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The Drum Recommends: Commended - Bespoke packaging for Johnnie Walker and Blade Runner

September 10, 2018 | 4 min read

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This week The Drum Recommends: Commended is highlighting LOVE’s bespoke packaging for Johnnie Walker and Blade Runner.

In this series, we explore the finest work created by The Drum Recommended agencies. We will highlight top case studies each week to guide and inspire you in your journey to select a new agency relationship.

Earlier this year the Recommended Agency Register (RAR) was rebranded as The Drum Recommends to bring it in line with owner The Drum. It remains committed to partnering brands with the correct agency using data and unique industry expertise.

This case study and other interesting content can be found on LOVEs profile on The Drum Recommends.

The story

They say the best things in life are worth waiting for. We agree.

Six years ago, we had an idea. We suggested to Diageo they make some noise about Johnnie Walker’s starring role in the 1982 cult classic, Blade Runner.

Johnnie Walker Black Label, in the guise of a futuristic interpretation of the famous square bottle, subtly steals scenes alongside Harrison Ford in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi masterpiece.

So, being the creative folk, we are, we thought re-creating this bottle as a commercially available limited-edition release would really pay back to the brand. Five years of lobbying Global Brand Directors went by and then, a stroke of luck. The long-awaited sequel was given the green light to start production. A new bottle design was needed.

As projects go, this one was pretty special. We got to imagine a design for a version of Johnnie Walker Black Label for ‘Blade Runner 2049’. We created the bottle, the outer packaging and even got involved in the design of the liquid itself.

An opportunity as rare as the bottles themselves. There are just 39,000 limited-edition bottles being created for the entire global allocation.

Take a look at what we did. An embodiment of perseverance and good fortune - ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Johnnie Walker Black Label Limited Edition.

Time to die for it.

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Designing a bottle from 2049

Ridley Scott’s 1982 original was set in 2019, teasing viewers with an image of how a 21st century Johnnie Walker would look. With a little help from Hollywood director, Denis Villeneuve, our job was to create another Johnnie Walker Black Label of the future – 2049 to be precise.

We started by refining the advanced hourglass form by introducing Johnnie Walker’s distinctive twenty-four-degree angle. The result is a bold, futuristic bottle balanced around the iconic Johnnie Walker Black Label.

A high-gloss black coating covers the top and base, framing the vibrant whiskey colour and accentuating the sharp, straight edges of the glass. A short neck and oversized square stopper finish its unique design.

Villenueve had the privilege of selecting the final design and said the feeling of opening the bottle for the first time was like ‘unwrapping a gift at Christmas’.

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“Like many fans, I remember the Johnnie Walker bottle from the first film, so it was a unique privilege to collaborate on designing a totally original, custom bottle for the new movie.”

Denis Villeneuve - Director of Blade Runner 2049

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The liquid

Bladerunner is as famous for its Director’s Cuts as it is for the story itself, we felt that this could be reflected in a limited edition of the blend itself.

So in the spirit of this, Denis Villeneuve, the director of Bladerunner 2049 worked with Johnnie Walker Master Blender Jim Beveridge to create a 'Directors Cut’ of the liquid, filled with dystopian smokiness and neon sweetness. And as a nice touch, the liquid’s ABV comes to 49% vol.

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To find out more about LOVE check out their profile on The Drum Recommends.

The Drum Recommends The Drum Recommends: Commended Marketing

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LOVE is a design-led agency with storytelling at the heart of our approach - we believe that design sits at the very core of true brand success. LOVE develop visionary...

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