Anomaly unveils dismal debut for Johnnie Walker

Diageo’s signature Johnnie Walker brand famously departed BBH at the end of last year.

New broom Anomaly has come up with a new strategy in place of ‘keep walking,’ namely ‘instigators of change.’ One can see why they departed the glens but we are talking about whisky here. The new line is ‘joy will take you further.’

Pause for a deep breath. Remember BMW adopting ‘joy’ as its theme for the ultimate driving machine?

The whopper global campaign has evidently been developed with the assistance of one Matt Killingsworth, a psychologist.

Hero---JW-Golden-Boots-1It features various celebrities who supposedly illustrate joy including actor Jude Law, rock group OK Go, Formula One race car driver Jenson (back of the grid) Button (left), Mexican fashion model Montserrat Oliver and Eva Hakansson, a Swedish engineer and builder of the ‘ElectroCat’ motorbike. and a couple of artists featured in the debut film below. The soundtrack of the campaign is Ca Plane Pour Moi by Plastic Bertrand.

The new tagline, ‘Joy will take you further,’ moves the campaign from a ‘work hard-and-persevere’ message to one that promotes the idea that joy is the key to making progress, according to Diageo. “The old tone doesn’t resonate in the way it used to,” says Johnnie Walker global brand director Guy Escolme. He goes on: “if you start from a place of happiness, optimism and joy, it is a big accelerator of people’s progress and success in their lives.”

What are these clients on? Have they spent too much time at business school? It’s whisky for heaven’s sake – not something you really want to build your life on.

There’s rubbish and patting the client on the back. This is the latter.

MAA creative scale (it might improve): 2


My thanks to Michael Lee for directing me to this cover of the PB tune, with the lyrics in English.

Worth a listen..


  1. I had forgotten, until you reminded me with this piece, just what a terrible mistake BMW made with that ‘joy’ repositioning. Was there ever a brand less joyful than the inhuman perfection of the ultimate driving machine? What were they thinking when they besmirched a fine brand with this awful, misguided piece of fluff?

    When it comes to JW, I’m not sure that I associate the emotion of joy with scotch, either. But that may just be my natural Scots dourness.

  2. Oh dear… Oh fucking dear. All the cliches – including a cocktail bar in the forest – cobbled together to create a disaster. I was waiting for David Beckham and Lady GaGa to appear. Loved this quote from AdAge… “The power of joy brings a transformational, new lens on progress, and one that will accelerate Johnnie Walker’s momentum in culture,” Karina Wilsher, CEO of Anomaly New York, said in a statement. Like you say, do any of these fuckers live in the real world? Oh, I forgot, they work in today’s ad biz. I shall keep on walking.

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