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

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.