Whiskey, or whisky if its Scottish rather than Irish, is rapidly becoming the drink of choice for young people, and Ballentine's is capitalizing on this trend by creating a whisky magazine that exists exclusively on Instagram. Called W, it shares a name with another fairly popular magazine called W that's already in print — but it's the Instagram format that's really important this time around. Is this the future of magazine publishing?
Whiskey label Ballantine's utilized Instagram's grid collage, giving users an option of how to engage with the content: Readers can either scroll down to get a digest version of the stories, or they can click on the individual boxes in the grid to get a more in-depth look at a given topic. The current issue has three articles, including, "Did The Sims Introduce Mixology to the Masses?", "The Women Shaping Whisky", and "The Rise of Bitter Drinks."
While Ballentine's has only published their first issue of W, they hope to publish more issues in the future. The actual magazine is beautiful and the content is engaging (assuming you're interested in whiskey), but what's particularly cool about this idea is the intersection between such an old school drink (my grandfather says he likes to order whisky that's old enough to order its own whisky) and a new, innovative branding idea. Instagram could totally become a viable media outlet, and I love that one of the pioneers of this concept is a company that's been around since 1827.
Here are different views of the magazine, depending on where you click:
It's a little tricky to see in the pictures, but when you look at it on your phone or in a web browser, it all links into one cohesive image:
And you can see more or less detail by clicking where it tells you to click.
Here's what I mean: See the account tagged in this shot?
Clicking on it brings you to the account's profile page:
Which turns out to be the magazine's first article, with the first photo representing the article's first page:
You can get a sense of what the whole image looks like on a phone by looking at some of the images Ballentine's has retweeted:
Ultimately it may be a bit too cumbersome to become a regular magazine format, but it's pretty cool all the same. Check the whole thing out over at w_issue1's page on Instagram.