You too can Be the Meister. “Do what you do masterfully,” urges Jägermeister’s dubious new mantra, “and you can live by your own rules.” It’s all part of Jäger’s big rebranding — the first in its history — kicking off this week with an elaborate TV ad running during the NBA and NHL Finals. Starring German supermodel Nadja Auermann as the “Meister of Cold,” the strange ad shows a bottle of Jäger being literally cracked out of a block of ice and served at precisely -13 Celsius. A call to “Be the Meister” wraps things up.
It’s a bold direction to take. Torched by Fireball and its many fiery imitators, Jäger has long since been dethroned as the shooter of choice by Americans, who apparently now prefer a burning shot. Jäger is playing with fire in trying to sell itself as the icy alternative.
“This is no doubt a pivotal time for Jägermeister,” says the ad’s creator. No doubt. It became popular thirty years ago when the Jägerette girls were giving out free samples in bars, and most people’s first encounter with it was on a dare. Its moment of glory has most likely come and gone. Pouring a fortune into advertising to make it relevant again as a cold shot is a risky bet. If Jäger feels cornered into placing that bet anyway, I guess the beginning of summer is the time to do it.
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