Johnnie Walker plays up Black Label luxury with Jonathan Majors

    • Johnnie Walker, a Scotch whisky owned by alcohol conglomerate Diageo, launched a new global campaign on Oct. 3 to spotlight its Black Label line, per information shared with Marketing Dive.
    • The whiskey brand teamed up with award-winning actor Jonathan Majors to extol the blend’s flavor profile in a classy display as the Ezra Collective, a British jazz quartet provides the soundtrack. The addition of each instrument to Major’s voiceover is intended to demonstrate the layered flavors of Johnnie Walker Black Label.
    • The campaign rides off a successful year for the brand in 2021 and comes as consumers gradually gravitate to more mid- to premium alcohol selections.

    Johnnie Walker’s new campaign leans into luxury and prestige as it looks to raise the profile of its Black Label line. The global campaign will consist of the new ads featuring “Lovecraft Country” star Majors, along with experiential activations around the globe. Agency support comes from Anomaly, Analog Folk, PHD, Chorus and Smarts.

    Short spots feature Majors in a well-tailored suit walking through lush, gold-colored rooms as jazz musicians play. He is drinking a glass of Johnnie Walker Black Label as words appear on screen while he describes the sounds and the flavors using adjectives such as “smokey” and “creamy.”

    “[This campaign] is perhaps the most focused we’ve ever been about showcasing Black Label,” said Julie Bramham, Johnnie Walker global brand director, in a press statement.

    Johnnie Walker, the top selling brand of Scotch whisky in the world, has several tiers of products and it’s choice to elevate its Black Label is likely strategic. The Black Label offering retails between $30 to $40, a mid-tier offering compared to its Johnnie Walker Red Label, its most affordable offering retailing at around $29, and its Johnnie Walker Blue Label, which can fetch over $200. As consumers become more interested in premium-tier products, the brand’s Black Label offering could help drinkers acquire a taste for more premium spirits without breaking the bank, a growing concern of consumers amid skyrocketing inflation.   

    The latest campaign rides on the heels of a successful year in 2021, which saw the spirits brand grow by 34%, with premium offerings leading the pack. The same year, the brand launched its “Johnnie Walker Keep Walking” campaign, which promoted its Black Label offering and looked to promote positivity as people began stepping back into society again following the pandemic. It has also looked to attract a more diverse pool of consumers in recent years — most notably, the spirits marketer invested heavily in women-centered campaigns such as mixing the anthem for the Angel City Football Club.


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