Start Up Blog

Johnny Walker brand story

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on July 19, 2010

The high ground for any brand is the story. It’s what we should be aiming for. A brand where part of what people buy is the is the history, or to be part of a tribe. Johnny Walker has put together a great new campaign where they tell their story. It’s a 6 minute time investment worth taking.

Some things worth thinking about with the Johnny walker story:

  • It’s a long copy format. 6 minutes plus. Something which can’t be done on TV.
  • It circumvents the negative connotations with success and globalisation. The personal effort and history makes financial success more palatable.
  • It gives detail about the product, range and brand that just wouldn’t be possible in shorter media formats
  • It’s sharable. Easy to send to friends, worth talking about.
  • It’s eyeball worthy. Well shot and executed.
  • It’s the idea. Ideas are king again, not media. Any brand with a story, and a small level of film / web expertise could have done it.
  • This is clearly Radvertising

What does this mean for startups? It means that a large part of what we talk about should not only be how we got here, but why we are taking this journey. A story they can live vicariously through.

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4 Responses

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  1. Ryan Spanger said, on July 23, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Wow.

    Brand story told simply yet entertainingly in one continuous shot…told by Begbie (who’ll kick the shite ootaya if ya don’ buy his whiskey :-).

    There’s a real opportunity for businesses to go beyond using video to simply demonstrate their product or service, but to to use it communicate the essence of their brand, the personality behind the business, and the story of the business.

  2. Ryan Spanger said, on July 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    btw: stay away from Johnnie Walker Red – it is rough as guts.
    Black is a good safe bet.
    The other colours are good, but better going for a great single malt instead

  3. martin williams said, on January 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks for info on this. Though I don’t think this ad is simple at all: superbly filmed and timed, with a top grade actor (Robert Carlyle) doing it all perfectly in one take.

  4. David said, on May 3, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Great insight from this viral video. It is indeed important for start ups (or any business for that matter) to tell a story. Videos are a great medium for that because most people prefer to watch than read and the message often can have a greater impact if the story was told the right way.


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