Johnnie Walker, the world’s leading Scotch Whisky brand, has launched a new global advertising campaign bringing to life the unique character of four of the brand’s luxury whiskies.
The ‘Character’ campaign plays a key role in the brand’s luxury marketing strategy which has broken new ground through high profile online content and experiential events in recent months.
The advertising focuses on the distinctive, individual character created by the craftsmanship and blending excellence behind four Johnnie Walker Scotch Whiskies – the rarity and depth of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, the smoothness and radiance of Johnnie Walker gold Label Reserve, the boldness of Johnnie Walker Black Label and the intensity of Johnnie Walker Double Black.
In creating the campaign, the Johnnie Walker brand worked with a range of ground-breaking pioneers to craft a series of images that have been influenced both by the character of the blends and the expertise of the personalities behind the images, producing powerful visual metaphors for the character of each whisky.
James Thompson, Managing Director, Diageo Global Reserve, said, “The Character campaign enhances the luxury credentials of the Johnnie Walker brand and its range of remarkable whiskies. The advertising beautifully reflects the craft, quality and character of each of our blends through work of exceptional creative standard. Johnnie Walker is consistently breaking new ground in luxury marketing, of which this campaign is part.”
The Character campaign launch follows the brand’s recent release of the online film ‘The Gentleman’s Wager’ starring Jude Law and Giancarlo Giannini and the hugely successful ‘Symphony in Blue’ event – the world’s first theatrical, experiential, musical and artistic journey through a luxury whisky – held in London last month. The Gentleman’s Wager, in which Law plays the part of a man who, despite having it all, proposes a wager to try and win a money-can’t-buy prize, has now attracted over 30 million views and, according to Thompson, has “created a new benchmark for us in terms of content creation.”
Thompson continued: “Johnnie Walker is a brand that lives in luxury spaces, whether that is manifested in our spectacular Johnnie Walker House experiences – examples of hospitality and immersive storytelling at their very best – or in engaging, evocative advertising like this.”
Each of the advertisements in the new campaign takes its inspiration directly from the unique and identifiable character of the whisky at its core.
For Johnnie Walker Blue Label – the ultimate expression of rarity from Johnnie Walker – this is depicted through a powerful search for rare depth and character. Only 1 in 10,000 casks drawn from the four corners of Scotland contain whiskies of sufficient character to produce a remarkably smooth signature taste experience.
The new Johnnie Walker Blue Label advert features Guillaume Néry, the French world-champion free diver, who was photographed in search of rarity and depth some 100ft below sea level in The Pit, the entry point to the world’s largest underground river system in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.
Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve is crafted by the company’s Master Blender using some of his favourite whiskies, including Clynelish Single Malt Whisky whose water source flows from the Kildonan Hills where gold was discovered in 1868, to produce a blend of great smoothness and radiance.
For the new advertising, pioneering light artists Bionic League created a physical representation of this smoothness and radiance as they produced a literal ‘River of Gold’ by floating golden disco balls down a river in the Scottish Highlands. Bionic League help some of the world’s greatest musical artists to thrill audiences worldwide with spectacular light shows.
Johnnie Walker Black Label is one of the world’s most recognisable Scotch Whisky brands, renowned for its bold flavour, and Johnnie Walker Double Black is a modern classic created in the style of the Black Label with a deeper and more intense character, derived from naturally smoky whiskies and the use of deep-charred barrels.
In the advertising, the characters of both blends are brought to life by Italian-born artist Mattia Biagi, who is known for transforming everyday objects into vibrant and iconic works of art in black. For the advertising campaign, he transformed a whole room of iconic luxury pieces – including a grand piano and a vintage car – into bold and intense pieces of art, through the use of black, fire and smoke.
Daniel Leahy, Global Credentials Director, Johnnie Walker said, “Developing this campaign has been all about creating imaginative, powerful, visceral depictions that truly reflect the character of our whiskies – about putting the qualities that lie at the heart of the liquid front and centre.
“We are delighted to have created this alongside Guillaume, Bionic League, Mattia and Anomaly – the New York based creative agency – because they are true pioneers. Like Johnnie Walker, they share a belief in uncompromising standards of excellence and a deep commitment to innovation and progress and we look forward to a rich and fruitful relationship.”