Johnnie Walker Hitches Star to Rock Band

NEW YORK Johnnie Walker teams with rock band Gomez for the latest manifestation of the brand’s “Keep Walking” philosophy.

Gomez, which has struggled with its share of ups (winning the Mercury Award in 1998) and downs (being dropped from its label in 2004), “epitomizes what Johnnie Walker is all about,” said Kevin Roddy, executive creative director at Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

As a tribute to the band’s persistence, the agency last week launched a microsite, www.toastgomez.com, to coincide with the release of the group’s latest album. The site, like the print teaser campaign that bowed in March, uses concert posters as milestones to mark the band’s journey.

A handwritten sheet taped to a telephone pole symbolizes Gomez’s rise to prominence in the London club scene, while a commercial poster plugging the album recognizes the band’s latest success.

A Johnnie Walker timeline, in the brand’s distinctive gold and black design, tracks Gomez’s progress, and an unfurling digital scroll tells the rockers’ story.

“What a great way to use them as a symbol for what Johnnie Walker says we should all do,” said Roddy. “The story of the Johnnie Walker campaign sort of uses obstacles or other elements that people had to get past. That has sort of inspired the idea of ‘Keep Walking.”

The campaign also integrates Rolling Stone into the media mix, with ads running online and in the publication. On subsite Rolling Stone Originals, Gomez is prominently featured among up-and-coming bands in content that includes interviews and performance footage.