Wednesday, February 12, 2014

An Impressive Johnnie Walker Advertisement: "The Next Step"

(please press play and then double click on video for full screen, and then double click once over in order to return to this post)

This advertisement resonates with me.

The voice-over is much like my own inner voice.  The video montage of one guy's life is startlingly like mine.

Life for many of us starts after getting out of college with that first big city job, working in a slate gray, fabric lined cubicle, stirring your Lipton Cup-a-Soup or instant noodles at lunch time.  From those humble beginnings, you might build a career, have a chance meeting on a busy city street with your future wife, get fired or downsized, get married, get promoted with the accompanying tintinnabulation of crystal whisky tumblers.   The closing scene where our main character, who is a reflection of us, leaves the corporate job and heads down the tarmac to an awaiting plane to pursue his true passion, may have not yet happened for us, but it is at the center of our souls.  The video closes with the narrator's words:

"Your entire life, all of it, leads to the next step: the chance to define yourself by where you are headed, instead of where you stand."

What a universal sentiment that pretty much sums up I and a lot of other working guys.  Are we satisfied with where we are?  Do we want to be defined by maybe the less than meaningful job, the morally challenged pinheads we sometimes encounter, the supervisor who has made a career out of being a tyrant of minutiae, and is totally incapable of seeing the big picture?  Hell no!  This ad is a message of hope for the dispossessed cubicle dwellers, who are capable of so much more.

. . .

Effective advertising should start by capturing your attention, and then establishing an emotional rapport.  In this ad, it is done by telling an all-to-familiar story of venturing into manhood (accompanied all the way by Johnnie Walker of course).   This promotional video avoids the mistakes of so many others by not trying to be all things to all people.  Instead, it targets a niche market (middle aged North American guys) and makes an irresistible pitch that appeals to this particular consumer on a sentimental level.

Well done Diageo!  This is more proof that Diageo are the undisputed geniuses of whisky marketing.  I know I am being pitched to, and I am helplessly charmed by it.


Jason Debly

Copyright © Jason Debly, 2009-2014. All rights reserved. Any and all use is prohibited without permission except for You Tube video posted publicly on  by JohnnieWalkerUS, controlled by Diageo.  I do not own any rights to the Johnnie Walker advertisement which is posted purely for the purposes of discussion, nostalgia and entertainment.