22 Sept 2010

A particularly relevant conversation

It's not a new film but a mate put it up on Facebook the other day and I thought it was worth mentioning. Johnnie Walker whisky made a six minute advertisement all based on one person telling the history of the Scotch whisky.

Now, honestly. Johnnie Walker doesn't cross my mind when I think of the finest Scotch whisky's but the ad has made them relevant and interesting because they tell a story and they tell it well and they're not blurting out a message. It's not your standard ad.

It's six minutes in duration for a start; a ludicrous length of time. It also features just one person telling a story while he walks. One talking head for six minutes is generally a recipe for video disaster but the story is so well written and so well delivered (by actor Robert Carlyle) that this is not just a way of getting people to talk about this whisky, it's a way of getting video production nerds to talk about how they managed to shoot it all in one take.

Now, here's another award-winning video for a flat-screen TV. This is also extremely well put together but doesn't create that conversation at all in the same way. It created a conversation amongst the post-production guys at our place alright because it's unique and extremely interesting from a video perspective; from a 'how did they get that to work?' perspective. But it doesn't make me remember the brand and I'm showing it here more to illustrate how an excellent ad might be just an excellent ad but not something that sparks a conversation amongst the potential target audience. In my view, the whisky company succeeded, the flat-screen tv maker has not, despite its clever production.

Colm O'Callaghan manages JG Communication’s band of merry producers, directors, editors and cameramen.
So, who’s JG Communication? We’re Sweden’s largest and, we think, ‘leading’ communications agency in Sweden. We help our clients have conversations with the people that matter most to them using the tools that matter most to us, words, sound and vision.

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johnnostockholm said...

Very good point, Colm. The TV ad is beautiful and impressive, but leaves no impression about the product or the message. I will always connect the Robert Carlyle ad with Johnny Walker (even if I won't buy it).

Anamma blog team said...

Thanks John.I think you've added a good point there also. The Johnny Walker ad sparks a conversation and arouses interest in the whisky but if you don't like the taste, you're going to bring that into the conversation too (as you just did).

When the conversation is king, you can't just have a product. You have to have a product that people actually like. I'm sure Johnny Walker has plenty of fans but you're not one of them that's going to be a part of every Johnny Walker conversation you have.

Personally, I'm interested in giving the stuff a taste after that piece of work so they've got me that far.