Johnnie Walker: The New Whisky of the Middle Class

Johnnie Walker is positioning itself as the “global aspirational drink of the middle class,” according to NPR.  Not a bad move considering another three billion people will enter the middle class by 2030. Walker’s iconic striding man—first sketched by an advertising man on a napkin in the early 20th century—is now cast as an everyman marching into a more prosperous era. Tapping into rising middle class populations from Mexico to Greece, the Scotch whisky brand is urging their base to “keep walking…and take a wee dram of whiskey along the way.” As its image has become more tied to luxury brands on the mass scale of Rolex and Louis Vuitton, Johnnie Walker has begun to face the curious problem of knock-off competition. Consumers are buying fake bottles of the stuff for the mantel piece: “You may not want to drink it, but you want to show your guests that, yes, you too can afford Johnnie Walker scotch whiskey.” [NPR]