Johnnie Walker's global campaign walks right by Australia

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 23 September 2015

Johnnie Walker unveiled its biggest ever global campaign for Johnnie Walker, refreshing its long-standing Keep Walking brand positioning – but the concept isn't coming to Australia any time soon.

The campaign, which Diageo says is the biggest campaign the brand has ever run - launched in 50 countries simultaneously last week – although Australia wasn't one of them. The brand aims to reach more than 270 million consumers within the first weeks of launch.

Closer to home, however, the Australian market will continue to focus on retail and sampling activities to encourage trial.

While it's not ditching Keep Walking, far from it, the new agency has added a burst of joy to the positioning with the tagline “Joy Will Take You Further. Keep Walking” The idea is that joy is a vital component of success.

The upbeat ad is narrated by Jude Law and sound tracked by the infections Ca Plane Pour Moi by Plastic Bertrand.

A spokesperson for Diageo Australia said there won't be a big push around 'Joy willl take you further' in this market this year, but that it could roll out with media spend behind it in early 2016.

The latest work was developed by Anomoly in the US, the indie shop Diageo appointed after severing ties with BBH last year. Anomoly was also behind the Jude Law film the brand launched earlier this year.

In a statement last week the brand said 'Joy Will Take You Further' “represents a new perspective on personal progress” the idea that has driven Keep Walking for 15 years.

The ads feature Formula One World Champion and McLaren Honda driver Jenson Button, Oscar-nominated actor Jude Law, Chinese actor Zhao Wei, US rock band OK Go and Mexican supermodel Montserrat Oliver.

Syl Saller, Diageo chief marketing officer who is speaking in Sydney at the AANA RESET conference in October, said: “I am hugely excited about the potential of this new campaign to drive Johnnie Walker forward to the next decade of growth. It is rooted in deep consumer insight and tells true stories of people who have truly walked with joy. At Diageo, we believe in building brands with purpose - meaning that goes beyond product benefits - and this is a great example of an incredibly strong idea that is brought to life with outstanding creative.”

BBH had worked with the brand for 15 years, and developed the globally recognised and award winning Keep Walking work. It included the five minute film starring Robert Carlyle walking around the world.

Johnnie walker isn't the first brand to pin its message with joy. Coca-Cola has long effused happiness in its branding and Cadbury two years ago unveiled Joyville as the basis of a decade-long strategy to “unlock the joy” in chocolate.

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