YOU CAN BE TOUGH by Ogilvy & Mather Shanghai for Johnnie Walker

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YOU CAN BE TOUGH

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Industry Whiskey
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market China
Agency Ogilvy & Mather Shanghai
Associate Creative Director Kama Zhang
Art Director Steven Ruan
Copywriter Xiaoliu Yang
Released March 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Social Media
Advertiser: DIAGEO CHINA
Product/Service: JOHNNIE WALKER
Agency: OGILVY SHANGHAI
Associate Creative Director: Kama Zhang (Ogilvy One Shanghai)
Head Of Copy: Stanley Tao (Ogilvy One Shanghai)
Art Director: Steven Ruan (Ogilvy One Shanghai)
Copywriter: Xiaoliu Yang (Ogilvy One Shanghai)
Project Manager: Peter Pan (Ogilvy One Shanghai)
Group Account Director: Nora He (Ogilvy One Shanghai)
Senior Account Manager: Kate Shen (Ogilvy One Shanghai)
Media placement: Digital Campaign - Sina Weibo - 20 Oct 2011
Media placement: Digital Campaign - Douban - 20 Oct 2011

Summary of the Campaign

Whisky is often perceived as a very strong liquor and in China, youth prefer softer, sweater flavoured spirits. Johnny Walker's resolution is make them realise what whiskey stands for, making them accept it for what it is.

China's young netizens are a group eager to challenge the models of social conformity. So we leveraged on this cultural insight and encouraged the Youth of China to step up, to share content that matters to them, to stand for their values, to be faithful to their aspirations. Mainly, we told them they could be tough.

We created the 'you can be tough' front page where everyone is a journalist, an editor, a participant who can talk about what matters in the society. Due to the publishing restrictions and the controlled of information in the press, the platform was first made digital, allowing our reporters greater freedom of speech and better opportunities to raise sensitive issues. We even went a step further: we made the column available in kiosks alongside traditional and normalised newspapers. For free.

The initiative was a true nationwide movement about whiskey’s core values of independence, freedom and perseverance and a major factor in changing its perception in the eyes of Chinese Youth.

The Situation

Whiskey is often perceived as an iconic drink for people who go their own way, who go against the tides, who are true to themselves, a drink for the tough breed.

But it’s a very strong liquor and in China, youth prefer softer, sweeter flavoured spirits.
They do not genuinely go for the strong flavour of whiskey that they find difficult to accept.

The Goal
Johnny Walker resolution is make them realize what whiskey stands for, making them accept it for what it is.

Whiskey is not the first choice of drink, it’s nonetheless valued for the singular attitudes of personalities associated with it, such as Lady Gaga or Marlon Brando.

Especially amongst Chinese young netizens, a group eager to challenge the models of social conformity.

The Strategy
So we leveraged on this cultural insight and encouraged the Youth of China to step up, to share content that matters to them, to stand for their values, to be faithful to their aspirations.

Mainly, we told them they could be tough. And that’s how we created the 'you can be tough' frontpage.

Execution
On this frontpage, everyone is a journalist, an editor, a participant who can talk about what matters in the society.

Due to the publishing restrictions and the controlled of information in the press, the platform was first made digital, allowing our reporters greater freedom of speech and better opportunities to raise sensitive issues.

And it spread: all the 'you can be tough' pages were published on SNS platforms, numbering up to 1,000 within the first month.

So we went a step further: we made the column available in kiosks alongside traditional and normalised newspapers. For free.

This bold move inspired more youth to become 'tough' characters, against conformity, against status quo.

Documented Results
Within one month, 4,000 independent journalists joined the enterprise.

More than 3,000 front pages were aired, rating 8,700,202 views, influencing more than 800,000 people on the web to go their own way.

The buzz generated 721,000 searches for Johnny Walker on Baidu, raising its index by 54%, raising awareness on more than 15 different print and TV medias alike.

The initiative was a true nationwide movement about whiskey’s core values of independence, freedom and perseverance and a major factor in changing its perception in the eyes of Chinese Youth.