JW Blue Label CNY special edition gets high-impact reception at airports

By Luke Barras-hill |

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year Limited Edition Design.

Blended Scotch whisky Johnnie Walker is celebrating the launch of a Chinese New Year special edition bottling with a series of high-visibility media placements at airports worldwide.

The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year Limited Edition Design, created by Asian-American visual artist James Jean, will be spotlighted in digital activations in travel retail ahead of the holiday festival on Saturday 10 February.

These will appear at the check-in and departure lounges of key airports, including in Dubai, Seoul, Jeju, Singapore, Hainan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Bangkok, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne and New York.

A high-profile Johnnie Walker Blue Label x James Jean Lunar New Year campaign will run at Incheon Airport.

James Jean: “Evolved from traditional depictions of Chinese dragons, my dragon is composed of flowers and organic elements, from which emerge tendrils and arcing lines, evoking the idea of roots and connection.”

Inspired by flavours

The bottle is adorned with a vivid design that reinterprets this year’s Zodiac animal, which symbolises life, creativity and is a potent indicator of future prosperity in traditional Asian culture.

Aligned to the Scotch’s ‘Keep Walking’ strapline, the bottle evokes the evergreen wood dragon emerging from flora and fauna to burst into life in auspicious fashion.

Tapei-born and Los Angeles based James, an alumni of the Visual School of Arts in New York, is recognised for his versatility working across different  genres and ability to fuse contemporary subjects with aesthetic techniques inspired by traditional Chinese scroll paintings, Japanese woodblock prints, and Renaissance portraiture.

“The Year of the Dragon is rich in symbolism and tradition in Asia,” he said. “Many consider the dragon the most powerful animal in the Chinese Zodiac and the wood dragon felt remarkably close to me because of the natural elements prevalent in my own work.

“Evolved from traditional depictions of Chinese dragons, my dragon is composed of flowers and organic elements, from which emerge tendrils and arcing lines, evoking the idea of roots and connection.”

His design of Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year Limited Edition Design takes inspiration from the layers of flavour contained within the Johnnie Walker liquid, brought to life by Master Blender Emma Walker and her team.

“There are hidden elements in the picture as well – layers to be discovered, just like the layers in this incredible whisky,” he continued.

“I included chrysanthemums, from which flow liquid gold – inspired by Johnnie Walker whiskies – and hummingbirds sipping on the precious nectar. I want the viewer to peel back the layers and discover more about the image. I want my work to function from far away but reveal more details the more closely you explore the imagery.”

Johnnie Walker Global Marketing and Innovation Director Joao Matos, added: “James Jean’s remarkable interpretation of the wood dragon for Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year captures the essence of tradition and innovation.

“Just as Johnnie Walker embodies progress with our ‘Keep Walking’ spirit, James has beautifully blended respect for the past with an optimistic look towards the future. His dragon, crafted from flowers and organic elements, is a symbol of the power of creativity and connection. We’re thrilled to celebrate the Year of the Dragon with this exquisite, limited edition design.”

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