Anomaly launched a new “Walk On America” campaign (apaprenlty “Make America Walk Again” didn’t make the cut) for Scotch whiskey brand Johnnie Walker with the Woody Guthrie-inspired spot, “This Land.”
The ad, unsurprisingly, quotes Guthrie’s best-known song, “This Land Is Your Land: in both English and Spanish, delivering a message on the country’s progressive values. While some may find it an odd move for the Scottish company, the spot is emotionally affecting. It derives its impact in no small part from Guthrie’s words, set to beautifully shot footage from Anonymous Content director Chris Sargent. The general message, arriving ahead of the conclusion of one of the most divisive presidential campaigns in memory, is one of unity and inclusion.
Notably, in addition to the Spanish translation of the chorus, a nice touch in the wake of the xenophobia surrounding a certain presidential candidate, Anomaly opens with the spot, following the text, “Only look back to see how far you’ve come,” with an often omitted verse: “Aside when walking I saw a sign, and on the sign it said: “No trespassing.” But on the other side, it said nothing, that side was made for you and me.”
That inclusion helps honor the original message and make Johnnie Walker’s version of it more impactful. While the spot might not sit well with some one a certain extreme of the political spectrum, it’s fundamental message is one that most viewers can relate to — and a timely one.
The spot, which runs 90-seconds for its full-length online version, will run in 30 and 60-second versions on broadcast, making its debut tonight during the broadcast of TBS’ Full Frontal With Samantha Bee.
“As we were developing the campaign, we felt strongly that the spoken lyrics of our anthem should be powerfully delivered, distinct and an authentic representation of America’s cultural diversity,” Stephanie Jacoby, Johnnie Walker’s vice president of marketing, told Adweek. “We are proud that the lyrics are read in both English and Spanish, reflecting the mix of languages spoken daily in our communities.”
“The campaign speaks to all Americans,” she added, “but we think it’s especially resonant with the multicultural generation, which is deeply passionate about their viewpoints and their important role contributing to our country’s advancement. We hope our campaign ignites meaningful discourse on cultural diversity and how it adds to the rich fabric of America today.”
Campaign: “Keep Walking America”
Client: Diageo North America
James Thompson, CMO
Alex Tomlin, SVP Marketing
Stephanie Jacoby, VP Marketing
Agency: Anomaly New York
Production Co.: Anonymous Content
Director: Chris Sargent
Executive Producer: Ayelet Weinerman
Edit: Saints Editorial
Editor: Ross Birchall
Mix: Heard City
Post Production: Method Studios
VO: Rommel Molina