Each of the nine vignettes stars 'Binging with Babish' creator Andrew Rea and a bottle of wax-dipped bourbon
Maker’s Mark has teamed up with Hulu to showcase its bourbon through a collection of ad vignettes, each focused on crafting a gourmet, whiskey-based cocktail inspired by a show in the streaming service’s roster.
The Kentucky distillery’s new “Mixing with Babish” ads fittingly star YouTube personality Andrew Rea, who first rose to prominence with “Binging with Babish,” a DIY cooking show where he recreates famous dishes from TV and movies.
Since posting his first video in 2016, he’s cooked up everything from “Game of Thrones’” blood pie and Krabby Patties to sheets of blue candy, à la “Breaking Bad”—and going viral to the tune of nearly 8 million subscribers in the process.
Working with Rea “felt like such a great collaboration opportunity,” says Brittney Duncan, media director for Beam Suntory, which owns the Maker’s Mark brand.
The nine-part vignette series, in which each clip runs between 60 and 90 seconds, was the brainchild of Starcom US and produced by digital entertainment company Made In Network, and will tie into both Hulu’s original programming and library shows.
The first installment of “Mixing with Babish” aired on Wednesday and featured a Bloody Mary that swaps the drink’s standard vodka component for Maker’s’ bourbon; “The Melting Pot,” as Rea dubs it, is rooted in “Taste the Nation,” a new Hulu original hosted by Padma Lakshmi that explores American food culture.
Each new vignette will roll out on Hulu upon delivery, appearing in the platform’s ad streams through the end of the year as well as on Maker’s Mark’s YouTube channel. Other shows on Hulu that will be utilized for the series include “The Great,” “Dollface” and “What We Do In The Shadows.”
Maker’s Mark was already planning to work with Hulu in 2020 following a successful trial partnership with its binge ad format last year. Duncan says that creating Babish-style content had long been on the distillery’s backburner, but with consumers staying at home en masse due to COVID-19, now was the ideal time to bring it to fruition.
“We are trying to be more in tune with the world we live in today,” Duncan says of the brand, which has taken notice in a rise of “at-home cocktailing.”
Since the outbreak of coronavirus earlier this year, 52% of legal-age drinkers in the U.S. have tried making more cocktails at home and 54% intend to do so well into the future, according to an industry survey conducted in June by alcohol e-commerce platform Drizly.
The study also noted that mixers, bitters, syrups and other cocktail ingredients have become the fastest-growing retail category on Drizly.