Where do brands fit into the larger cultural landscape today? It’s a question that some brand managers and ad agency partners would rather not answer. At the other end of the pole, there is Diageo’s Johnnie Walker, which has a definitive answer to the non-rhetorical question.
Let’s watch and listen…
I roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me, a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me
Johnnie Walker first reintroduced the lyrics of Woody Guthrie’s powerful anthem as spoken word in November 2016.
Move Me Before You Pitch Me
According to Maria Garrido, chief insights officer at Havas Group and senior vice president, brand marketing at Vivendi, Hispanic shoppers are more demanding of brands than the average U.S. citizen—67% expect brands to increase their collective contribution to society—and Johnnie Walker delivers.
This bilingual version of the patriotic “This Land Is Your Land,” performed by Chicano Batman, hits the sweet spot with a discourse of unity among all Americans, something Hispanics appreciate, says Garrido.
The song’s music video, created by Anomaly and directed by Ghost + Cow of ALLDAYEVERYDAY Production, takes people on a spirited journey through Chicano Batman’s local Los Angeles community, showcasing the many cultures that have influenced the band and have uniquely shaped our country.
Chicano Batman frontman Bardo Martinez said, “This song’s message has never been more timely, and we hope our version continues to inspire people to keep walking towards their dreams and to celebrate each other.”
If You Can Walk, You Can Dance
In closely related advertising news, Levi’s is another powerful global advertiser that is actively promoting diversity and inclusion.
Levi’s and Johnnie Walker both need to sell products to a diverse group of customers, but their content-infused ads are more than product-based appeals. Lifestyle brands signal to their audience, and by doing so they help to reinforce the community’s values. In other words, culturally relevant brands don’t go about with their heads in the sand. They acknowledge the fears and challenges that people face.
These brands manage to fit into people’s lives, which is not the same as asking people to fit the brand into theirs.