Johnnie Walker Promo, Case study JOHNNIE WALKER WALKS THE TALK by Ogilvy & Mather Shanghai

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Industry Whiskey
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market China
Agency Ogilvy & Mather Shanghai
Director Vivian Tu
Associate Creative Director Kama Zhang, Kurt Deng
Executive Creative Director Zhu Hao, Natalie Lam Razorfish
Creative Director Leo Zhang, Johnny Tan, Craig Howie
Art Director Monkey He
Released March 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Social Media
Advertiser: DIAGEO CHINA
Product/Service: JOHNNIE WALKER
Executive Creative Director: Natalie Lam (Ogilvy One Shanghai)
Executive Creative Director: Hao Zhu (Ogilvy One Shanghai)
Associate Creative Director: Kurt Deng (Ogilvy One Shanghai)
Associate Creative Director: Kama Zhang (Ogilvy One Shanghai)
Senior Copywriter: Lala Wang (Ogilvy One Shanghai)
Art Director: Monkey He (Ogilvy One Shanghai)
Engagement Director: Keeny Yim (Ogilvy One Shanghai)
Account Director: Maggie Luo (Ogilvy One Shanghai)
Vice President: Ella Chan (Ogilvy Pr Shanghai)
Director: Vivian Tu (Ogilvy Pr Shanghai)
Creative Director: Johnny Tan (BBH Shanghai)
Creative Director: Craig Howie (BBH Shanghai)
Creative Director: Leo Zhang (BBH Shanghai)
Account Management: Adrey Low (BBH Shanghai)
Account Management: Jasmine Huang (BBH Shanghai)
Account Management: Joyce Hong (BBH Shanghai)
Planner: Charles Wigley (BBH Shanghai)
Planner: James Sowden (BBH Shanghai)
Media placement: digital campaign - Sina Weibo, - 15 March 2011
Media placement: Digital Campaign - Douban - 15 March 2011

Summary of the Campaign
As digital becomes mainstream in China, Johnnie Walker decides to take a new approach in launching their brand campaign. Rather than 'telling' consumers what the brand idea 'Keep Walking' is about, we decided to ask consumers a question instead: What would you say to keep your generation walking?

From this simple start-point sprang a cultural phenomenon spanning a web event, an online debate with over 100 bloggers involved, the creation of modern China’s most compelling documentary films, and thousands of unique content pieces created.

It galvanized millions from the much derided ‘Rubber’ generation, showing them at their best, and gave the Johnnie Walker brand a distinct role in not only whisky culture but in the culture of a new emerging China.

It got the brand US$40m worth of 'earned media' making Johnnie Walker the most talked about brand in the digital space.

The key PR elements in this campaign are:
1) This was not an advertising campaign: it was a cultural debate, facilitated by Johnnie Walker, inspired by Johnnie Walker, but owned by our audience.
2) To fire-start the campaign we enlisted the world’s most read blogger, Han Han.
3) Then Johnnie Walker and leading documentary maker, Jia Jiangke, unveiled their raw, authentic and powerful films: 6 Directors, 11 new progressives, 11 category breaking films about the progress stories of China’s progressives.
4) China’s top 2 talk show hosts (Yang Lan and Lu Yu) invited the documentary film cast and director to appear on to their show.

The Situation
Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky, although a relative newcomer to China, had been successful in establishing both the whisky category and the brand as leader. But China changes quickly. There are so many new brands, investing heavily, desperate to get a foothold or advantage.

For consumers, this is a search for status. To be seen with a new, fashionable brand gives social kudos. To be seen with an expensive new fashionable brand even more so.

This is a challenge for Johnnie Walker in 2 ways. First, Johnnie Walker is familiar and popular: it’s not new or different. Second, it is relatively affordable. The 2 primary drivers of status are not available to Johnnie Walker.

The Goal
1. Build a deeper connection, whilst overcoming cynicism, so people are loyal to the brand.
2. Have a cultural impact so people feel there is status to the brand.
3. Demonstrate that the brand is top of mind and desired so the on-trade feel the need to put it pride of place.

The key insight we found in our in-depth research is: Unlike previous generations, they question what counts as progress, so to them it isn’t only about business and wealth – these are still very aspirational but anything that involves understanding your goal and pursuing it come what may is respected by this audience.

The Strategy
If our audience was cynical about glossy imagery and over-the-top promises, we would adopt a ‘warts and all’ approach: we would be authentic, real and raw. Progress was not easy, it was rarely glamorous, and often involved moments of failure on the rocky road. We would show this rather than the glossy, false lifestyle competitors used.

The campaign structure was built around the over-arching principle of aupersocial/superbowl.

Supersocial = Use digital to create and build a flurry of chatter about what progress means today in China in the blog and social sphere.
Superbowl = Spread highly crafted authentic film stories of Chinese progressives that sharply define the POV of the brand within this chatter.

The creative umbrella was Yulu, meaning ‘words of a journey’.

Bringing the supersocial to life;
•1. To fire-start the campaign we enlisted the world’s most read blogger, Han Han. A wildly popular member of the rubber generation he was perfect to open up debate around the topic. He asked, "Is the rubber generation made of nothing? Do we really have no dreams?”
•2. Conversation fuelling: leading documentary maker Jia Jiangke then joined Han Han to announce the film project. As well as these 2 giants, more than 100 of China’s most influential bloggers were also invited to give their view.

Bringing superbowl to life;
•3. Documentary film platform: In Jan 2011, Jia Jiangke unveiled his film project on the JW blog: 6 Directors, 11 new progressives, 11 category breaking films about the progress stories of China’s progressives. Viewers were encouraged to add their own inspirational thoughts.
•4. Traditional media support: Simultaneously an above the offline campaign was kicked off with a film launch and press event.

Documented Results
1. Build a deeper connection:
Liking the campaign: a very high 92%. Liking it enough to recommend it: also a very high 96%.
At a more diagnostic level, 'Think it’s distinctive' and 'Think it’s progressive' increases of 11% and 17% respectively.

- Source: MHD/TNS Tracking
2. Have a cultural impact:
Online conversations about Johnnie Walker grew by 300%, which led to 30% share of all category conversations online.
6m unique users; 34m content views; 1.7m hours time spent on owned platform.

3. Prove brand is talked about and desired:
Earned media value was estimated at US$44m.

The affinity measure, ‘the brand for me’, saw a 5% shift amongst our 25-35 audience.
Purchase intention increased from 40% to 45 % in last 3 months.
(Source: MHD/TNS Tracking)