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SILVER WINNER: Johnnie Walker — Breaking Though Boundaries of Magazine

Johnnie Walker

Client: Johnnie Walker, Diageo of Canada

Entrant Company: Starcom MediaVest Toronto

Entry Category: A local brand or service in a local market with innovative solutions worthy of international adaptation or of world class standards.

Names to be credited with submission:
• Brian Chan — Strategy Supervisor, Starcom Worldwide
• Vivienne Feick — Publisher, CalgaryInc. Magazine
• Israel Diaz — Vice Prsident/Creative Director, Leo Burnett
• Marcus Sagar — Creative Group Head, Leo Burnett
• Apanna Chetranda — Copywriter, Leo Burnett
• Mike LoNam — Art Director, Leo Burnett

Time Period of Campaign: Pre-Christmas selling period 2008

Case Study Summary:

Marketing Situation: The marketing goal was to grow Pre-Christmas sales volume, while also moving occasional Johnnie Walker drinkers (accepters) to Johnnie Walker preferred drinkers (adopters).

Key Insights: Calgarians were shown to have the highest personal income in Canada for the target of Men 19-49—(due at the time to the oil boom.) Also, given the uniqueness of this business market, the campaign leveraged news and stories about Calgary personalities—and the target’s peers-- to connect with the Johnnie Walker positioning attributes of inspiring personal progress.

Media Strategy: The campaign positioned itself amid Calgary’s business elite by connecting with CalgaryInc Magazine’s Business Person of the Year issue. The Johnnie Walker notion of personal progress linked well with CalgaryInc’s raison d’être for showcasing success and achievement. The visual icon of the Johnnie Walker “Striding Man” broke through the physical boundaries of the magazine—mirroring the reader’s desire for personal progress.

This resulted in the first ever “content” integration on the front cover of a major Canadian business magazine. The “Striding Man’s” walk begins on the back cover, breaks through editorial pages, through the staples that bind together the magazine, and eventually his foot lands on the front cover. Even a functioning barcode was recreated with the Johnnie Walker tagline of “Keep Walking.”

Johnnie Walker also celebrated CalgaryInc’s winner of the Business Person of the Year, Jim Shaw, by hosting a “Mentorship” Scotch tasting, attended by the business elite.

How Could this be a Template for Other Campaigns or for World Class Standards? Marshall McLuhan’s famous quote that “the medium is the message” supports that magic that happens when relevant creative and innovative connections align through content. By marrying Johnnie Walker’s messaging with the content of the magazine, it was possible to create a breakthrough initiative that added to the reading experience—ultimately influencing our target’s personal choice.

Tactically, the editorial fit with CalgaryInc helped to persuade the magazine to give up “not for sale” media space in an effort to carve out new ground for a personality issue.

Results: The campaign directly contributed to increasing the volume of Johnnie Walker’s staple Black Label within Alberta (Calgary’s province). However, sales of the super premium Blue Label exploded as the campaign continued. During the same period, sales fell among key competitors.