The classic Johnnie Walker whisky bottle is getting a—dare we say—modern upgrade. A special-edition offering of the Black Label blend will now feature a female mascot, Jane Walker. The company’s decision to feature a woman on the label is a move to show support for women’s rights. Bottles will be available beginning in March, which coincides with Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day.
The company announced the new logo on social media, writing, “Introducing Jane Walker, our new icon that celebrates progress in Women’s Rights. With every step, we all move forward.”
Introducing Jane Walker, our new icon that celebrates progress in Women’s Rights. With every step, we all move forward. pic.twitter.com/1YP32odgJk
— Johnnie Walker (@JohnnieWalkerUS) February 26, 2018
The new logo features a woman striking a similar pose and wearing a similar outfit as the original Johnnie Walker “Striding Man”—because, well, you know the saying … “Anything men can do …”
This is also the first-ever female iteration of the logo, according to a press release. The purpose behind this clever marketing move is two-fold: One, the company’s hoping this will make the whisky appeal to a female audience.
“Scotch as a category is seen as particularly intimidating by women,” Stephanie Jacoby, vice president of Johnnie Walker told Bloomberg. “It’s a really exciting opportunity to invite women into the brand.”
And two, the company wants to show their support for women’s rights. For every bottle of Jane Walker whisky made, the company will donate $1 to organizations that support and empower women, including She Should Run and the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund.
Reactions to the new label have been mixed on social media, with some people mocking the label as a poor substitute for women’s equality.
“A hundred years since women got the vote and now-finally- we have whisky for women. Stop fighting the fight ladies, equality is here,” one person snarked on Twitter.
A hundred years since women got the vote and now-finally- we have whisky for women. Stop fighting the fight ladies, equality is here.
— Sharon Vince (@SharonMarie80) February 27, 2018
But another Twitter user said that while the label is obviously intended to sell more whisky, it does provide an “empowering image of and for women.”
Oh, I agree, it's all about selling more, but I agree that it does double duty as offering an empowering image of and for women. And I tip my hat to them, a company has to read their customers and now is the time to do something like this in the US.
— Woman Seeking Whiskey (@WomnSeeknWhisky) February 27, 2018
Others simply think this was a long time coming.
It's about time, thanks Johnny Walker.
— Alberta Martin (@Alberta00696975) February 28, 2018
And some are already planning on purchasing the product.
No matter how you feel this contributes to feminism, it is nice that the company is planning to donate to organizations that are working for women’s equality.
Johnnie Walker’s not the only company to change up their typically male icon, either. KFC recently selected Reba McEntire to play the role of “Colonel Sanders” for the brand.
And it’s certainly not just the food and beverage industry that’s working to make sure women’s voices are heard. We’re also seen the Time’s Up initiative in the entertainment industry and artists such as Pink putting on statement-making musical performances.
So, how do you feel about the new Jane Walker logo? Will you be purchasing a bottle for yourself and all of your friends?