Around 250,000 bottles of Jane Walker will be available in the US / Johnnie Walker
Johnnie Walker is to temporarily replace its traditional top-hatted male mascot with a female version of its logo in a bid to broaden its appeal among women and support empowerment causes.
The move marks the first time the brand has significantly altered its logo in over 100 years, with the rejig timed to coincide with both Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day in March.
The Diageo-owned brand will donate $1 of every bottle sold $34 bottle sold to organisations that champion women.
Some proceeds will go to Monumental Women which wants to create a monument honoring America’s women suffragists in New York City’s Central Park, and some will be donated to She Should Run, which is dedicated to inspiring women to run for office.
Around 250,000 bottles of Jane Walker will be available in the US.
While the well-intentioned move has been lauded by some online, others have been more cynical with some comparing the concept to PepsiCo’s ‘Lady Doritos’ moment – when its chief executive suggested the company was compiling a “less crunchy” product just for women.
Lady scotch to drink with your lady crisps: Diageo Introduces ‘Jane Walker’ Scotch in Bid to Attract Women https://t.co/PjEyTJsRRO
— Lucy P. Marcus (@lucymarcus) February 26, 2018
Has the news about #JaneWalker left anyone else feeling cold? I'm a bit of a fan of @johnniewalker_ but this just seems like a marketing ploy to sell bottles to collectors which will inflate in price in the secondary market. https://t.co/QcBzGd8sG6 #women #whisky #news #release pic.twitter.com/hr29doiy89
— WhiskyMsJnr (@WhiskyMsJnr) February 26, 2018
I'd be curious to see if there's a bigger campaign attached on showcasing women distillers and makers. If not, then there really should be, otherwise this is a pretty lazy attempt at PR… / Diageo launches Jane Walker Scotch #NewsPicksUSA https://t.co/21iibQOF9P
— Sumeet Shah // #letsgettowork (@PE_Feeds) February 26, 2018
I can’t be the only one who finds Diageo’s attempt to recruit women to drink whisky a bit patronising and frankly lazy, I didn’t think we needed special lady whisky for our delicate little palettes #Janewalker #Johnnywalker
— DeeSliabhLiag (@DeeSliabhLiag) February 26, 2018
Speaking to Time, Stephanie Jacoby, vice-president of Johnnie Walker said that Scotch as a category was “seen as particularly intimidating by women,” adding the logo change was “a really exciting opportunity to invite women into the brand.”
Close to 50% of Johnnie Walker’s 12 ‘expert blenders’ are women, and six out of Diageo’s 15-strong c-suite board are women.
The brand isn’t the first to switch from having a traditionally male logo or mascot to a female one. Earlier this year country music star Reba McEntire became the first woman to ever play KFC founder and mascot Colonel Sanders.
Meanwhile, to mark International Women’s Day 2017 paper towel brand Brawny replaced its burly, flannel-wearing male mascot with a woman as part of its ‘Strength Has No Gender’ campaign.