It’s that time of year again. March is all about the ladies-folk. It’s time to celebrate Women’s History Month as well as International Women’s Day.
To commemorate the occasion, Diageo, owner of the iconic Johnnie Walker brand, has introduced Jane Walker.
Jane Walker is a limited edition of the Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch with an all-new female version of the Striding Man logo. The new logo replaces the man with a woman wearing the top hat and holding the walking stick.
The special-edition whiskey, which has been available from March 1, costs $34 for a 750-milliliter bottle. Johnnie Walker will donate $1 for every Jane Walker bottle sold to organizations that champion women’s causes. A total of 250,000 bottles are up for sale.
The company stated that the Jane Walker edition was its way of celebrating the contributions and achievements of women in society and the growing progress towards gender equality.
While some have appreciated the new temporary logo, others have criticized the marketing ploy as ill-contrived and compared it to Pepsi’s Lady Doritos fiasco.
Recently, when PepsiCo announced it was making special chips for women with less crunch and non-sticky flavor, it didn’t expect to land up with an egg on its face. The prim and proper Lady Doritos stirred up a storm on Twitter. In this day and age of gender equality and gender neutrality, most people wondered what Pepsi had been thinking.
Jane Walker too faced similar criticism from some quarters when the Vice President of Johnnie Walker Stephanie Jacoby stated that Scotch as a category was seen as intimidating to women and this was a way to invite women to the brand.
Many have pooh-poohed this idea saying that a lot of women out there do drink Scotch and they like it just the way it is. There is no need for a woman representative on the bottle to invite them.
Others have expressed their approval for the campaign stating that it was classy and more respectable to women than the type of marketing that introduces ‘tiny, pink stuff specially made for tiny, delicate women.’
Some experts have opined that instead of making things especially for women and dividing them into special categories, companies need to include them in their current range of products. Products need to be suitable for both men and women without any specializations or color categorizations.
While some companies have succeeded in women-centric marketing, others have failed.
Pepsi has wriggled itself out of the Lady Doritos mess. Meanwhile, those who are upset with Jane Walker can perhaps take relief in the fact that she is in fact, limited edition.