Diageo to spend £7.2m on Johnnie Walker

Diageo has announced a new marketing campaign for its scotch whisky blend, Johnnie Walker, that will amount to a £7.2 million spend.

Next month (November), the world’s biggest spirit brand by value, will have a new bottle design, signature serve and an above-the-line marketing campaign.

Diageo says the marketing drive, worth £7.2 million, includes Johnnie Walker’s first TV ad in the UK for 50 years. It is aimed at a younger audience, in the hope of getting them to drink more whisky.

Themed ‘Where Flavour is King’, it aims to recruit a new generation of young adults (aged 25-35 years old) to Johnnie Walker Red Label and challenge the perception that whisky is an old man’s drink. Diageo says the campaign will bring the GB whisky culture in line with the rest of the world, where whisky is perceived by young adults as trendy and is often enjoyed as a long-mixed drink.

The Walker team is launching a new serve called ‘Johnnie Red & Ginger' into the on and off-trade market.  Johnnie Red & Ginger is described as a “vibrant new serve designed to inspire and encourage experimentation with whisky among a new generation”. The new signature serve will be supported in outlet with special branded glassware.

Walker marketing manager at Diageo GB, Erik Brentjens, said: “Johnnie Walker is a strong British brand with a rich heritage, particularly our famous Red Label variant, which delivers 70% of Johnnie Walker volume globally. However, in Great Britain, the home of Johnnie Walker, we recognise that there is still a long way to go, which is why now is the perfect time to not only invest in this iconic brand but the whisky category too.

“Our contemporary new bottle design and engaging marketing campaign will inspire a new generation to discover whisky, ultimately creating opportunities for significant profits within both the on and off-trade markets,” said Brentjens.

The GB whisky market currently estimated to be worth approximately £2.1bn. Globally, the Johnnie Walker brand is not only the world’s No.1 whisky brand but is also the world’s best-selling spirit brand, worth $5.8 billion in value sales worldwide.