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Jameson Whiskey - "Scotch Without Smoke." (1975)


This advertisement was published in 1975 to promote the Jameson Irish whiskey in United States. The United States is currently the brand’s largest market, which it dominates with 73% share of the Irish Whiskey market.

“Scotch with Smoke.” This poster proudly proclaims of a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey. Written in a strong, attention-grabbing typeface with smoke vapours enshrining the characters, this is font-art so highly sensorial that you can almost smell the char...

During the 1970s, Jameson advertisements in the United States market tended to be quite referential to Scotch, with posters frequently highlighting the differences in production processes. The emphasis was on educating the consumer - helping them understand why Irish whiskeys tended to take on more delicate and non-peated qualities in comparison with the smokier Scotch.

While I do appreciate the attempt at creating a more visually evocative poster, the use of smoke cues does seem somewhat counterintuitive. If the purpose of the advertisement was precisely to market the non-peated elements of Jameson Whiskey, one can't help but wonder if the image of heavy fumes might ironically wind up grabbing the attention of peat-fanatics rather than their real target-audience of peat-ambivalents.

From a semiotic standpoint, perhaps the message could have been more instinctual if the advertisers had instead depicted the smoke being vacuumed out of a scotch bottle?

That said, I do love my Jamesons. There’s been a resurgence of Irish Whiskey in recent years, with many millennials starting to favour Jameson and its other Irish Whiskey counterparts for their light-tasting and easy-to-drink flavour profiles. If you are new to Irish whiskey, we recommend some interesting bottles with reasonable price tags.