The iconic scotch brand, Johnnie Walker, is giving its bottles an update, swapping out its traditional sketch of a dapper "Johnnie Walker" for a more feminine, "Jane Walker," in a bid to get more women interested in drinking the company's Black Label liquor.
Diageo, the beverage company that owns the Johnnie Walker label, says the move is in service of a push toward equality for women and to attract more female drinkers ,who might be "intimidated" by scotches and whiskies, to the Johnnie Walker brand.
“Scotch as a category is seen as particularly intimidating by women,” Johnnie Walker brand VP Stephanie Jacoby told Bloomberg. “It’s a really exciting opportunity to invite women into the brand.”
Jane Walker will appear on a quarter million Black Label bottles beginning in March. For every Jane Walker bottle sold, Diageo will donate a dollar to "organizations that promote women, including Monumental Women and She Should Run."
Obviously, Johnnie Walker isn't the first — and probably won't be the last — brand to try to make a product specifically for women. Bic, the pen company, has had pink pens sold as "ladies' writing implements" for years. And Doritos recently introduced — and then rolled back — a new "female-friendly" tortilla chip that doesn't crunch and comes in a bag designed to fit in a woman's purse.
They, however, appear to be the first liquor brand that doesn't specialize in flavored vodkas to make a drink geared specifically toward women (no word on how long it will take for "Jackie Daniels," "Josefina Cuervo," or "Mama Van Winkle" to appear).
Frankly, as a dedicated scotch drinker, and, upon last examination, a woman, I have to say I find Johnnie Walker's bizarre "equality" promotion kind of insulting. If a woman can't hold her scotch, a sketch of a woman in a top hat isn't going to suddenly force her to man up and enjoy real alcohol. It's also quite obvious that a simple sketch of (an admittedly clothed, non-sexual) lady on an alcohol bottle isn't going to contribute much to the cause for equality.
Plus, as a woman, I just prefer Green Label. The smokey, peaty blend is much more to my feminine taste (and it goes better with a good cigar).