Tag Archives: johnnie walker

Go viral and Keep Lebanon Walking with Johnnie Walker

Have you seen the latest Johnnie Walker campaign in Lebanon? I am sure you all did, at least on Facebook. A great example of how a brand can produce content and go completely viral. Lets have a quick review at the campaign created by Leo Burnett who once again marvels us with their great work.

Today, (almost) all marketers (and therefore advertisers) are seeking to leverage and intensify the reach of their communications by creating ads that become viral even though the viral potential of a campaign is fairly rare.

In fact 4 ingredients are necessary for an ad to become viral:

– The awareness index which is a measure of the engagement potential of a campaign and its connection to the brand, used for a long time y advertisers to predict the success of the TV campaigns

– The buzz which identifies wether an advertisement or a communication campaign is likely to naturally spread or not

– The potential of the featured celebrity and his profile when used in advertising

– The distinction of the campaign and the measure of its originality

Actually, the thing that is great about this campaign is that it generates a great deal of emotions (the music is really great) and raises interest by touching a large audience. Architect Bernard Khoury clearly gives scope and carries the brand message.

The campaign is integrated into many media a part from traditional TV/and press. The website is actually very well conceived since it delivers branded content from one part (videos telling the great stories of Bernard Khoury) and “social” functionalities from another (integration to Twitter and Facebook) to disseminate this content.  The campaign also calls upon user’s imagination in the creation of small sentences in order to “Keep Lebanon Walking”.

The small films are also easy to find on the Youtube dedicated Keep Walking channel which makes it easy to predict the viral success (only it’s just too bad the channel is not branded Johnny Walker)

The last (but not least) thing I would like to point out, is the fact that the concept, as amazing as it is, reminds me of the Journeys campaign launched by Louis Vuitton with ad agency Ogilvy Paris in 2007, one of the greatest campaigns in terms of branded content that simply tells the story and reveals the wonderful journeys of celebrities (such as Catherine Deneuve, André Agassi, Keith Richards and many others…) who made it out there with great achievements.

“Adapt locally and keep Lebanon walking…” 🙂


Circumstantial marketing in Lebanon

I’ve noticed a big tendency in Lebanon for advertisers, to use and abuse “circumstantial marketing”, as in taking advantage of current events or situations to sell their products.

You remember Johnnie Walker’s famous war commercials



Or Almaza surfing on the parliamentary elections wave



Or even Exotica taking advantage of the summer wedding season


Now, a lot of people have a tendency to condemn this type of exploitation, not in all cases, but whenever it concerns delicate subjects such as natural catastrophes, wars, or celebrities’ deaths for example.

For the sake of my following arguments, note that I am not one of these people. I consider that as long as the brand has an already established image, or in the case of Almaza, when “circumstantial” becomes a brand element, and when the ad is created with taste, isn’t offensive to any of the directly concerned parties, and most importantly, as long as it finds a clear, logical, creative link to your product, slogan, logo or any other element of your brand, exploiting current events is acceptable and often generates some of the most creative work we’ve seen. Proof is the VW example in France, and as mentioned above, the brilliant Johnnie Walker war ads.

However, when it is used solely for lack of brains in the creative’s head, when an event is exploited simply because it is current and attracts attention, without even bothering to link it to your brand or product in any way… it leads to mediocre work as is the case with this year’s palm of mediocrity: the unmissable Kassatly Chtaura Buzz campaign.


Beyond the fact that they’re exploiting a world icon’s death to sell their product, (which, to the extent of my knowledge hasn’t been done, and wouldn’t be done by any other brand worldwide) and that (let’s face it) the subtlety of the allusion is most probably lost on a big chunk of their target segment, the media space budget allocated on this is ridiculous (if you’ve been in Lebanon in the past weeks, anywhere from Tripoli to Saida, you’ve been bombarded with this atrocity), you’d think they could’ve spent quarter this budget on a creative with a brain. I like to hope the result would’ve been more honorable

Proof that some advertisers in Lebanon are still a few miles behind…