Johnnie Walker takes The Next Step with first big brand campaign in a decade

$15m brand campaign launched for Johnnie Walker

A still from the new Johnnie Walker TVC
A still from the new Johnnie Walker TVC

Diageo Australia has launched its biggest brand campaign in a decade with Johnnie Walker ‘The Next Step’.

The $15 million campaign will be activated over the next 18 months across multiple channels including TV, out of home, and digital media in the Australian market. Initial feedback and testing has been positive.

‘The Next Step’ is a new take on Johnnie Walker’s 20-year ‘Keep Walking’ brand positioning and its spirit of personal progress.

Diageo marketing and innovations manager Adam Ballesty, said the company carried out extensive consumer research into what personal progress means to Australians, and has reframed progress to be about the journey, rather than the destination.

He said Diageo also took many of the successes it has had rebranding Bundaberg Rum and applied them to this new campaign. Over the past four years, every brand metric was in the red for the rum brand and are now all green thanks to the strength of the program of work.

“Scotch is the number one category for Diageo globally, the number one spirits category in Australia, and Johnnie Walker Black is the biggest contributor to its growth. The backbone of Johnnie Walker has always been about progress,” Ballesty told CMO.

“We spoke to consumers, and we learnt that progress has changed in recent times here in Australia, there has been a shift in what success or progress means to people. It used to be we’d use a shortcut to define progress as the outcome or the finished product, such as a better job or a bigger house, so those more traditional hallmarks of success. What we learnt from talking to consumers was that progress is all about the journey, and those hallmarks have changed. The Next Step is talking about the journey, not the outcomes."

Ballesty said the team had a huge six months coming up and expected the campaign platform will work for the next three to five years.

"We’re very happy we’ve invested in an amazing asset and tested it very well," he continued. "This idea of drinking at home in a more casual get together is huge profit pool for us as a business and a huge opportunity that is untapped by the spirits industry. We are helping Australians to drink better and on trend."

Ballesty went on to talk about future directions for the entire Diageo portfolio, taking into account consumer’s shift to healthier products, and the company’s successes with ready to drink (RTD) products.

“One of the biggest challenges we face is making sure our portfolio is in the right place. Bundaberg Rum is now set, Johnnie Walker is at the beginning of a fantastic next chapter," he said.

"We’d had great success in the RTD space in the last 18 months, with Smirnoff, Pimms, and Tanqueray, our first real premium RTD. Now, we’ve got a really big job to do on Smirnoff. We launched Smirnoff pure, our first RTD with lower sugar, lower alcohol, no preservatives, etc, and it’s been an outstanding success. So now, we need to work out where does that whole wellness or lower alcohol no sugar trend take us? And how does it translate to the job we have to do on Smirnoff moving forward."

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu    

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

5 cornerstones of a strong digital culture

Creating a strong company culture may sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. In fact, company culture is created in exactly the same fashion as a religion or democracy. Behaviours created from the organisation’s inception are reinforced over time by leadership, attracting like-minded people and eventually reaching critical mass to become an accepted ‘truth’.

Anthony Stevens

Founder and CEO, Digital Asset Ventures

Should you rebuild your company’s tech stack in blockchain?

The question I get asked most regularly these days is: ‘Do I need to rebuild my company’s systems on Blockchain?’ And the answer, every time, is ‘No, you’re asking the wrong question’.

Michelle O'Keeffe

CEO, Engaging.io

Customer value proposition: Getting the brand promise to your customers right

Throughout my career, I have witnessed a litany of brand names that profess to have a unique customer value proposition (CVP). In reality, however, they’ve had little more than a ‘value proposition’: A simple list of benefits applied to a general audience.

Ric Navarro

Global director of marketing and communications, Norman, Disney & Young

Hi there! Thanks for this interesting article! I love to read about new technology and software that makes our lives easier. I'm looking ...

Julia Summer

Wartsila overhauls Web platforms to create ‘seamless’ brand experience across all devices

Read more

RE: Sales and marketing SLAs, often the choke point isn't the teams but them getting the data into the tools they want to use with the da...

Ed Fry

Why sales and marketing alignment is more important than ever

Read more

Thank you for the good and very helpful information. It is very interesting. I love all the things you share and see your beautiful creat...

รัตนาวดี ภูมิวรรณ

Former eHarmony marketing chief joins telco startup

Read more

Colin Kaepernick, not Mike Kapernick.

thisisw

Zenith's innovation leader: Mid-digital age not benefitting media, brands or consumers

Read more

AGA KHAN HOSPITAL is in need of kidney donors for the sum of 2 crore, Contact us today if you want to sell your kidney for money, and thi...

Sebastian Friedrich

Mindshare gets behind blockchain advertising alliance

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in