol (84 proof).

While the company claimed the new product did not differ in taste from the higher proof product, when news of this decision reached their customers a firestorm of protest erupted.  News stories carried quotes from customers who vowed never to purchase the watered down product and even the relatively staid NPR radio show “All Things Considered” broadcast a story on the controversy.

It didn’t take long for Maker’s Mark to back away from their decision.  Less than a week after the initial announcement, the graphic on their Facebook page now reads: “You spoke.  We listened.  Here’s Proof.”  And, according to a story in Ad Age, this decision received over 15,000 “Likes” and over 2000 comments in just a few hours.

So here’s the question for today’s discussion: Was this a case of a brand listening and responding to their customers or was this a well-played marketing ploy?

Please weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.


How AI is Reshaping Digital Marketing


Artificial Intelligence design studios are opening everywhere, adding to our marketing technology stack choices. Many platforms have already integrated components of AI into their existing marketing system offerings. Clients need to transform digitally, squared Today, clients are asking digital marketing and advertising agencies to embrace more technological change, as their marketing tech stacks grow larger and…

Read the full article

Contact Us

Schedule a presentation. Tell us about your marketing goals. Find our offices. Or, just say hello. We would love to hear from you!

Contact Us   


SEM Success for B2B Webinar – Video & Slides

Overdrive SEM Success for B2B Webinar Video and Slides

Learn how you can afford to be at the TOP for all of your terms, maximize conversions while maintaining quality.

Get Access!   


5 Digital Pillars of Ecommerce

Overdrive 5 Digital Pillars of Ecommerce Video and Slides

Drive e-commerce success! Watch the 5 Digital Pillars of Ecommerce.

Get Access!   


Ultimate SEO Dashboard for CMOs – Video & Slides

Overdrive Ultimate SEO Dashboard for CMOs PDF

Webinar slides and video with tactics CMOs can start using right away.

Get Access!   
Dev Tool:

Request: makers-mark-reverses-decision-to-water-down-bourbon
Matched Rewrite Rule: ([^/]+)(?:/([0-9]+))?/?$
Matched Rewrite Query: name=makers-mark-reverses-decision-to-water-down-bourbon&page=
Loaded Template: single.php