Say you’re a bourbon drinker. Or liquor-store owner. You like going to bars and eating out. You’re flipping through a magazine and you come across this ad, created by the team at Doe Anderson.


The text at the bottom reads:

Due to the hard work of bars, restaurants, and liquor stores throughout the country, Knob Creek has becoming the #1 Super-Premium bourbon in America. As a result, our entire supply of this fine bourbon is about to be depleted. Instead of compromising quality to meet demand, we’ve chosen to let the supply run dry. In deference to Booker Noe and his visions for Knob Creek, we’ll continue to age all our bourbon the full 9 years. The next batch will be ready this November. Thank you to everyone who helped make Knob Creek so popular (maybe even a bit too popular).

If the headline grabbed you (and it probably would, because it’s not bad), what would you think about the rest of the copy? How would you feel about the brand?

Cute and clever ad copy? Or a little of the mark? Does the point get across that Knob Creek cares about quality, and that their bourbon is in high demand? Could there have been a better way to get this point across without the “Thanks for nothing” headline?

And most importantly … does is make you want to get a batch of Knob Creek in November?

Good copywriting often rides a fine line between “really smart” and “really stupid.” Chances are people will have different opinions about this ad. But from a copywriting and conceptual standpoint alone, it’s important to remember that this ad could have turned out completely different and still have gotten the exact same message across.