Day 19: Four Roses Yellow Label

DISCLAIMER (READ THIS FIRST):

THIS IS NOT A LEGITIMATE ADVERTISEMENT, NOR SHOULD IT BE TAKEN AS SUCH. I AM NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE COMPANY IN ANY WAY. DO NOT MAKE A PURCHASE DECISION BASED ON THE INFORMATION YOU SEE ON THIS PAGE.


Today was interesting. I did a substantial amount of research, yet it was the shortest letter I’ve written. And I really didn’t even think of it as a sales letter...

Product

I wrote about Four Roses Yellow Label bourbon. It’s the entry-level bourbon from Four Roses and is created by blending 10 different bourbons together.

Who is the Customer?

The customer is a middle-aged man.

In my research, I ended up on a bourbon review site and noticed that all the people who were commenting were guys with names like Frank, Dan, James, Scott, Tony, and Jeff.

That gave me a pretty good idea of the demographic these guys come from.

I did make the assumption that they would want to be perceived as hardworking, mellow, consistent, and strong — which tied heavily into the ad.

If I was working on this as a legitimate project, I would have done A LOT more customer research. More on that in the Lessons Learned.

But, because I identified these as character traits that were important to the reader, I created an avatar named “Frank” (yeah, unfortunately, he’s not real) who embodies these characteristics — and also drinks Four Roses as a “reward” at the end of every workday.

Customer Level of Awareness & Sophistication

This customer is either Product-Aware or in the Most Aware stage.

He knows bourbon exists. He’s probably tried multiple brands. He may even have a brand he loves. That being the case, he’s in the later stages of sophistication as well.

Big Idea + Rationale

The big idea is that Four Roses Yellow Label is the hardest working bourbon there is, because it’s created from 2 different mashes, 5 different yeasts, and 10 different bourbons.

Big Promise + Rationale

The big (implied) promise is that, if you drink Four Roses Yellow Label, you get to perceive yourself as someone who is hardworking, mellow, strong, and consistent.

Lessons Learned

Writing for products that don’t explicitly solve a problem is tough. But, I realized that, even if the problem isn’t explicit, there’s still an implicit problem that a product can solve for someone.

In this case, I identified that implicit problem as a desire to be perceived with classic masculine characteristics like being hardworking, strong, consistent, and mellow. Now that I type it out, I’m not sure that last one fits the bill, but it’s something that Four Roses consistently emphasizes in their branding, so I wanted to work it in there.

Regardless, drinking Four Roses gives the customer the opportunity to identify himself (at least internally) as someone who embodies those characteristics. i.e. It allows him to become who he wants to be.

I envisioned this as a TV commercial or even a classic Mad-Men-era print ad, which was fun, but very challenging, because I couldn’t use the direct response formulas I’m very used to.

I realized that, while selling any product is essentially selling a better version of the customer to him/herself, selling a product like this leans heavily on the idea and backstory of a brand, rather than the problems it solves or its features.

So, overall, one of the more interesting things I’ve written during this project. It was a unique challenge.

Robert Lucas