Johnnie Walker: Rail

In this new ad for Johnnie Walker, Scotch whiskey is pitched to the millennial market, using the face of a female lead. The commercial was created by the advertising agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Brasil. Made in Chile’s Atacama desert, the Johnnie Walker TV commercial was directed by Ian Ruschel of Iconoclast. The tagline is “The next step is inside you.”

Here we review this ad and give it scores out of 10 for various essential advertising criteria. Take a look through our thoughts and compare them to your own.

Memorability – 7 / 10

Although the ad has a cool aesthetic and cleverly chosen setting, it’s tame pace and lack of any significantly impactful moments makes it quite easy to forget. Alcohol adverts are becoming increasingly renowned for their dynamism and impressive presence. This Johnnie Walker campaign feels a little below par in terms of sheer impact and memorability.

Effectiveness – 7 / 10

The message here is “break from the mould”. It is a double meaning concept that reflects the target markets idealistic attitude as well as the brand’s intention to separate itself from rivals. Almost every aspect of the ad is designed to appeal to the millennial market. From the fashion worn by each character to the “unimpressed” facial expressions and overall metaphor of the script. Johnnie Walker wants millennials to snap out of the conventional and consider being different. This a powerful notion and one that will certainly click with a market that is increasingly embracing individuality and freedom of opinion.

Style – 8 / 10

The production value on the show is very impressive, with crisp visuals and a creative setting. The “break the mould” metaphor is depicted clearly, with all characters trapped in a coverbelt of closed cages, before the lead protagonist breaks free. The core themes touched by this concept include the harsh conditions of modern living, rising “rough” fashion trends, and the empowerment of women. The soundtrack adds good levels of drama and the graphic effects help deliver an impressive and captivating visual.

Heart or Humor – 7 / 10

There is little of either heart of humor in this concept. It’s essentially all bravado, but instead of a strong male lead, we are presented with a powerful female alternative. This twist gives the ad its most interesting feature and promises to have Johnnie Walker fans remembering as well as talking about the ad for this very reason.

Execution – 7 / 10

I wish something about the ad leaped out and made some kind of unignorable gesture that would stick in the minds of all young people. Instead, we are simply presented with a high-quality clip and decent soundtrack. Will this ad send millennials busting to try Johnnie Walker the next time they hit the bar? We don’t think so, but the ad does do a reasonable job of relating to the target audience through clever concept and setting design. This TV commercial may even turn the heads of many more senior adult segments, as the empowering of women can prove very attractive for many other female age groups. This is the ads most prominent feature, yet it’s easy to feel that more could have been done to further push this uniquely feminine approach. It’s likely that almost all alcohol brands will rush to favor female faces leading their campaigns in the near future, and an opportunity may have been missed here to gain much larger ground with this clever angle.

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The next step is inside you

7.2

Crisp visuals and a creative setting.

Memorable7.0
Effective7.0
Style8.0
Heart or Humor7.0
Execution7.0

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