Friday, May 25, 2007

Johnnie Walker : Keep Walking

Brand : Johnnie Walker
Company: Diageo
Agency: Leo Burnett

Brand Count : 235

Johnnie Walker is a global icon in the Beverages business. The brand named after the founder Mr John Walker, this heritage brand was born in 1820. An umbrella brand that endorses may of the iconic variants like RedLabel , Black Label etc, this brand is considered to be a brand leader in the worldwide whiskey market.

Johnnie Walker came to India in 2001. Before that the brand and its variant commanded a whopping 65% share in the duty paid channel. India is a huge market for liquor and the estimated market for Indian Made Foreign Liquor is around Rs 34,000 crore.

Deviating slightly from the brand, I thing IMFL or Indian Made Foreign Liquor is one of the classic Oxymoron. I still cannot understand the logic of the IMFL. It is still a living example of the erswhile License Raj.
Johnnie Walker is an interesting brand to me because of the classic campaign " Keep Walking". Keep Walking is the brand's global branding campaign which began in 1999 .The campaign took the brand from a local player to a global icon. The idea is so simple that this could be used in any market and in anyway that the marketer chose to use it. The tagline is one of the most memorable and I rate this as one of the best taglines. The tagline became so hit that in some markets, the line has become a part of the lingua.
The tagline is splashed across the globe in billboards, posters and print ads. The brand and its agency was able to look at the current environments and communicate something similar to TOPICALS pioneered by Amul in India.
One such billboard in Lebanon captured attention in the media across the world. According to reports, the campaign is running in 125 countries. The local managers are given the freedom to adapt the message to suit their own market. For example, recently Keep Walking campaign was run in India taking a cue from the India's World cup debacle.

The brand is being positioned on the concept of Progress. The Striding Man logo was devised to convey the philosophy of the founder's belief that through perseverance, the dreams can be realized. The brand is basing its positioning on the spirit of hardwork and perseverance and will appeal to the customers who adore those values. I think the brand has segmented the market on the basis of values ( broadly speaking).
In India too, the brand is following its international strategy. The interesting feature of this campaign is the use of outdoor media to the maximum. The brand uses minimalistic approach to communicate to the audience. It is said that the " Keep Walking " campaign has helped the brand to increase atleast 60% of the sales. More over in the Indian scenario, Keep Walking Campaign also has helped the brand to touch a new level in surrogate advertising.
Johnnie Walker's Keep Walking campaign is a classic example of the power of Big Idea.