After suffering a period of decline following the Global Financial Crisis, the luxury market had bounced back and was rapidly growing. Whilst appetite for luxury goods was returning, there had been shifts in the market’s make-up, with the emergence of a new affluent group made up of young, digitally-savvy consumers who were ready to pay for ‘premium’.
For Johnnie Walker Blue Label, the most premium of Johnnie Walker’s range, this was an opportunity to capitalize and grow the brand.
However, to this consumer, scotch was a fixture of the ‘old-world’ and was seen as ‘old-luxury’ – relegated to smoke filled lounges and old men. For Blue Label, who had not previously communicated to these consumers, there was a need to quickly establish itself as the icon of new luxury, or become irrelevant.
We knew that the best way in with this new consumer – time starved and not completely receptive to interruptive forms of advertising – was to tell a story about the brand.
This led us to execute a coordinated global PR and paid media launch across 21 countries, which was optimized centrally out of Singapore. We upweighted spending in the first 3 weeks to ensure that we were driving the maximum number of views and shares to make the film trend globally and garner earned media. The centralized approach allowed us to move budgets around depending on where views and shares were coming, thereby driving campaign efficiencies.
We used YouTube and Unruly as our key video distribution partners with clear roles for each. We activated YouTube for its reach potential and its ability to distribute long form video widely, and we used Unruly for its distribution through a strong influencer network and a highly shareable player. This also included a blogger outreach program that targeted trade marketing and Men’s KOLs in both global and local digital publications.
This approach allowed us to simultaneously create global fame, build campaign credibility and get other people to tell our story for us.