Brown-Forman has been pushing the industry to higher standards of alcohol responsibility for decades. Talking about it is difficult, though. One, when you do something philanthropically it can be a challenge to talk about it without seeming disingenuous. Two, the language surrounding alcohol responsibility has become stale. The term is associated with a federally required blurb at the bottom of an advertisement. We were tasked with creating a way for people within the company to talk about responsibility in a way that is fun, inspiring, open to multiple interpretations, in-line with their brand strategy, and uses their brand guidelines. In addition, as a multinational company, the effort needed to translate across the world.
Through hundreds of hours of small group discussions, we came to believe that the Brown-Forman company were genuinely inspired by the values of the organization: teamwork, excellence, respect, trust. These values came to life in a family environment. One repeated sentiment stood out: “we trust that if given the time our co-workers will make the right decision.”
We heard other employees talk about mindfulness, proactivity, purpose. We merged the two thoughts into the campaign: Pause. It is open-ended. It is different for every person. It allows a person to consider if they should have another drink or get something to eat. It leaves room for a person to consider the implications of a message before submitting a brief. It leaves room to think about the legacy the company has in Louisville, in the industry, and across the world.