Jägermeister’s marketing team is a bit confused. Brought huge, accidental success by the global craze for Jäger Bombs they are now looking to the long term. They have two obvious problems. Firstly, if and when people stop drinking Jäger Bombs, Jägermeister sales are going to to plummet… unless they can persuade everyone to drink it on its own. Secondly, Jägermeister tastes like a bitter low sugar cough medicine, which is disgusting. (According to Wikipedia, it actually used to be a cough medicine.)
In the US, to try and counteract this they’ve gone for a “hardcore men drink it” approach:
It also suggests that you have to be invited by a hardcore man to drink it with him. “Earn your seat” is the tagline. What they are really saying here is, “Yes it tastes horrible, but that makes it more hardcore to drink, and it’ll put hairs on your chest.” The official line is that “Jägermeister is a strong drink for strong men, with strong bonds.” Hmmm.
Here in the UK, the new print advertising is equally infuriating, “Give it a shot (Ice Cold Shot)”:
This will be accompanied by further explanation at some point but at the moment this isn’t really doing much other than reminding you that Jagermeister can be drunk on it’s own in a shot. Yes, we know, it just doesn’t taste very nice. Maybe the ice coldness stops you from tasting it? You’d have to be looking very closely to see the camouflaged herbs and spices in the background. I thought they were just leaves initially…
After seeing the US one, I haven’t got much hope for the TV campaign. It will apparently “celebrate the deep and meaningful bonds that are experienced between true friends and brought together through the liqueur”. I think they might be banging their heads against a brick wall a bit here. the reason Jäger Bombs are so successful is that they don’t taste like Jägermeister and that they are fun to do in a group.
Maybe there is more of an opportunity to make more of the heritage of the brand and appeal to those people who are interested in connoisseurship when they drink. Could they also think of something to have with the shot, like lemon and salt with tequila, that might help bring out the flavour? Orange maybe?