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Insight aids Johnnie Walker campaign

News, 29 February 2016
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LONDON: A combination of global and local insight lay at the heart of the success of Johnnie Walker's biggest-ever marketing campaign, a top executive at the Scotch whisky brand has said.

Speaking to Marketing Week, global brand director Guy Escolme reflected on the lessons learnt from the global campaign, which was launched last September.

Aimed at boosting its appeal to younger consumers as well as to "create talkability", the campaign carried the strapline, "Joy Will Take You Further" – an update to its longstanding "Keep Walking" slogan – that focused on how happiness can bring about success and act as a catalyst to progress.

In addition to TV ads, Johnnie Walker employed numerous global and local brand ambassadors, such as British actor Jude Law, who together Escolme thought helped the campaign to hit home with consumers.

"The use of our ambassadors across all of our channels and activities seems to have driven a higher degree of reach in the form of earned media," he said.

"Getting those individuals across the world to tell their stories has been especially powerful. They've served to be the living proof or embodiment of the brand [philosophy] which consumers find very credible.”

However, he said the integrated nature of the campaign worked mostly strongly for the brand, according to the company's research.

"Our ability to land the message has come from multiple exposures. The fact that this was a globally co-ordinated effort seemed to drive a great deal of momentum," he explained.

"We see some of that showing up in the metrics, the sheer reach we have achieved has been important, but in addition to that the engagement rates have also been impressive."

For example, videos involving the various global and local brand ambassadors achieved over 90 million views, while completion rates of "Gentleman's Wager II" featuring Jude Law were, in Escolme's words, "extraordinary".

"It all ladders back to launching the campaign on a global level and in an integrated way, which has created a situation where the campaign [as a whole] has had a greater impact than the individual parts," he said.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff

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