Cannes Lions

FABRIC OF FLAVOUR

GOLIN HARRIS, Chicago / JOHNNIE WALKER / 2015

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Faced with a category in decline and five years of falling sales in Belgium, Greece and Germany, Johnnie Walker needed to regain relevance among a younger, fashion forward audience – and excite them about the big bold flavour and unique blending craftsmanship of Black Label.

Through an innovative PR campaign which blended European style influencers and a fashion-world first, we reversed a five year trend, reached over 300m people and increased sales in all markets.

We collaborated with fellow Scottish icons, Harris Tweed Hebrides - one of the hottest names in fashion. Together, we created a world first - tweed imbued with the flavour of whisky – the central asset for our flavour story.

The bespoke tweed was truly unique – each colour represented an individual flavour, while the whisky’s scent was blended into the fabric using technology we pioneered with a leading Scottish University.

The fabric was given to influential trendsetters and fashion designers, who created bespoke items, turning 900 square metres of whisky-imbued tweed into backpacks, capes, hats, suits, bow-ties and scarves. It was even used in a Greek Fashion school to inspire students.

We hosted multiple influencer and media events, including Berlin Fashion Week, before the items went on sale in boutiques.

Our campaign delivered over 300 pieces of coverage, 97% message penetration and reached over 300m people. The PR value of the campaign exceeded £1m – increasing sales in Greece by 7.9%, Belgium by 9.7% and in Germany by 0.3% – putting Johnnie Walker firmly (and stylishly) back in the black.

Execution

The campaign was implemented throughout Q4 2014; a core time in the whisky-selling calendar:

PHASE 1: worked with Harris Tweed Hebrides to pioneer a fabric imbued with the scent of whisky, with the design and scent inspired by the flavour notes of Johnnie Walker Black label. We documented this journey with ‘making of’ photography and videography

PHASE 2: conducted an exclusive trip for features press to have a first glimpse of the fabric; even helping the weavers to create it

PHASE 3: markets partnered with local fashion designers and trendsetters, who were challenged to incorporate the fabric into items inspired by the spirit of Johnnie walker

PHASE 4: developed mechanics so consumers could engage directly with the project; either through retail partnerships or competitions. This element of the campaign wasn’t included in our original plans but the hugely positive response to the project encouraged us to increase its accessibility

Outcome

Tapped into a pre-existing passion point:

• 900m of flavoured fabric was turned into backpacks, capes, safari blankets, hats, bow-ties, scarves and hip flasks

• At multiple events, including Berlin Fashion Week, hundreds of influencers saw the designer creations before they went on sale in high-end boutiques

• Approached by a number of high profile designers across Europe, requesting collaborations and fabric for their own designs, including an invitation to show at Milan Fashion Week

Appeal to a new, younger audience of 25 to 35 year old men in Western Europe

• Over 300 pieces of coverage delivered 97% message penetration and reached over 300m people

Drive brand reappraisal and sales

• Brand talkability among 25 to 34 year old men grew by 33%

• Sales increase reported in Belgium (9.8%) and Greece (7.9%)

• Increased penetration and value share in Germany above category levels

• Increased Facebook engagement by 55% across Western Europe

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