BBH Takes ‘The Next Step’ for Johnnie Walker

By Erik Oster 

While everyone is still looking back at the year in retrospect, BBH looks ahead to 2015 in “The Next Step” for Johnnie Walker.

The 60-second spot is notable for its unusual visual style, accomplished by filming in one continuous take on a moving set that took around three weeks to complete. Once filming started, it took approximately 50 takes and three days to get everything right. “It really didn’t start to come together until the final takes,” BBH Copywriter Mikio Bradley told Adweek.


The spot opens on an actor at a holiday party as the lights go out. As the actor — who happens to be named Oliver Walker — begins walking, the voiceover begins: “The first step of a new year, we’ll all take one, but where will a step take you? How high could you climb, and how far?” As the voiceover continues philosophizing, the actor continues walking through his vision 0f 2015, until he eventually finds himself back at the party where he started. “The new year begins with the next step,” concludes the voiceover, how far will it take you?” As fireworks explode overhead, the text “Here’s to 2015” appears onscreen, followed by the “Keep Walking” tagline. In the online version, which made its debut on December 4th, this is then followed by the question, “How Will You #Keepwalking in 2015?” The broadcast version is set to run from December 22nd through early January.

While this is clearly an attempt at social engagement, BBH may as well be asking the question of Johnnie Walker. The Diageo whiskey brand is currently in the middle of a global review, with BBH defending the account, which has been with the agency since 1999. BBH vowed to “vigorously defend” in the review, and this ambitious effort certainly makes a good case for the agency as they hope to celebrate retaining the account in 2015.


Client: Johnnie Walker
President, Diageo North America: Peter McDonough
Senior Vice President, Marketing: Alex R. Tomlin
Brand Director, Scotch: Brian Radics
Senior Brand Manager: Jason Fournier
Senior Manager, Consumer Planning: Alina Koyfman
Associate Brand Manager: Milly Shome
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Chief Creative Officer: John Patroulis
Group Creative Director: Gerard Caputo
Creative – Copywriter: Mikio Bradley
Creative – Art Direction: Klara Lindberg
Head of Integrated Production & Technology: Carey Head
Head of Content Production: Kate Morrison
Senior Content Producer: Abbie Noon
Associate Producer: AJ Gutierrez
Head of Account Management: Armando Turco
Account Director: Miles Burton
Account Manager: Heather Livengood
Strategy Director: Mark Aronson
Head of Business Affairs: Sean McGee
Business Affairs: Shaunda Slade
Production: Academy/Reset
Director: Us (Christopher Barrett and Luke Taylor)
Managing Partner/EP: Dave Morrison
Executive Producer: Jeff McDougal
Head of Production: Amanda Clune
Producer: Medb Riordan
Director of Photography: Alex Barber
Production Designer: David Lee
Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: Ted Guard
Assistant Editor: JK Carrington
Executive Producer: Eve Kornblum
Producer: Jenny Greenfield
Telecine/ Post Production: The Mill
Colorist: Fergus McCall
Producer: Alex Fitzgerald
Flame Artist: Richard Lyons
Original Music: Human
Composers: Human
Executive Producer: Kit Winter
Audio Mixing: Sound Lounge
Mixer: Tom Jucarone/ Rob D.
Producer: Mike Guillo