Johnnie Walker turns to real-live celebrities

Following the controversial Bruce Lee spot, Johnnie Walker has turned to real-live celebrities to further enhance the brand's philosophy of “change” in China under its “Game Changer” campaign through storytelling.

Created by the China-based agency ZH-Communications, the latest phase of the campaign comprises of three short films featuring Cannes Best Screenplay winner and director Jia Zhangke, MAD Architects founder Ma Yansong as well as Septwolves chairman Zhou Shaoxiang, to tell stories of their road to success and convictions.

Targeting 35 to 45 year-old male audience, the campaign aims to convey its brand philosophy “keep walking” through the successful stories of the three celebrities, who act as the brand's message deliverers to pass on the ideas of change, freedom and independence to public. Each of the movie ends with a Blue Label product following a tagline “Keep walking with game changers”.

“As a continuation of the Bruce Lee short film, we hope to connect with consumers on the emotional and cultural level in order to inspire and to pull in more people to join us,” said Siew Ting Foo,brand development director of Johnnie Walker China.

While the previous Bruce Lee spot aimed to draw a broader audience from across the globe, the latest spots have narrowed down their target audience mainly on Chinese locals.

"Purchasing power in China is seeing a huge space for growth especially for luxury sector. Our performance grows particularly well among young consumers who are interested in alcohol. China is therefore a very important market for us," said Foo.

“The campaign allows us to communicate with Chinese consumers in a heart to heart way and co-opt them into our brand values through the narratives of some of China’s most progressive individuals,” she said.

Aiming to spark conversations online, the mini films were strategically launched on internet and mainstream Chinese social media platforms including Sina Weibo, Youku, and

"Chinese consumers are becoming more digitally savvy and are craving for authenticity and provocative content. There’s no better way to get people talking and sharing around the micro movies than on Chinese social media platforms."

Watch the film director Jia Zhangke spot here; architects Ma Yansong here and fashion brand founder Zhou Shaoxiang here.

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