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Jim Beam takes a shot at Milwaukee, Iron Horse Hotel fires back

Actor Willem Dafoe is from Wisconsin, a state that consumes its share of Jim Beam and alcohol.  Yet, in a recent Jim Beam ad, the whiskey maker takes a bit of shot at Milwaukee. 

The whiskey giant’s newest commercial (a spot called "Parallels") shows Defoe in two "parallel" lives, one of fame after choosing a bus to New York City and the other less glamorous, a life led after choosing Milwaukee.  

It's an odd spot all around, and you can judge it on your own by watching it. Iron Horse Hotel owner Tim Dixon knows how much Milwaukeeans like whiskey, and he for one doesn’t appreciate the ad.

After viewing the commercial, Dixon took to his personal Twitter page: "Doesn't make sense for Jim Beam to bash a city that drinks as much as Milwaukee, does it? -- Mind boggling."  Then, the Milwaukeean decided to take matters into his own hands saying that his hotel will distill and barrel its own whiskey -- Barrel 1907 -- with neighboring Great Lakes Distillery.

Over a series of meetings between Dixon and Master Distiller Doug MacKenzie, the two crafted an original rye whiskey recipe befitting of the hotel’s clientele.

Although the hotel will continue to sell Jim Beam, signature cocktails will feature the hotel’s own recipe. The special whiskey will be tapped at a party in The Yard, the hotel's outdoor bar and restaurant, this June.

Thoughts on the Jim Beam ad?  Use the Talkbacks.  

Talkbacks

buck melanoma | March 30, 2011 at 5:47 p.m. (report)

Staying in Milwaukee/your hometown is safe...leaving and taking risks may lead to much better things in life...excellent commercial

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curlysarah29 | March 30, 2011 at 12:17 p.m. (report)

36155 I don't think it's necessarily a negative ad - it says, "all choices take you to where you're supposed to be" - that's actually pretty positive, or realistic at the very least, to me. Milwaukee is without a doubt less glamorous than NYC or LA, but I don't think the ad was negatively portraying the city as a whole... What I do think is funny is how he ends up balding in some of the "less glamorous" locations... how does that happen? Ha!

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Wez | March 28, 2011 at 1:19 p.m. (report)

@EastSideMKE

No worries, I've grown a back bone over the weekend and was able to move on.
And now that you've mentioned it you're right, I am retarted.

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Blaine | March 28, 2011 at 10:18 a.m. (report)

Hes at Appleton Greyhound. And his choice is Milwaukee or NYC. In the ad he chooses NYC, but in reality didnt he choose to come to Milwaukee first? Sure it is an ad, but a bit disingenuous if the real story is at all relevant. Truth in advertising?? Oh yea, sorry its a commercial.

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EastSideMKE | March 28, 2011 at 1:11 a.m. (report)

@Wez

It's quite obvious you are somebody who has never been to NYC. Most people don't move there to be famous, you're thinking of LA, and even that stereotype doesn't hold much truth. You are correct that there is more competition in NYC than we have here in Milwaukee, but there is also more infinitely more opportunities to be had as well. Do you really think any of us would know who Willem Dafoe was if he hadn't chosen to go to NYC? It's not like our theater scene has churned out many, if any, notable actors. Hell, even big-ass Chicago doesn't do too well in the entertainment realm, how are we supposed to stand a chance?

Anybody who finds this commercial offensive is just plain retarded in my opinion. They could have easily chosen some other nondescript locale that the public at large doesn't find to be very notable or glamorous like Des Moines or Cleveland, they just chose Milwaukee because Willem Dafoe is from Wisco. If anything it's an homage to Milwaukee, not a put-down.

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