Bourbon Legend Distilled Into Soda Brand

Creative agency Cornett is helping Buffalo Trace Distillery launch Freddie’s Old Fashioned Soda, a craft soda brand named in honor of its long-time tour guide and Bourbon Hall of Famer Freddie Johnson. The assignment was to distill Freddie’s personality into a national soda brand.
Cornett designed packaging, a website and a social media campaign and channels in which the gregarious character — a colorful, well-known figure around Central Kentucky — plays a starring role. A third-generation Buffalo Trace Distillery employee, Johnson has a knowledge and passion for bourbon that have made him a beloved Distillery icon.

Freddie’s Old Fashioned Soda are launching in three SKUs, Root Beer, Ginger Ale, and Ginger Beer, which are differentiated by brown, white, and green bottles. Design elements are minimal, fun, and playful: Bottles feature an illustration of Johnson and a word balloon in which he’s spouting one of his favorite lines, “Hey Daddy-O!” Bottlenecks feature more Freddiespeak, such as “How Cool is That?” “Stay Cool!” or “Isn’t That Neat?” Text is minimal; other than the product name, the label mentions that Freddie’s is 12 oz. and made with natural herbs and ingredients.


“Freddie’s Sodas is all about stories: Sharing, making, and telling a great story while enjoying a cold soda with friends,” said Cornett’s Tim Jones. “We tried to capture that on the six-pack and case with images of Freddie fishing, working around the distillery, and riding the iconic buffalo on the water tower.”

Agency credits include: Chief Creative Officer Tim Jones; Art Director Randy Steward; Designer Jason Carne; Web Design Katie Rusch; Video Sampley Brothers; Motion Graphics Justin Lee; Photographer Vic Sizemore, and Copywriter Jonathon Spalding. The client, Buffalo Trace Distillery, has a decent claim on being the oldest continuously operating distillery in the United States and has been visited by, among others, the GDUSA team.