Current Events Used To Sell Whiskey

Is war fair fodder for advertising? Leo Burnett thinks it is, and so does Diageo, the world’s largest spirits company.
According to the International Herald Tribune, the two have teamed to provide a new twist on Johnnie Walker’s “Keep Walking” campaign (originally created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty) for the Lebanese market.
courtesy of Flickr user Fadilb
Not everyone thinks this localized twist is a great idea. Ad blogger Mack Simpson finds the use of war imagery in an ad of this sort vomit inducing.
I can see how it might be hopeful to some (which was the agency’s intention), and over-the-top offensive to others. Which makes me think of one of my favorite maxims from this nutty business: If your work doesn’t piss someone off it probably isn’t any good?

About David Burn

Native Nebraskan in the Pacific Northwest. Chief Storyteller at Bonehook, a guide service and bait shop for brands. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.

  • HighJive

    Hmmmm. David, about a week ago you took offense to Jimmy Choo selling fashion accessories with an image you thought glamorized violent crime. Aren’t you equally offended to see Johnny Walker sell booze by glorifying violent acts of war? My vote for the greater offense goes to Johnny Walker.

  • David Burn

    I’ve never claimed to be consistent. Be that as it may, there was no upside to the Jimmy Choo ad. This Johnny Walker board allows for various interpretations, some hopeful.

  • HighJive

    The upside for Jimmy Choo is that he’ll probably sell more stuff with his ad than Johnny Walker will with their ad.