Annual report case study - Johnnie Walker: A global giant with a local voice
A global giant with a local voice
Johnnie Walker is the world’s number one Scotch whisky brand.1 Following the celebration of the brand’s 200th year in 2020, this year we’ve taken the first bold steps into a new chapter of Johnnie Walker’s remarkable journey. We also welcomed over 235,000 visitors to Johnnie Walker Princes Street,2 our newly opened visitor experience in Edinburgh, and unveiled a new era of the brand’s iconic ‘Keep Walking’ story.
During the pandemic, people around the world experienced dramatic shifts in their everyday lives. At Johnnie Walker, these changes, combined with our consumer insight, created an opportunity to instil the iconic ‘Keep Walking’ line with contemporary meaning, continuing to build this global giant through new, local connections. Hot on the heels of unveiling a bold new look for Johnnie Walker, we launched our new ‘Keep Walking’ campaign in October 2021. For more than 20 years, Johnnie Walker has inspired people with these two simple words, and this next chapter will continue to build cultural relevance for the brand among the next generation of whisky drinkers.
Our campaign burst onto screens, into venues, social feeds and advertising spaces in over 50 countries. Through partnerships with local changemakers, including CL, the South Korean rapper; Burna Boy, the Nigerian singer, songwriter and performance artist; and DJ Alok, the Brazilian DJ and record producer, we reconnected people with the socialising spaces they had missed for so long. We broke away from more conventional communications, telling the story of African creativity in an award-winning documentary, ‘The Ones Who Keep Walking’, which was made with the Forbes 30-under-30 director, Amarachi Nwosu. We shared inspiring quotes on progress from famous personalities, such as Grace Jones, Mark Twain and Mae West, across city skylines and cultural hot spots. And our television and cinema advertisement ‘Anthem’ brought Johnnie Walker’s charismatic spirit and the power of ‘Keep Walking’ to life with energy and optimism.
Johnnie Walker organic net sales grew 34% this year, surpassing 21 million nine-litre cases. And the ‘Keep Walking’ campaign’s success speaks for itself. We’re proud that, judged against 13,000 other advertisements, ‘Keep Walking’ won three top 10 places in Kantar’s Creative Effectiveness Awards 2022.
1. IWSR, 2021
2. Diageo internal data: 6 September 2021 to 30 June 2022