Striding Woman

I wrote about Johnnie Walker’s “Striding Man” metaphor a couple of weeks ago, so it caught my attention last week when the brand announced it was replacing that logo with “Jane Walker” on a limited-edition version of its Black Label whisky in March to celebrate Women’s History Month.

This new label has been criticized for being patronizing toward women.  On the other hand, contrast this with the outdoors brand REI, whose “Force of Nature” campaign has put women more front-and-center of the brand discussion without the same kind of controversy.

Where is the line between progressive and patronizing?  How is the REI approach different from that of Johnnie Walker?  Do either of these brands risk alienating its core base of male consumers?