Johnnie Walker has a huge ambition to restore the brand to its former glory: recruit 12m new drinkers and drive 1m consumer expressions in every market in the process. 


As a brand that had stood for progress for a long time, it needed a new definition of what that is in a culture that’s changed. The brand was starting to look a little pale, male and stale.

They approached us to help them see their brand from inside culture. How could they contextualise the brand for this new world, define a meaningful role and take action? 


We applied our insider marketing method: read culture, contextualise, contribute. 

Starting with culture: What did progress look like today? How had it shifted? How did that reflect across the world? What we found was very clear: The individualistic progress of the early 2010s had made way for a much more collective version. The cult of the billionaire had collapsed under conversations about privilege. The pandemic had woken us up to systemic injustice and ushered in a shift to a more collectivist mindset. No wonder that Jude Law on a yacht had started to feel very dated.


Our next job was to figure out how to re-contextualise the brand in today’s culture. 

Not to throw out the notion of progress or the striding man, but to update what all of that meant - the codes it leans on, the tropes it avoids. The brand would now be about Collective Progress. 

Adopting this as a new perspective on an enduring position, we set out to make that striding man stand for collective progress. Keep walking would be something we did together. 


It was no use just ‘celebrating’ collective progress in a self-serving ad. If you’re going to stand for collective progress, then you’d better be DOING something to drive that. So we found places where we could act. At the time, the social fabric of cities all over the world was reeling from lockdowns, and communities were coming together to revive their social spaces as we emerged into a new era. This is where we chose to act in that first year: Helping those communities to revive their social scenes.


We went from one walker to many with a unifying creative platform: The Walkers. 

Activated all over the world - globally, but expressed in relevant acts in culture locally. 

The Walkers is a global platform that unites the most powerful voices in our culture to drive change for collective good, everywhere. Brought to life through iconic collaborations and fame-driving acts with deep local impact. All while redefining whiskey drinking stereotypes.

Along with our Walkers in the different markets, we decided to turn our attention and scale to driving people back to venues, bars and clubs - places in desperate need of business of the back of COVID-19. To make a pledge to help sustain the vital cultural spaces where communities come together to be safe, connected and express themselves. In this way, the brand’s energy could be channeled for good. Building equity and credibility over time, we would earn the right to lend our voice to these issues.

We set out to take collective action to heal our social scenes through a series of real world acts featuring iconic cultural trailblazers across India, South Korea, Brazil, Thailand, Mexico, and West Africa. This wasn’t about the brand as individual saviour, but about the power of the collective. Working with this cohort of iconic cultural trailblazers from across the globe, we delivered a series of real-world acts that drove social regeneration in post-covid social spaces. Our commitment to collective progress became a catalyst for a social renaissance across four continents.

The brand platform we created had scale that stretched from TVC to Social, Events to Experiences and from DOOH to OOH in some of the most prominent and iconic locations in each of our local markets. We’ve developed a toolkit with guidelines on how to adapt in markets and around 350 assets, across the full journey of consumer touch points.

The challenge was to maintain a balance between consistency and local flexibility, playing a role as brand guardians to execute The Walkers as a cultural effort. 

With the overall brand platform strategy playing a fundamental role in dictating the campaign journey, we had to ensure each stakeholder had clear role for their market to maintain brand consistency but with local flair. 

We built the consumer journey for markets, strategic frameworks and influencer strategist, allowing for cohesive activations across each region that felt aligned to the global platform, but as local as they needed to be. 

The campaign launched with a tease as short form content, a reveal with local influencers as faces behind the campaign, and launch with specific tactical local activations. Following this, on trade activations sustained the momentum of the campaign. 

We are currently on a further roadshow to work with additional markets at scale and localise the platform further across the globe. Diageo does not disclose their sales results, but they have confirmed this is the most successful Johnnie Walker campaign in years.

OUR TALENT - THE WALKERS (from left to right):

CL is a K-Pop icon, one of the first K-Pop stars to breakthrough in the US. She’s outspoken, unapologetic, raw, and a true trailblazer.

Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, known professionally as Burna Boy, is a Nigerian Grammy winning singer, songwriter, rapper, and dancer. He is one of the biggest and most successful African artist. 

Alok is the most influential DJ in Brazil, a loud advocate for inclusion and an iconic figure in the social scene in Brazil. He calls on his millions of Instagram followers to support causes close to his heart

Ritviz Srivastava is an Indian singer-songwriter, electronic musician and record producer. He is known to into classical roots to create new-age music. He has as shared the stage with Katy Perry, Diplo and Dua Lipa, and has remixed songs for Major Lazer and Lauv.

Bárbara López is a Mexican actress and model, and is one of the faces of the country’s new generation of talent. Audiences fell in love with her when she was part of the first lesbian couple that ever appeared on a public TV soap opera and she’s been rising to fame since.


In South Korea we brought communities back to the venues known for specific dance styles through “Iconic Moves” a campaign to reconnect people through dance.

In Brazil we launched a campaign designed to kick off a social revival in cities across the country led by DJ Alok and executed in Barklets (large format parklets)

In Thailand the streets are the beating heart of culture. Our campaign brought people back to their cultural home and brought much needed life back to businesses.

No Labels - a programme across 7 countries from US, to UK to Europe, that saw us connect people back to the bars, clubs and venues where they can defy labels and truly be themselves. 

Revibe the night - 300 events across india that brought life back to the venues critical trade time - ‘after hours’ a sacred cultural meeting point between work and home where people can authentically be themselves.


Campaign is still rolling out, so below results are WIP.

1 billion+
markets launched
acts in culture


Johnnie Walker: The Walkers

Johnnie Walker approached us to help them see their brand from inside culture. How could they contextualise the brand for this new world, define a meaningful role and take action? The brand would now be about Collective Progress.

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