Johnnie Walker, the world’s number one Blended Scotch Whisky, is to launch a new global, integrated marketing campaign – the Keep Walking Project - from 29 September to showcase a series of pioneering ideas which could help the world take a step forwards.
Inspired by the ‘Keep Walking’ strapline, which has been the core idea of all Johnnie Walker advertising since its introduction in 1999 and continues to evolve with the times, the campaign will be supported by an extensive above the line campaign and will harness the power of social media to galvanize support for three innovative initiatives in the fields of the arts, technology and business.
Fully interactive, consumers in each participating market will be urged to debate and ultimately decide which initiative they think has the most potential to shape the future in their country.
The campaign will culminate next Spring when Johnnie Walker will bring the preferred initiatives to life in each participating market - Bulgaria, Brazil, Greece, Lebanon, Spain, Thailand and Vietnam - to demonstrate their untapped potential.
Designed for the age of consumer engagement and empowerment, the Keep Walking Project will be run from central Facebook hubs and feature extensive TV, outdoor and digital activity as well as a dedicated free iPhone app for deeper immersion into the campaign.
New 60” and 30” second TV adverts will air around the world from 29 September and run throughout the course of the campaign. Titled ‘Step Together’, the advert features a young man who encourages members of his local community to work together to discover a better environment to live in. The emotive advert succinctly communicates the benefits of people participating for the greater good – the ethos of the Keep Walking Project.
‘Step Together’ was written by BBH creative team Caio Giannella and Diego Oliveira, with Justin Moore and Hamish Pinnell as creative directors. The film was shot by director Ne-O on location in Iceland earlier this year. The extensive production required a village to be built from scratch and involved hundreds of extras.
Consumers will be able to help shape the outcome of the campaign by earning ‘steps’– a virtual currency that can be attributed to each initiative – by participating in a series of challenges on official Johnnie Walker Facebook pages or via a free iPhone pedometer app, with all brand communications driving people to these destinations.
Gavin Pike, Global Brand Director for Johnnie Walker, said the campaign aims to build affinity with inventive, open-minded consumers who want to progress in life, never standing still.
“The Keep Walking Project embodies the Johnnie Walker spirit of progress, which enabled three generations of the Walker family to grow a small grocery store founded in 1820 into the world’s number one Blended Scotch Whisky.
“We’re building on decades of innovation in advertising to launch the first participative Johnnie Walker campaign. This bold next step for the brand will offer our consumers a collective sense of participation and achievement and hopefully spark new thinking about what can be achieved by working together.”
“By using our communications to encourage like-minded consumers to connect, collaborate and champion causes that inspire them we will deliver a deeper engagement with our brand as well as showcasing some of the pioneering thinking that could lead us towards a better future”.
The campaign was originally devised by BBH and Independents United and developed in conjunction with Edelman and AKQA.
The Keep Walking Project is at the vanguard of the trend for brands to connect communities and encourage them to join together to make a positive impact on society.
Each of the three initiatives chosen for year one embodies the Johnnie Walker notion of progress:
Pavegen: Powering urban areas using only footsteps
Pavegen’s pioneering paving slabs convert kinetic energy from their footsteps is into renewable electricity, so everyday walking can be harnessed to power applications such as street lightning. An interactive, people-powered light-installation will appear in the markets where Pavegen earns the most steps.
Ze Frank: Giving cities a voice
In markets where Ze Frank earns the most steps, the innovative artist will unveil a “pop up” public artwork which reveals the local community’s collective vision for their country or city. Ze Frank will use the submissions of individuals - their photos and statements of hope – as part of the inspiring piece.
Hub Culture: Encouraging and enabling enterprise
In markets where Hub Culture gains the most support, this private network of doers and thinkers will create a pop-up space in a major city where people can develop their business ideas through one-on-one advice sessions or a series of talks led by inspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders.
The winners in each market will be announced in Autumn 2011. Each project will be executed in Spring 2012. Participating markets have the option to support the initiatives above with their own projects.
A pioneer in marketing as well as business, the Johnnie Walker brand has been behind some of the world’s most acclaimed advertising campaigns. The Johnnie Walker striding man, devised by cartoonist Tom Browne in 1908, became one of the first globally established advertising icons.
‘Keep Walking’ was introduced as a strapline in 1999 and remains as relevant as ever today to represent the Walker spirit of progress and perseverance. Out of this fell the brand’s most recent campaign ‘Walk With Giants’ which shared the stories of some of the world’s most inspirational men, including Sir Richard Branson, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Ozwald Boateng.