Diageo wanted to make the Johnnie Walker global brand promise of inspiring personal progress real and relevant to young Chinese men, a relatively new segment of whisky consumers.
Working with BBH Asia, the company developed 'The Pact', a dramatic narrative series of films that follows the lives of four friends - with lifestyles comparable to those of the target audience - who make a pact to support each other to achieve one man's dream of becoming a successful filmmaker.
The short films initially aired on television, with two long-format films available online. A range of supporting media drove potential consumers to the campaign website. The campaign ran across China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore.
Having generated a high level of interest with the initiaitve's first installment, Diageo rolled out a sequel in 2009. The latest episodes are a bold continuation of the story, where Jason, the architect-turned filmmaker, and his friends define and achieve progress on their own terms.
'The Pact' helped raise the profile of Johnnie Walker among its target audience by transforming it into a charismatic, contemporary brand that consumers can be passionate about. The campaign has exceeded all objectives, with double digit shifts on progress measures in just six months. Regionally, volume has increased by four per cent, with share gains reported in China and Southeast Asia.
Additionally, the series has been widely awarded for its effectiveness. Last year it took Gold for Best National Brand Development at Media's Asian Marketing Effectiveness awards. It has also achieved recognition in the West, having taken a Global Grand Prix at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising's (IPA) Effectiveness awards in London.
This article was originally published as part of the 2010 Top 1000 Brands report.