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Johnnie Walker's 'biggest' campaign ever

News, 18 September 2015

LONDON: Johnnie Walker is launching its biggest-ever marketing campaign as the Scotch whisky brand, which is owned by British drinks giant Diageo, adapts its "Keep Walking" theme that has been running for the past 16 years.

The new campaign, which carries the strapline, "Joy Will Take You Further. Keep Walking", was launched on Wednesday night with the aim of reaching more than 270m global consumers across 50 countries within the first ten days of launch.

Diageo is refreshing the "Keep Walking" character because the old tone "doesn't resonate in the way it used to," according to Guy Escolme, global brand director for Johnnie Walker, in comments to Advertising Age.

Rather than conveying a message of reward after perseverance and hard work, the refreshed approach focuses on how happiness can bring about success and act as a catalyst to progress.

"If you start from a place of happiness, optimism and joy, it is a big accelerator of people's progress and success in their lives," Escolme explained.

The new campaign was created by Johnnie Walker's new agency, Anomaly, which took over from Bartle Bogle Hegarty late last year. BBH was the original creator of the famous "Keep Walking" campaign.

A new TV ad features numerous celebrities who espouse a joyful outlook on life and they include British actor Jude Law, Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini and Formula One racing driver Jenson Button.

Also making an appearance is Jim Beveridge, the master blender at Johnnie Walker, who will narrate some documentary-style films that explore how a positive mindset can improve aspects of one's life.

Johnnie Walker's new campaign is essentially a sequel to its "The Gentlemen's Wager" campaign, which has received acclaim for driving up sales.

That included being shortlisted for the Warc Prize for Connection Strategy in 2015 after the campaign for Johnnie Walker Blue Label was judged to have redefined how luxury brands should approach storytelling in the digital space.

The judges concluded that the campaign used a smart mix of storytelling, combined with an innovative approach to global digital content partnerships, all backed up by stong insights into the motivations of luxury consumers.

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff