Every year about now, Advertising Age magazine runs this somewhat misleading feature. The 50 brands so honored are selected for doing something noteworthy in the last year or so and not, as you might imagine, for being the most successful or powerful brands generally.
As in most Ad Age features, someone is being stroked. The strokees are identified as "the brains behind" the brands. In Beam's case it is Rory Finlay, chief marketing officer of Beam Global, whose mantra is "building brands people want to talk about."
The full Jim Beam profile is here.
What Ad Age liked so much is what it calls Beam's "brand-as-activist approach," including ads Beam ran to protest the sale of Wrigley Field naming rights. It's all part of Beam's 'Stuff Inside' campaign.
I expressed my admiration for the whole campaign several months ago, here. I probably would not have identified the two ad campaigns that the magazine cites as the most noteworthy or original parts of it, but both did involve conventional media advertising and that's usually another common denominator with anything Ad Age finds worthy of glory.