Global creative collective Forsman & Bodenfors continues its longstanding creative partnership with Diageo by crafting a clever new campaign for the latter’s Seagram’s 7 Crown American blended whiskey brand.
With “It’s Your Spot,” Forsman & Bodenfors highlights how Seagram’s 7 has expanded its status beyond that of a dive bar favorite into a drink suitable for the most unique locales. “Since the relaunch of the brand, we’ve spent several years making it synonymous with dive bar whiskey,” says Forsman & Bodenfors NY Head of Strategy Steve Gorski. “As drinking habits have changed and too many dive bars have closed since the pandemic, it was important to meet drinkers where they’re at — and we’re seeing them drink more outside of bars and into the great outdoors. We were inspired by our dive bar regulars, and how they create new spaces to make their own watering holes — the unofficial drinking spots that become official for a group of friends through history and memories.”
Forsman & Bodenfors’ strategy was to present the evolution of the Seagram’s 7 brand in an unpretentious yet relatable way while also evoking feelings of sharing an inside joke between the brand and the consumer through deadpan humor. In order to do this, Forsman & Bodenfors enlisted the ideal spokesperson in comedian, author and actress Iliza Shlesinger, who has performed in her fair share of dive bars early in her career. Known for her numerous Netflix stand-up specials, books, and film roles, Shlesinger infuses her trademark dry wit as she engages with somewhat eccentric characters in their own natural, distinctive drinking environments, from a fishing hole to a garage filled with football fanatics.
Shot in Calabasas, CA, the “It’s Your Spot” campaign, which is bolstered by a fabricated 3D neon sign to accentuate the message, actually marks the second time in recent years that Forsman & Bodenfors has worked with Shlesinger, who, according to Jose D’Alta, the Art Director who helped co-create the campaign, was a natural fit for the brand. “She knows what being a regular at the bar means, but in this new campaign, she helps illustrate the idea of being a regular in the spots you and your friends define on your own,” he says. “Her clever sense of humor and prodding delivery feel like a friend. We wanted her to feel like part of the friend group. The collaboration process was seamless. She brought her own jokes and twists to the delivery and scripts and was down to try anything. She was easy to collaborate with and a good partner.”
Along with Shlesinger, Forsman & Bodenfors once again benefitted by having the hands-on input of Diageo and the brand to help guide and bring this campaign to life. Dina Krannich, Senior Brand Manager of Seagram’s 7 Crown, says, “We’ve worked with Forsman & Bodenfors for several years, and together we have always found amazing ways to bring a key brand and timely cultural insight to life in a smart way. We love how this new campaign is a celebration of all the special off premise spots that have extraordinary meaning to those ‘Regulars’ who know. Also, we love the inclusion of the neon sign. It really connects to the feeling of being back in our regular bars we know and love.”
The “It’s Your Spot” campaign further solidifies a fruitful working relationship between Forsman & Bodenfors and Diageo that dates back to 2017. Since then, the two parties have collaborated on National Dive Bar Day activations and campaigns for the whiskey line that celebrate the quirks and unpretentiousness of dive bars, as well as working on other global Diageo brands.
“When it comes to Seagram’s 7 Crown, it’s been a really special opportunity to work with a brand for 5+ years,” adds Forsman & Bodenfors NY Managing Director and Head of Business Partnerships Christina Falzano. “We get to explore nuanced insights and experiment in ways that you don’t always get to in new relationships. And over the course of the years, drinking behaviors have changed dramatically, as have expectations from drinkers about brands. Changes will surely come again, but together with Diageo, we’ve established a level of trust in each other that makes us believe we can navigate them in the future.”