Brand Names Actor Chen Kun As Campaign Ambassador
Earlier this year, Johnnie Walker made its largest-ever overture to the China market with the launch of its Johnnie Walker House at Shanghai’s Sinan Mansions. Set among restored houses near the city’s Xintiandi district, the three-story Johnnie Walker House is designed to be a private refuge of sorts to celebrities, businesspeople, and local trendsetters looking to learn more about whisky appreciation. As Lawrence Law, brand director at Moët Hennessy Diageo, told Jing Daily at the Johnnie Walker House this September, the House is aimed at local drinkers, many of whom have long been accustomed to watering down whisky with sweetened green tea or thinking of cognac as the only premium imported spirit on the market, and takes visitors on a step-by-step tour of the production and enjoyment of whisky.
With whisky growing in popularity among China’s middle- and upper-middle class, major distillers are constantly looking for new ways to cater to shifting consumer tastes while communicating brand heritage and fostering strong brand loyalty in a new market.
For its part, Johnnie Walker has been among the most aggressive in this space in China, linking up with well-known Chinese artists, businesspeople and filmmakers for its “Yulu” or “Words of a Journey” advertising and social media campaign at the beginning of 2011. Featuring 12 short films profiling the likes of Xu Bing, Pan Shiyi and Huang Doudou and directed by director Jia Zhangke, the first “Yulu” campaign proved massively successful on social media platforms like Sina Weibo. According to Diageo, the campaign generated 20 million video views over the course of eight weeks, and was discussed by 120 bloggers.
Looking to continue the momentum built up by its first “Yulu” campaign earlier this year, today Johnnie Walker officially announced its second annual campaign, debuting its new promotional video starring actor and brand ambassador, Chen Kun (陈坤) and again directed by Jia Zhangke. The 2012 Yulu campaign goes beyond the first, profiling only one high-profile celebrity — actor Chen — and with Johnnie Walker making the new campaign more about individuals looking to make their mark on society. Starting now and running through February 6, 2012, Johnnie Walker is encouraging people to submit “action plans” on how they hope to achieve their goals in life.
After the cut-off date, the public will vote to decide the best 30 entries, with a group of five judges whittling that down to a final six in April. The top six entries, as decided by the judges, will receive funding from the newly launched 10 million yuan (US$1.6 million) “Johnnie Walker Keep Walking Fund” to help them achieve their projects after they work to create concrete plans of action. Entrants can submit their action plans through Johnnie Walker’s official accounts on platforms like Youku, Tudou and Sina Weibo.
The team of judges is made up of notable individuals from a range of industries, including “New Weekly” chairman Sun Miao, cultural critic Lu Jinbo, investigative reporter Wan Keqin, musician Zhang Yadong and cutting-edge designer Ji Cheng.
The new Yulu campaign video, directed by Jia Zhangke and starring Chen Kun: