NEW YORK: Johnnie Walker, the most popular blended Scotch whisky in the world, plans to launch a rebranded version in the US that features a stylised woman on the label in place of its famous “striding man” logo.

Called Jane Walker, the limited edition of Johnnie Walker’s Black Label blend will go on sale at the beginning of March with an image of a woman dressed in similar 19th century clothing who also tips her hat mid-stride.

Johnnie Walker, which is owned by British drinks giant Diageo, announced the new marketing initiative in a press release, explaining that the launch of Jane Walker will coincide with Woman’s History Month and International Women’s Day celebrations.

“The introduction of the first-ever female brand icon and the Jane Walker Edition bottle represent Johnnie Walker’s commitment to inspire and champion the diverse communities moving our country forward,” the statement read.

The new brand is expected to retail across the US at $34 for a 750ml bottle and, for every bottle sold, Diageo will donate $1 to organisations supporting women’s causes.

The new branded bottle, which forms part of the company’s ongoing “Keep Walking America” campaign, is also clearly aimed at widening the appeal of whisky, whose image has been overly focused on men to date.

“Scotch as a category is seen as particularly intimidating by women. It’s a really exciting opportunity to invite women into the brand,” explained Stephanie Jacoby, the New York-based VP of Johnnie Walker, in an interview with Bloomberg.

“We really see Jane as the first female iteration of our striding man icon. We like to think of our striding man and our striding woman as really walking together going forward.”

She added that parent company Diageo expects women executives to account for half the membership of its board by April and that the company wants advertising agencies to put forward at least one female director as part of any pitch for work.

Sourced from Johnnie Walker, Bloomberg; additional content by WARC staff