August 6, 2009

Johnnie Walker's Walk: The Spirits of Free Enterprise

An ad? Five minutes? Yes. And worth every second.

It ostensibly sells whiskey, but it also sells freedom and the enterprises freedom enables. As AdAge's AdFreak says.

Best ad of the year so far? It just might be this brilliant five-minute-plus spot by BBH London, in which Robert Carlyle, in a single continuous take, narrates the progression of Johnnie Walker whiskey from the backroom experimentation of a humble shopkeeper to the multinational powerhouse it is today. The combination of bagpiper abuse, well-timed visual cues, pitch-perfect writing and music, and Carlyle's charisma keeps the mini-movie chugging right along. (When was the last time you sat through an ad this long, and one that really just puts in motion the boring brand-history page from the Web site?) It's also nice to see the renowned gloomy Scottish countryside put to good use. -- AdFreak: A stroll through history with Johnnie Walker
Best ad of the year so far? Best ad of the century so far, I'd say. I'm off to buy a bottle or two to do my part in keeping this company going and going and going...
[HT: Richard at The Belmont Club who uses the ad for other purposes, but that just shows how smart the ad actually is.]

Posted by Vanderleun at August 6, 2009 6:14 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I had not ever thought to buy a bottle of JW before. But now, after seeing that, I think I will. Good job, Bobby.

Posted by: Eric Blair at August 10, 2009 8:21 PM

Scottish Ark.

Posted by: Christian at August 11, 2009 7:36 AM

Well done!

Posted by: Ed Skinner at August 11, 2009 9:03 AM

Well, shoot. I have an abiding love for all kinds of liquor but have never managed to develop a taste for Scotch. As a show of support for free enterprise, I pledge to buckle down and try harder.

Posted by: Gypsy at August 11, 2009 3:24 PM

I'm off to the State Store.

I was going to take up skeet shooting.

That'll have to wait.


Thank you for this.

Posted by: Cathy at August 11, 2009 5:07 PM

Underwoods by Robert Louis Stevenson.

BOOK II. - In Scots

In a letter from Mr. Thomson to Mr. Johnstone.

* * *

At last, across the weary faem,
Frae far, outlandish pairts I came.
On ilka side o' me I fand
Fresh tokens o' my native land.
Wi' whatna joy I hailed them a' -
The hilltaps standin' raw by raw,
The public house, the Hielan' birks,
And a' the bonny U.P. kirks!
But maistly thee, the bluid o' Scots,
Frae Maidenkirk to John o' Grots,
The king o' drinks, as I conceive it,
Talisker, Isla, or Glenlivet!

For after years wi' a pockmantie
Frae Zanzibar to Alicante,
In mony a fash and sair affliction
I gie't as my sincere conviction -
Of a' their foreign tricks an' pliskies,
I maist abominate their whiskies.
Nae doot, themsel's, they ken it weel,
An' wi' a hash o' leemon peel,
And ice an' siccan filth, they ettle
The stawsome kind o' goo to settle;
Sic wersh apothecary's broos wi'
As Scotsmen scorn to fyle their moo's wi'.

* * *

Posted by: Fat Man at August 15, 2009 10:37 AM