CLOSE-UP: CLIENT OF THE WEEK - Menezes refreshes UDV brand/UDV’s global director can’t stop talking about Johnnie Walker, Jenny Watts writes

By JENNY WATTS, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 26 November 1999 12:00AM

Ivan Menezes, the global marketing director at UDV, will soon be spending much of his time attending the various launch parties around the world for his new Johnnie Walker ad campaign. So it’s lucky that he enjoys the odd tipple.

Ivan Menezes, the global marketing director at UDV, will soon be

spending much of his time attending the various launch parties around

the world for his new Johnnie Walker ad campaign. So it’s lucky that he

enjoys the odd tipple.



’It’s part of the reason I joined,’ he jokes. And, with a plethora of

global brands, including Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys and Gordon’s under his

charge, some first-hand experience of the products is essential.



Menezes has the task of re-energising the Johnnie Walker brand through

the new ’keep walking’ global campaign, developed by Bartle Bogle

Hegarty, which will roll out in 40 countries. It is an ambitious task,

not least because the Scotch whisky market has long suffered from a

fusty image that must be shed in order to reach the lucrative young

adult market.



But Menezes seems distinctly unfazed by the challenge. It is clear he is

itching to update the brand and is not short of cash to build on its

strong heritage and leadership position: UDV is backing Johnnie Walker

with pounds 100 million.



’With this campaign, we hope to build an emotional bond with the

consumer through the universal territory of inspiring personal

progress,’ he explains. The three executions, which will break here

early next year, include a spot fronted by the Hollywood actor, Harvey

Keitel. They are all ’genuine stories of individuals with a powerful

story to tell, who overcome their personal fears’, Menezes says. The

umbrella theme, ’keep walking’, is designed to encapsulate mankind’s

desire to make progress.



’Keep walking’ is the first high-profile international advertising

campaign for Johnnie Walker since its parent company, Guinness, merged

with Grand Metropolitan to form Diageo two years ago.



Menezes believes the subsequent implementation of an executive committee

will prove key to the campaign’s success. The key decision makers,

comprising global brand executives from the US, Brazil, Greece, Thailand

and Japan, will be accountable for driving the implementation of Johnnie

Walker’s global strategy.



But can a global campaign of this size appeal to local markets? Menezes

believes it is possible to succeed in multiple markets using local

executions in tandem with the global work. He rubbishes suggestions that

sacrificing quality is an inevitable by-product: ’Where global

advertising doesn’t work is when it doesn’t connect around the world. We

have a brand that is well-established both on a global and personal

level, with simple but universal values.’



Menezes believes that with BBH’s ’outstanding creativity’ and Leo

Burnett’s network, the campaign’s success is guaranteed. ’I’ve got the

best job in the world,’ he raves. With enthusiasm like that, it’s hard

to disagree.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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