One of the world's most popular Scotch whisky brands Johnnie Walker has now introduced Jane Walker, a female version of its iconic logo to support gender equality and also reach out to more female drinkers.
Introducing Jane Walker, our new icon that celebrates progress in Women’s Rights. With every step, we all move forward. pic.twitter.com/1YP32odgJk— Johnnie Walker (@JohnnieWalkerUS) February 26, 2018
Next month, the brand's Black Label blended whisky’s logo will show a woman mid-stride – the female iteration of its iconic logo of a man mid-stride.
The limited edition bottles will be available in the US from March, which coincides with Women's History Month and International Women's Day celebrations.
This is part of the brand's 'Keep Walking America' campaign and Johnnie Walker will donate $1 for every bottle of Jane Walker produced to organisations that work for women's causes.
"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. We are proud to toast the many achievements of women and everyone on the journey towards progress in gender equality," Stephanie Jacoby, Vice-President of Johnnie Walker, said in a press statement.
Stating that women have played a significant role in the brand's history, that dates back to 1893, the statement said, "Elizabeth Walker, wife of founder John Walker, was also fundamental to the creation of their own blended whisky, working alongside John and their son Alexander in the original Walker grocery shop. Today, nearly 50 per cent of the brand's 12 expert blenders are women, with female leadership across marketing and C-Level executives."
With the launch, the brand is also hoping to attract more women customers.
"Scotch as a category is seen as particularly intimidating by women. It's a really exciting opportunity to invite women into the brand," Stephanie said in an interview.
While some have given Jane Walker a thumbs-up, many aren't impressed with it.
In a satirical piece for The Washington Post, Maura Judkis points out why "creating gendered packaging for women and saying they are intimidated by scotch" does not help in championing women's causes in anyway.
Earlier this month, Pepsi faced backlash for sexism after its CEO Indra Nooyi said that it was launching "lady-friendly" version of Doritos (Pepsi's tortilla chips brand).
Many on social media feel that Jane Walker is only a marketing stunt.
A Lady is back with some more good news: Ladies are allowed to drink scotch now! We may not have equal pay, but at least we have a female-friendly bottle of scotch. https://t.co/wsJoPSxMY5— Maura Judkis (@MauraJudkis) February 26, 2018
How long do you think they debated before deciding NOT to make the Jane Walker Edition Pink Label?— CharlesNotes (@Charles_Notes) February 27, 2018
Diageo is launching Jane Walker in a bid for more women drinkers. I'm not sold yet. pic.twitter.com/mD2qMjBz9c— Jennifer Rogers (@JenSaidIt) February 26, 2018
I suspect the whole "women are too intimidated to drink scotch" thing is overblown, but! For any women who for whatever reason haven't tried scotch yet and want to start, for chrissakes don't start with Johnnie Walker. https://t.co/DGaUxvg2HT— Ron Hogan (@RonHogan) February 27, 2018
..intimidated...to drink...scotch..... What? pic.twitter.com/Mq7bzSqhML— Laura Anne Gilman (@LAGilman) February 27, 2018
As a woman who has been drinking scotch (and single malts, at that) since I was in my early 20's, these people need to step away from the bad marketing ideas and actually TALK to a woman or three...— Laura Anne Gilman (@LAGilman) February 27, 2018
Pretty sure this whole “Jane Walker” thing is just to satisfy the very specific fetish of some guy in marketing.— Ron Hogan (@RonHogan) February 27, 2018
Lady scotch. Johnnie Walker has invented scotch for the ladies. We have been intimidated by scotch, you see, and need a lady picture to reassure us that it's a drink for lil' girls.— Movies Silently (@MoviesSilently) February 27, 2018
I don't buy brands that patronize me. Raspberry to you, lady scotch! pic.twitter.com/zlKldqvnCw
So so thrilled. I can finally stop being intimidated. /sarcasm Good thing I was never a Johnnie Walker drinker. Ya know what would be nice? Introducing the pic of the female-id'd walker and just putting it on some of the bottles. w/out the condescension https://t.co/3j9RxbOGSh— Olya Oliker (@OlyaOliker) February 27, 2018
Apparently, I've either been "intimidated" by my favorite drink this whole time, or I just drink better scotch than Johnnie Walker. https://t.co/2rDBXXBcj3— Dorina Arellano (@evildorina) February 26, 2018