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Johnnie Walker gets £7.2m UK marketing push

Diageo is investing £7.2 million in Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky in the UK in a focused drive to make the whisky category more appealing to 25-35 year old’s, and in a bid to mirror the success that brand and the category enjoys globally.

In November, Johnnie Walker will have a new bottle design, a new signature serve and an ATL marketing campaign that includes the brand's first TV ad in the UK for 50 years.

The new bottle
designed by Diageo’s in-house design team benefits from a wider front face and increased height and a sleeker, sharper finish on the labels and corners. The label has ‘clear’ areas at the edges to bring a more contemporary feel,  the striding man visual is of a higher quality, and medals have been added to the front of the bottle to highlight the whisky's awards.

The marketing campaign
The campaign ‘Where Flavour is King’ aims to recruit a new generation of young adults to Johnnie Walker Red Label and challenge the perception that whisky is an old man’s drink. It hopes to bring the UK whisky culture in line with the rest of the world, where whisky is perceived by young adults as trendy and is often enjoyed as a long-mixed drink.

The new serve
To achieve this goal within the UK, Johnnie Walker is launching a new serve called Johnnie Red & Ginger into the on and off-trade market. Combining the whisky and ginger ale. The serve will be supported in outlet with special branded glassware.

Erik Brentjens, Johnnie Walker marketing manager at Diageo GB, says: “Johnnie Walker is a strong British brand with a rich heritage, particularly our famous Red Label variant, which delivers 70% of Johnnie Walker volume globally. However, in Great Britain, the home of Johnnie Walker, we recognise that there is still a long way to go, which is why now is the perfect time to not only invest in this iconic brand but the whisky category too.

“Our contemporary new bottle design and engaging marketing campaign will inspire a new generation to discover whisky, ultimately creating opportunities for significant profits within both the on and off-trade markets.”

Johnnie Walker Red Label is available nationally at an RRP of £19.99 per bottle.


15 October 2013 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor