Perceptions that whisky is stuffy and old-fashioned, and that the drink itself is only to be drunk by older men, typically neat or on the rocks, are all common misconceptions of the category. In the face of challenging commercial conditions, and suffering the effects of category decline, Johnnie Walker initiated a radical plan to get back to growth and tasked RPM with developing a series of growth driving initiatives to reframe perceptions of the brand and support the brand in the on and off-trade.
We created 3 separate platforms to drive growth for the Johnnie Walker brand globally:
‘Weekends were made for whisky’ leveraged a key insight relating to weekends – specifically the desire of our audience have to reward themselves with a premium long mixed drink at the weekend. We positioned summer weekends as our brand ‘shrine’ occasion, bringing the occasion to life, providing a hero serve (e.g. Johnnie & Ginger) and driving visibility through additional display and co-packing (off-trade) and greater menu visibility / hero serve in the on-trade.
‘The Gift to Give since 1820’ recognised this audience’s un-met need in relation to the giving of meaningful gifts between friends and relatives, and Johnnie Walker’s right to win as a premium tasting and looking whisky brand. We highlighted the brand’s great gifting attributes (shareable, tailorable, rare, experiential, an opportunity for discovery) and created a toolkit that ensured the brand could act like a gifting brand across the festive season.
Blender’s Batch acknowledged both the potential audiences’ need for a new ‘take’ on whisky, and Johnnie Walker’s own expertise in innovation: namely the 150 ongoing liquid development programmes, led by the blending team, which are reflective of the brand’s passion for pushing the boundaries within the whisky category. We delivered on and off-trade executions (visibility materials, disruptive front of store activation and bar tender engagement assets) that showcased Johnnie Walker’s commitment to pushing the whisky benchmark forward, one idea, one distillation run, one glass at a time.