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By Natalie Mortimer, N/A

March 18, 2016 | 3 min read

Diageo-owned scotch brand Johnnie Walker last week revealed that it had renewed its partnership with Formula 1 team McLaren-Honda despite its recent lacklustre performance and rumours of sponsors jumping ship, as it looks to take advantage of the 400 million viewers of the sport globally.

Johnnie Walker has sponsored McLaren-Honda for the past decade in a multi-million-pound deal, a relationship that has largely been focussed on the ‘Join the Pact’ initiative to encourage consumers around the world to pledge not to drink and drive.

Speaking to The Drum, global brand director Johnnie Walker, Guy Escolme, explained the decision to stick by McLaren-Honda was spurred by the success of Join the Pact and the brand’s ambitions to gather 5 million signatures by 2018.

“We feel that working with McLaren and because of their values and what they stand for and the inspirational role models that their drivers are, gives us an opportunity to really reach a very large number of people with this key message of Join the Pact, which is don’t drink and drive.

“If you take a look at our core values of innovation and making steps forward and then you look at our work that we’ve been doing with McLaren for the past decade, an organisation that too is renowned for its heritage, its innovation and its determination to make progress in life, you start to see very strong synergies between the brand that is Johnnie Walker and the organisation that is McLaren Honda.”

The renewed sponsorship will see Diageo focus on Join the Pact and a campaign video has already been launched late last year across Johnnie Walker’s digital and social channels starring McLaren-Honda driver Mika Häkkinen.

Over the coming year the scotch brand will continue to invest in the film as well as activating around eight-ten Join the Pact events throughout the course of the racing season, with an ambition to drive an additional 500,000 signatures as a result.

The tie-up with the racing car brand also saw Johnnie Walker launch its largest ever marketing campaign last September called Joy Will Take You Further’, an evolution of the of the drinks brands ‘Keep Walking’ campaign. It launched in over 50 countries and featured the likes of Jude Law and Jenson Button.

Diageo Johnnie Walker Honda

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