Taking whisky off the shelf & into culture.
Challenge & Insight
The Scotch category was suffering from a bad reputation, based on outdated cultural perceptions, & didn’t feel relevant to most drinkers.
We discovered that the biggest recruitment opportunity wasn’t with existing whisky drinkers, but with non-whisky drinkers – those looking for drinks that are simple, fresh & light tasting. Everything that Scotch isn’t.
Don’t talk about whisky.
By developing an accessible serve, aligning it with the most relevant cultures & ensuring it showed up where people were already drinking, we realised we could create an unexpected alternative to their standard go-to’s.
Rather than persuade non-whisky drinkers how good our Scotch tasted, we knew we needed to create a serve they wanted to try as soon as they saw it. For us, we know we’ve won when people ask, “I like it, what is it?”. Then we can talk about whisky.Andy Hewitt, Managing Partner
Embedding a new serve at the core
Although developing new serves isn’t our strong point (tasting them definitely is though), we knew who to turn to. Sweet&Chilli developed an entire serve strategy, Gold&Apple, that sat at the heart of everything we did.
Introducing the Gold&Apple
The Gold&Apple is an original, disruptive & accessible serve that completely changes the way people think about whisky. One part Gold Label, one freshly juiced apple & your choice of seasonal garnish – as simple as it is delicious
A new cultural territory
The world of fashion has been undergoing big changes recently, with some of the longstanding, traditional labels adopting a less serious, playful tone.
By aligning Gold Label with this Irreverent Luxury territory we positioned it as the bold choice within drinks occasions – a celebration of colour, creation & community.
Inspired by the serve itself, we developed a comms platform that was disruptive, playful, expressive & enabled Gold Label to show up where whisky doesn’t normally belong.
Gold& establishes Gold Label as one part of a bigger story; a celebration of individuality, creativity, collaboration & the collective spirit.
A culturally relevant activation strategy
Boldly embedding collaboration at the heart of the brand
Instead of developing a collaboration platform in isolation, we made it easy for Gold Label to embrace a collaborative approach & include those at the forefront of their target culture.
We brought together culturally connected makers, creators & protagonists from 4 key markets to review assumptions, share experiences, exchange ideas & collaborate – validating & refining the brand strategy in a Cultural Lab.
8 Participants 4 Days 5 Creative Briefs
A cultural platform created with & for those at the forefront of the culture.
Partnering with those at the heart of culture.
We launched by demonstrating the power of the Gold& platform with a range of collaborations at the core of the brand experience – opening up Gold Label to co-creation with ‘the next big things’, not just the established go-to’s.
We collaborated with legendary designer Eike König to create a bespoke, screen printed logotype that lives across all comms.
Packaging that lives on
London-based fashion designer Louise Gray worked with us to create limited edition, reusable packaging. Her distinctive style perfectly encapsulating the attitude of the campaign.
Renowned multi-disciplinary designer Robert Storey created a unique bar-to-table experience unlike any other, designed to stand out in a space already crowded with other brands.
A suite of assets to amplify the story
We created a suite of brand assets, including serve photography, to support the collaborations which were distributed by global & local teams.
The Gold&Neon Orchard
As part of the overall comms approach we defined a theme for retail experiential, which was then brought to life by CircleSquare. Neon Orchard made the serve the centre of the experience, giving consumers the chance to sample it, while aligning aesthetically with the world of fashion.
From 7th to 2nd best selling Johnnie Walker variant.
Sampling-to-purchase conversion rate. Compared to an avg. 11.6% during Xmas period.
Sales increase over previous year, including a 41% increase in gross profit.
Not only did this work completely reposition Gold Label, but it inspired us to look at the entire trademark. It has led to one of the biggest brand refreshes in the history of Johnnie Walker, opening the door to a new generation of whisky drinkers.Gabriel Olszewski, Global Head of Communications Johnnie Walker
Cultural Curator Identification | Cultural Lab | Brand & Product Collaborations
Creative | Art Direction | Content Production
Sweet & Chilli | Butterfly Cannon | Circle Square | Eike König | Louise Gray | Robert Storey