18 Jan 2008

Jack Daniel’s

Newcastle (Photo: Keith Roberts)

Some time ago now my uncle sent me two photos he took while visiting Newcastle (see below). These show Jack Daniel’s reviving the hand painted advertising medium by using a stencil to replicate the label design on walls across the city.  Comparing the two signs reveals that they are stencilled, most probably they did a ‘black-wash’ of the wall area and then overlaid this with the white design (this is unusual as the lighter colours are usually laid down first). The design has then been artificially weathered, perhaps using sandpaper as described by those folks at Colossal Media. This is the first I’ve heard of a big brand revitalising the medium in the UK, albeit with the twist of using a stencil, ‘banksy-esque’ you might say?

I got in touch with the marketing team at Jack Daniel’s who gave some interesting follow up information. Those familiar with Jack Daniel’s usual advertising (see a good collection here) will know that it is all based around a certain straight forward authenticity derived from the brand’s heritage. Tradition and history are all important. Using the traditional medium of painted advertising is obviously completely in keeping with these brand values and so these ‘murals’ were developed following research and development by Jack Daniel’s outdoor advertising agency.

The ‘campaign’ is currently quite low key but I’m informed that there are at least 15 sites across the country and there may be more to come. I therefore lay down a challenge to everyone to try to find as many more as possible and to send through locations and, ideally, photos.

I think this is great and I wonder if it won’t be long before there is something of a more general revival of the craft and technique that has left us with the signs of old.

Thank you to my uncle for these photos and also Jack Daniel’s for the information sent through.

Underneath the Tyne bridge, at the very end of Dean Street, on the side of a bar called Fever (photo by Keith Roberts)
At the end of the old city wall at the junction of Stowell St and Gallowgate (photo by Keith Roberts)

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