Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Walking around the world

Johnnie Walker Blue Label sits in the ‘super-premium’ category of whiskies. At the very pinnacle of the Johnnie Walker ‘colour’ stable, this whisky has a strong and enviable image to maintain, and it is in demand around the world.

Today, millions of bottles of this luxury icon are sold annually in some 200 countries. Five of Johnnie Walker’s top seven global markets are in the emerging world, including Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, China and a region the company calls ‘Global Travel Asia and Middle East’. With such a vast number of countries to present the product to, Diageo needed to communicate centralised ideas to a wide spectrum of markets at varying life stages with the brand.

With a desire to integrate all major innovations into regional markets in the slickest manner possible, Diageo briefed Futureproof to assist with developing a global management system to explain, streamline, and manage the brand and all of its executions in different markets. Inherent in the brief were the necessity for both superlatively designed digital toolkits and the ability to get under the skin of the brand, becoming fully integrated in the fabric of the client’s company and structures – acting as support for the Global Brand Team in every way.

As well as crafting beautiful and comprehensive designs, Futureproof leveraged their unique agency-side Brand Management capabilities to add significant value to the content. Our comprehensive understanding of the super-premium spirits category ensured the content was both relevant and engaging for the reader.

The toolkits were designed to engage more deeply with Brand Managers across different regions and specifically to encourage take-up across as many markets as possible. Understanding Diageo’s full innovation, gifting, and marketing processes from ideation through to flawless execution has been an important part of Futureproof’s work. The toolkits have been described as “world class in terms of creativity and clarity” by the Diageo Global Managing Director.

Futureproof’s global management helped contribute to an outstanding performance in 2013 for Johnnie Walker. The iconic scotch remains one the world’s most powerful brands and is leading the way within the global spirits category, growing net sales by an impressive 15%. This system has also contributed to Johnnie Walker becoming the only drinks brand to be included in a 2014 ranking of the world’s 50 most innovative companies, joining Google, Nike, and AirBNB. The brand was praised for “thinking globally, but pulling heartstrings locally”.