David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Johnnie Walker
"This Land is Your Land"
1 min 40s
14 February 2017
USA Whisky

This spirit-lifting ad for Johnnie Walker functions as both declaration of intent and rebuttal to the current political climate across the pond. It features a timely remake of Woody Guthrie's famous protest song 'This Land is Your Land' (which Lady Gaga recently used during her Super Bowl half-time show), sung in both English and Spanish by funk band Chicano Batman.

The upbeat melody and lyrics sound joyful - a bold, unashamed statement of identity as the band roam around the streets of California in all its multicultural glory. It's a powerful contrast to the brand's last ad, a sombre film released on the eve of the US election which featured a very different version of the same song.

It may seem a risky move for the brand to take its 'Keep Walking America' campaign in such a direction, but it's a welcome tonal shift in bleak times which see the world becoming less accepting of difference by the day. Rather than pleading for tolerance, this ad instead delivers a message of hope and pride in the face of adversity - 'we're here, get used to it'.

Finish
"Combinations"

Matt said:

Hard to believe they were here a few years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItCcR6BD0uo


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Johnnie Walker
"This Land is Your Land"
1 min 40s
14 Feb 2017
This spirit-lifting ad for Johnnie Walker functions as both declaration of intent and rebuttal to the current political climate across the pond. It features a timely remake of Woody Guthrie's 'This Land is Your Land', sung in both English and Spanish by funk band Chicano Batman. The upbeat melody and lyrics sound joyful - a bold statement of identity as the band roam the streets of California in all its multicultural glory.

Johnnie Walker
"Dear Brother"
90s
5 Jan 2016
This impressive-looking film was made on spec by a pair of German students at Filmakademie in Baden-Württemberg. It tenderly tells the story of two brothers who appear to have been reunited on a walk through Scotland. In fact, something else is going on and - if you haven't watched it yet - now's the moment to enjoy it in all its spoiler-free glory.

Johnnie Walker
"The Gentleman's Wager II"
11 mins 10s
3 Nov 2015
Having made us wince at Jude Law's footwork last time around, Johnnie Walker's sequel to 'The Gentleman's Wager' finds greater success as a picturesque race across the continent. Given the personnel involved, you'd hope this would be better... and although we understand that its eleven-minute heft is designed to signal substance, it doesn't do this slight tale any favours. Ultimately, it relies far too much on Jude Law's charm.

Johnnie Walker
"The Gentleman's Wager II"
30s
28 Oct 2015
Having recently jump-started their 'Keep Walking' strategy, Johnnie Walker announce the sequel to last year's 'Gentleman's Wager' film with this trailer. This time, the object of Jude Law's affection is a vintage racing car. Being a good sport, he wants to win it with a race from Rome to Monaco. Ahead of the full film's release, there's already more joie de vivre to this road caper than Law's boating exploits last time around.

Johnnie Walker
"Joy Will Take You Further"
1 min 35s
17 Sep 2015
Long-winded narratives are out and jet packs are in as Johnnie Walker aims to add a little more pep to their 'Keep Walking' campaign. An intriguing opening depicting a life lived in monochrome transforms into a celebration of those who live life to the max. Jensen Button and Jude Law star - and as the latter says: "Blood, sweat and tears will get you there... but joy will take you further."

Johnnie Walker
"A Gentleman's Wager"
6 mins 28s
31 Jul 2014
Despite everything this has going for it, we're not convinced. The two leads have a lot of charisma; and yes - the cinematography's lovely - but the dancing is woeful and the story never engages as it should. The best scene is the brief dialogue between Jude Law and the elderly woman who shows him the room and its piano - more of that and this would have been much better.

Johnnie Walker
"Gothic Castle"
30s
11 Nov 2013
Is this a bottle I see before me, the lid towards my hand? Francis Magee's portentous delivery sounds vaguely Shakespearean as he wanders about a castle looking for some whisky to smash over Duncan's head, or just drink, probably hoping for a hair of the dog after necking all the Magners in a remarkably similar ad earlier this year.

Johnnie Walker
"From the Future"
60s
25 Sep 2013
Over the hardcore techno track Pursuit, an urgent male VO talks us through someone's present - only to reveal that the someone is yourself, and it's your future self who's doing the talking. Are you destined to be an office drone or will you carpe diem with the help of Johnnie Walker?

Johnnie Walker
"Change the Game"
90s
11 Jul 2013
This astonishing piece of work truly is a game-changer. Rather than relying exclusively on the wonders of CGI, the martial arts legend was brought very much to life via the human skill of 2- and 3D artists. Using water as a metaphor for a successful life philosophy, Lee asks us if we have the guts to follow our guts. But we're too busy keeping our eyes in our heads to think about guts.

Johnnie Walker
"Morning"
75s
11 Apr 2013
A very unusual - and rather brave - angle to take for a whisky commercial. Instead of the traditional routes - ie, the blend men choose to bond over / the quirky logo-based approach / the single malt that transports you to its place of origin - this aligns itself with significant moments, whether planned or yet to arrive. It suggests Johnnie Walker is the brand appropriate to commemorate them. Shrewd.

Johnnie Walker
"The Important Man"
70s
7 Feb 2012
This engaging commercial has a man imbued with a great deal of hubris explaining the importance of Scotch straight into the camera. His charisma is such that the other attendees of a party jump when he tells them to jump... almost literally.

Johnnie Walker
"Keep Walking, Brazil"
60s
11 Oct 2011
This impressive commercial for the Scottish whisky was made for the Brazilian market. It is based on a colourful local myth suggesting that the delightfully named Sugarloaf mountain is the knee of a sleeping giant. Science teaches us that it's actually Richard Dawkins's lost marbles.

Johnnie Walker
"Marc Herremans"
90s
7 Dec 2010
This celebration of the remarkable Marc Herremans attaches a grandeur to this brand. There's a risk with advertising like this that people will feel that its subject is being exploited but Herremans is too strong a character to believe that anybody could take advantage of him.

Johnnie Walker
"Haile Gebrselassie"
60s
18 Nov 2010
This ad featuring Haile Gebrselassie has been shot in the grand corporatist style beloved of advertisers trying to reach boardroom inhabitants rather than Joe Public. Unfortunately, the decision to drain it of colour makes it look like a charity appeal.

Johnnie Walker
"Fireman"
60s
10 Mar 2010
A Moscow fireman narrates the day-to-day grind of a job that is far from mundane. He ponders the transformative effects the act of walking in and out of a burning building can have on a person, and Johnnie Walker is keen to assert itself as the brand for those appreciate how experiencing something extraordinary can change a person. They want their glass to do just that.

Johnnie Walker
"Mirror"
60s
10 Nov 2009
A man suffering from pre-gig nerves is given a pep talk by his reflection in the mirror in this impressive piece for Johnnie Walker whisky. Mind you, they're not irresponsibly suggesting that Dutch courage is the best way of coping with such nervousness... are they?

Johnnie Walker
"The Man Who Walked Around The World"
6 mins 20s
14 Aug 2009
There's an astonishing performance from Robert Carlyle in this captivating ad for Johnny Walker in which he tells the history of the brand. Not only does he get through a lengthy monologue in one take, he times his walk to perfection to grab the props. Brilliant.

Johnnie Walker
"Crossroads"
60s
19 Feb 2009
A man stands quite literally at a crossroads in his life. He contemplates the possibilities that lie in front of him... some of which he plainly feels are pretty hazardous. He has the power to choose... so what should he choose? And why should he choose Johnny Walker?

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David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.