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Special Project

Special Project
From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

Johnnie Walker - Whisky Education

Entered in Physical & Digital, Emerging Platform


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.

Strategy and Execution

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

Entrant Company / Organization Name

VaynerMedia, Diageo


Entry Credits