Maker's Mark | Case Studies | Doe-Anderson Advertising

Maker’s Mark

Maker’s Mark came to Doe-Anderson at a time when bourbon was considered an obsolete, moribund category. It was what your old granddad drank, and in 1971 nobody had heard the word “retro.” Plus, the brand’s creator thought marketing in general was tacky and intrusive. About all it had going for it was the fact that it tasted better than any bourbon that had come before it.


The Solution

Having limited amounts of product (bourbon takes a long time to make), very little money to work with and a client with even less patience for typical marketing, we built the brand on discovery, as Maker’s Mark aficionados shared their favorite bourbon with friends. In turn, those folks would reach out to us asking where they could find this very special whisky. We grew this organic, two-way conversation into one of the most iconic brands in the spirits industry, creating the premium bourbon category along the way.


Notwithstanding its laid-back, approachable personality, Maker’s Mark has always been ahead of the curve in adopting new ways to communicate with its fans. This latest version of the brand website, fully responsive and loaded with interactive content, is no exception.

Maker's Mark Ambassador App

An extensive cocktail library and exclusive news/content make this mobile application a digital hub for the brand’s most loyal consumers. It’s our way of saying “thanks” to the Ambassadors who make Maker’s, well, Maker’s.

Print Campaign

The “It is what it isn’t” campaign celebrates the delightful contradictions that define Maker’s Mark: a global icon of the spirits world that is still made only in one tiny, out-of-the-way place. A full-flavored bourbon that’s remarkably easy to drink. And a bourbon that both connoisseurs and newbies find easy to love.


Maker’s Mark Ambassador Holiday Gift

Each year the brand sends its biggest fans a “thank you” for their support and advocacy of the brand. This one gave them an especially warm feeling about their favorite bourbon.

Recipe Cards

It seems every liquor company has cocktail recipes on social media – a professionally shot photo of the drink. We really wanted to do something different. Mix it up a bit. And it worked. Referrals to our website from Pinterest were up 1,125% over 2012. 617,50 total impressions in 2013 – up 659.33% since 2012.

Contextual Outdoor Advertising

This board charmed visitors to Boston’s Fenway Park by pointing out the affinity between Maker’s Mark and their beloved hand-operated scoreboard.


Longest Pour

The concept was simple: see if people will switch out their profile picture with a segment of the "the world's longest pour." The answer came back in an over five-story-tall pour spliced together 40 tiny pixels at a time. The one-day stunt was 100% organic, and the story even got noticed by Adweek.

Reddit Derby

Maker’s Mark took a risk in becoming the first alcohol company to advertise on reddit, and it paid off in a big way. The campaign solicited submissions for imaginary Derby horse names and featured the winning entries in a banner ad takeover. The effort effectively hijacked the Derby from the official bourbon sponsor, outperforming on nearly every metric. We even got a nod from Digiday for our equine hijinks.

Real-time Social Media

A few recent highlights from this ongoing daily program: “Deflategate” – 3,700+ retweets and 5,500+ favorites. “Cocktail Party” – top post received 24,000+ likes (all organic). “Derby Minis” – 2,000 organic likes and 113,000 sponsored likes on Instagram.

The Results

From regional curiosity to global icon.

Created the premium bourbon category

Created the premium bourbon category

From 25,000 cases annually to 1.6 million

From 25,000 cases annually to 1.6 million

Double-digit volume growth for 25+ consecutive years

Double-digit volume growth for 25+ consecutive years


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