13th Annual Shorty Awards Categories

The Shorty Awards honor the talented agencies, brands, and industry leaders behind the best and most innovative work on social media and digital channels, campaigns, websites and applications.

From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

Johnnie Walker - Whisky Education

Entered in Physical & Digital, Emerging Platform

About this entry

Whisky education has been a proven growth driver for Johnnie Walker. However, limited reach and high costs have made traditional methods difficult to scale. VaynerMedia was challenged to create a new business model and bring this experience to more than 1 million people by summer 2017.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

Through immersive experiences on Amazon Alexa and Facebook Messenger, VaynerMedia created a multi-platform digital whisky guide that Johnnie Walker fans can talk to anywhere, any time. With 1 billion active users on Facebook Messenger and the Amazon Echo in nearly 4 million homes, these platforms gave us the unprecedented reach and conversational technology needed to achieve our goal.

From concept to execution, VaynerMedia built both experiences in-house. Our smart technology, UX, developer, and creative teams worked side by side to develop a core mentorship user flow and then optimized it for the nuances of each platform.

For Alexa, we leaned into self-aware humor and more in-depth guided tastings. We conducted research with Johnnie Walker's own whisky experts to craft unique experiences for each of their seven core blends. Through simple voice commands, consumers can try a guided tasting, learn whisky 101, get a blend recommendation, and buy a bottle. It's available on the Amazon Echo, Tap, Dot, or Fire TV—all consumers have to say is "Alexa, enable Johnnie Walker" to get started.

To reach Johnnie Walker fans everywhere, we launched a faster and more visually oriented experience on Facebook Messenger that uses text, carousel units, quick reply responses, photos, and GIFs. This opened a direct channel for Johnnie Walker to interact with its consumers on a 1:1 basis—instantly and at scale. Consumers can simply send Johnnie Walker US a message on Facebook to begin.


As conversational commerce and connected devices continue to grow, these platforms are a new and evolving way for Johnnie Walker to reach consumers where their attention resides and accomplish real business objectives. Earned media coverage at launch has garnered 112MM+ impressions, including articles from Digiday, US Weekly and Techradar. With a 33% mentorship conversion rate on Facebook and 22% on Amazon, defined by completing key actions within the experiences (whisky education knowledge, label tastings, cocktail recipes, and flavor profile recommendations), we're on track to successfully educate over 1 million people by summer 2017.


Video for Johnnie Walker - Whisky Education

Produced by

VaynerMedia, Diageo


Entry Credits

About the Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media.

Millions of people participate in The Shortys to recognize individuals and organizations producing great content on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, Snapchat, and the rest of the social web.

winners will be announced in may. follow us to be notified!