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Diageo Targets Hispanic Males With Johnnie Walker Black Push

October 5, 2012

Diageo’s Johnnie Walker blended Scotch whisky brand is aiming to trade Hispanic-American male consumers up to its Black Label offering with an ambitious new campaign including advertising, multiple celebrity endorsements, events and partnerships with leading charitable organizations.

The “My Label Is Black” campaign will feature three Hispanic-American celebrities: former New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada; recording artist, philanthropist and entrepreneur Don Omar; and New York radio personality Alex Sensation. The three spokesmen will appear in what Diageo is calling a “large-scale” ad campaign and also host a series of consumer events. Meanwhile, Diageo has partnered with philanthropic groups Career Gear and SER, whose missions are dedicated to helping Hispanics and other males “achieve economic freedom and self-sufficiency through employment, education and empowerment.” Diageo didn’t respond to a request for comment this morning on the precise scale and budget of the campaign.

The multicultural push behind premium-priced Johnnie Walker Black could help transition Hispanic male consumers into Scotch’s higher pricing tiers from lower-priced labels Johnnie Walker Red and Buchanan’s. The latter has already had ample success in cultivating the Hispanic audience, with its U.S. volume now above 200,000 cases. For its part, Johnnie Walker rose 1.5% by volume in the U.S. to 1.64 million cases in 2011, according to Impact Databank, but it picked up the pace in the 12 months through June, with volume up 9% and net sales leaping 18% (behind a 24% lift in Diageo NA’s Scotch marketing spend), suggesting strong progress in the effort to trade consumers up its brand ladder.


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