IPA Effectiveness Awards 2008: Gold Award - Johnnie Walker

Grand Prix - Sponsored by Thinkbox, Best International Multi-Market - Sponsored by Xtreme Information.


This paper shows how a global campaign transformed Johnnie Walker from an ailing whisky producer into a global icon. In 1999, faced with the steady loss of its market share, Johnnie Walker elevated its communications beyond rational product claims to instead embody the values of personal progress. The 'Keep walking' campaign has made the brand an icon of progress in more than 120 markets worldwide, driving considerable consumer engagement and accelerating growth. The US$2.21 billion of incremental sales generated since the campaign's launch amounts to total sales growth of 48 per cent; growth, which today continues unabated.


The longevity and global reach of this campaign made a great impact. It was particularly impressive to see existing iconography and brand heritage used as the basis for a revitalised and universal campaign; this is a powerful message for all marketers.

- Sir John Sunderland, former chairman, Cadbury, and chairman of judges

Title: From whisky producer to global icon: The story of 'Keep walking'
Client: Diageo
Entrant: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Author: Steve Mustarde, BBH
Contributing author: Karl Weaver, D2D
Media used: TV, national newspapers, magazines, out of home, sponsorship


The 'Keep walking' campaign transformed Johnnie Walker from an ailing whisky producer into a global icon of progress with a total sales growth of 48 per cent and incremental sales of US$2.21 billion.

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