Impact: Brand knowledge & marketing
Sponsor: Johnnie Walker Brand Manager
Timescale: 4 weeks from concept to launch
To launch Johnnie Walker Blue Label King George V as a premium brand in the Spanish market. To illustrate and underpin the provenance, heritage and “luxury” status of the new brand, the archive team need to participate in a series of high profile media briefings and launch events, using original archives and artefacts to tell the story of the new brand.
Business archives used by the team
- Signed inventory of Todriggs Farm (birthplace of John Walker), 1819
- Stock book of Kilmarnock grocery store where John Walker started blending and selling whiskies with references to whiskies being sold, 1857
- Earliest John Walker & Sons minute book showing purchase of Cardow distillery (home of the brand today), 1893
- Book about John Walker & Sons by Alfred Barnard (famous for his tour of distilleries in the 1890s) showing Cardow distillery when it was purchased, 1893
- Tom Browne’s drawing of the Striding Man figure, marking the creation of the iconic Johnnie Walker logo, 1908
- Early adverts featuring the Striding Man figure, 1908-1910
- Around the World - company publication sent to sales agents world-wide celebrating the global success of Johnnie Walker brand by 1920
- Alexander Walker’s blending notes, 1913-1918, showing formulations for some of today’s brands and the source of inspiration for King George V brand
Outcomes and business benefit
- Using Johnnie Walker’s history as the hook to interest journalists was very successful. Media coverage was exceptional.
- By seeing the evidence, journalists got the story that Johnnie Walker was a real person, and understood the implications of that story on the business today.
- Using the archives judiciously we deliver the marketing strategy to move Johnnie Walker from a blend to a luxury brand with real values, credentials and authenticity.
- The launch event raised awareness within Diageo about the Johnnie Walker brand; its premium cues and credentials.