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Johnnie Walker Launches First Major Australian Campaign In a Decade

Campaign titled 'The Next Step' was developed by Leo Burnett Sydney

Johnnie Walker Launches First Major Australian Campaign In a Decade

Diageo Australia has launched the biggest national brand campaign in a decade for Johnnie Walker, the world's number one Scotch whisky. The $15 million campaign, developed in partnership with Diageo's creative agency Leo Burnett Sydney, will be activated over the next 18 months across multiple channels including TV, out of home, and digital media in the Australian market only. The 45 second television commercial aired last night.

Named 'The Next Step', the campaign is a new take on Johnnie Walker's iconic 'Keep Walking' brand positioning and its spirit of personal progress, the defining ethos of the Johnnie Walker brand for nearly 20 years.

Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 6.20.44 am.jpgBuilt on consumer research and insights into what personal progress means to Australians today, 'The Next Step' campaign reframes Johnnie Walker's 'Keep Walking' attitude for modernScreen Shot 2018-03-26 at 6.20.53 am.jpg Australia by recognising that it's taking your next step on the path to personal progress and achievement that's the most important, rather than the last.

Says Adam Ballesty,Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 6.21.09 am.jpg marketing and innovation director, Diageo Australia: "Johnnie Walker campaigns have always celebrated stories of personal achievement. 'Keep Walking' has long been its rallying cry encouraging people toScreen Shot 2018-03-26 at 6.21.51 am.jpg confidently walk their own path.

"What we wanted to unlock with this campaign is what 'Keep Walking' means for Australians in 2018. Our brand research showed us that the way Australians define 'progress' is changing.Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 6.22.02 am.jpg There's no one true definition, everyone's journey of progress and achievement is different and deeply personal. With 'The Next Step' we're representing progress in a way that feels more accessible, while staying true to our brand legacy."Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 6.22.16 am.jpg

Scotch is the biggest category in glass spirits and continues to grow with one in five bottles of spirits purchased in Australia a Scotch whisky. Johnnie Walker is the market leader with Johnnie Walker Black Label in particular contributing to this growth.

The television commercial was directed by Erik Van Wyk. Filmed entirely in Sydney, the spot features a new track by American indie rock band The Decemberists.

The TVC follows the story of a university student who decides to take a small but important step to focus on his true passion; his art. It then follows him as his journey unfolds as he keeps walking through a series of successes and setbacks, until he realises personal and professional fulfilment at a dedicated preview of his work.

Says Vince Lagana, executive creative director, Leo Burnett Sydney: "Modern day progression in Australia has changed. We're so used to seeing 'progress' displayed through the eyes of a celebrity or athlete, but with 'The Next Step' we wanted to reposition 'Keep Walking' in a way that is more relatable and personal to our audience. With that, we have also looked at refreshing the brand with a campaign that delivers a contemporary new look and feel."
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Advertiser: Diageo

Brand: Johnnie Walker

Director of Marketing: Adam Ballesty

Business Director: Jessica Rix

Marketing Manager: Jonathan Morgan

Creative Agency

Creative Agency: Leo Burnett Sydney

Business Manager: Trishika Ramrakha

Group Business Director: James Walker-Smith

Content Director: Natalie Smith

Digital Director: Thomas Grace

Planning Director: Graham Alvarez

Integrated Producer: Justine Dooner

Creatives: Brad Grey, Damon Porter, Chris Crawford

Social: James Healey

Executive Creative Directors: Vince Lagana & Grant McAloon

Media Agency

Media Agency: Spark

Account Director: Jessica Brandalise

Partnerships Director: Craig Cooper

Connections Director: Fiona Clark

Production Company

Production Company: Jungle Entertainment

Executive Producer: Nick Simkins

Director: Erik Van Wyk


Edit Company: ARC Edit

Editor: Simon Price

Senior Producer: Sarah Nichols

Online Editor: David Edwards


Audio Post Production: Nylon Studios Sydney