If shopping for whisky in March, you may notice that bottle of Johnnie Walker looks a bit different: It has a woman on it.
This month, the iconic brand unveiled Jane Walker, the first-ever female iteration of the brand’s Striding Man logo. Jane will make her debut on a limited-edition bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label this month in celebration of Women’s History Month.
“Important conversations about gender continue to be at the forefront of culture and we strongly believe there is no better time than now to introduce our Jane Walker icon and contribute to pioneering organizations that share our mission,” Stephanie Jacoby, vice president of Johnnie Walker, said in a statement. “We are proud to toast the many achievements of women and everyone on the journey towards progress in gender equality.”
One dollar of every bottle of the Jane Walker iteration of the whisky will be given to “organizations championing women’s causes” with a total donation of $250,000. That number includes $150,000 that will be given to the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund and its Monumental Women campaign.
At the same time, the campaign is not without its detractors. In an opinion piece in Entrepreneur magazine, VIP Contributor Susan Gunelius says Diageo isn't being true to brand, instead pandering to a female audience.
Consumers and the media found the timing of the launch (which coincided with International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month) questionable, and many people suggested Diageo was pandering.
Any chance of changing the public’s perception of Jane Walker quickly ended when some comments from Johnnie Walker vice president Stephanie Jacoby (who actually worked on the Jane Walker campaign) took the media and the Twitterverse by storm and even made it onto The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Specifically, Jacoby said in an interview, “Scotch as a category is seen as particularly intimidating to women. … [Jane Walker] is a really exciting opportunity to invite women into the brand.”
To read the rest of Gunelius' article, click here.