An interview with Taylor Ammerman, Global Alcohol Responsibility Manager at Brown-Forman

Client Interview: Brown-Forman

Most language around alcohol responsibility is mandatory—which, in all fairness, is probably a good thing. The problem is when it feels compulsory. Then, it is in equal parts ubiquitous and invisible, and thereby ineffective. Brown-Forman, a global spirits company that has long fostered progressive responsibility efforts took this notion for what it is: an observation, not a prescription. They decided to take on the challenge to create a meaningful conversation around responsibility by starting within. They asked: what would a compelling alcohol responsibility campaign sound like? What could it do if it actually resonated with people?

They hired us to help name and design this global internal responsibility campaign. When we signed on, we thought we were creating a campaign that would galvanize a cultural change. But, we soon realized that what we really needed to do was simply listen: capture what was already happening, document it, and provide a tool everyone could use. We talked with over 100 employees across seven countries. We met with Brown-Forman leadership. We researched other campaigns that tackled big cultural issues. At the end of the process, we recommended Pause: an invitation for mindfulness, slowness, confidence.

About a year later, we asked Taylor Ammerman, Brown-Forman’s Global Alcohol Responsibility Manager, to reflect on the process of building the campaign and tell us where it’s going next.

Interview by Jenny Cobb

JC How do you describe the Pause campaign?

TA We developed the Pause campaign to raise awareness and inspire action from our employees around alcohol responsibility. The Pause campaign helps change the narrative around alcohol responsibility. We found that alcohol responsibility had a negative connotation and was seen as an afterthought.

JC How has it been received?

TA The Pause campaign has been very well received among our employees, business partners, and even consumers. The campaign is simple, empowering, memorable, personal, relatable, and global.

JC What’s next for Pause?

TA The next big opportunity is developing more brand messages and assets to reach our consumers. In other words, taking a campaign that was designed for an internal audience and making it more external. We are also working on developing an external Pause website.

JC Which SDGs does the campaign align with?

TA The Pause campaign aligns with SDG number 3, Good Health & Well-being.

JC How would you describe working with Bullhorn?

TA I have thoroughly enjoyed working Bullhorn throughout the entire process of developing the Pause campaign. The entire team has been thoughtful, creative, well-organized, and thorough. However, most importantly, I selected Bullhorn because our values align. I knew that they would be the right partner for this project because they understood that we were not just looking for a marketing campaign, but a way to create social change.