Is scotch intimidating? If so, it's only because the price point requires some research before laying down $150 or even $50 on a quality bottle for those nightcaps at home. However, Johnnie Walker is betting that the ladies out there feel intimidated by good ol' scotch and their answer to that is simple. Meet Jane Walker. Diageo, owner of Johnnie Walker, is rolling out the female companion of the iconic brand's gentleman.
For over 200 years, Johnnie Walker has left good ol' Johnnie on the label, but all that is changing to celebrate Women's History Month in March. The brand is including Jane to draw more women to scotch and acknowledge the cultural shift toward gender equality today. Diageo will debut the limited-release version of the best-selling Black Label whisky with the Jane Walker Logo. It will be found in stores as The Johnnie Walker Black: Jane Walker Edition.
In an interview, Stephanie Jacoby, the vice president of Johnnie Walker, said, "Scotch as a category is seen as particularly intimidating by women. It's a really exciting opportunity to invite women into the brand." As for Jane, Jacoby said, "We really see Jane as the first female iteration of our striding-man icon." The striding woman, clad in riding breeches and boots, is meant to evoke the female version of Johnnie in his striding man logo.
Jane Walker is a part of the brand's "Keep Walking America" campaign that began in 2016 and focuses efforts on reaching a broader audience. The Jane Walker edition will appear on 250,000 bottles nationwide in March for Women's History Month and International Women's Day.
For every limited edition bottle made, Diageo will donate a dollar to organizations that promote women, like She Should Run and Monumental Women. She Should Run is devoted to getting more women in public office, and Monumental Women is an initiative by the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund to build more monuments in New York City's Central Park to commemorate the suffragette movement.
Johnnie Walker isn't the only brand making movies toward equal gender representation in their brands. Just this year, KFC debuted the first female Colonel Sanders ever in Reba McEntire. However, backlash has also followed some brands, like the Doritos snafu about lady chips. Only time will tell if women connect to Jane Walker, but for now, we'll pick our whisky brand based on taste and not the label.