john st. Revives ‘Wiserhood’ Campaign, with Covertly Dickish Boyfriend Theme Intact

By Erik Oster 

Back in 2011, john st. unveiled this spot for Corby Distilleries Limited, part of their “Wiserhood” campaign promoting Wiser’s Whisky brand, in which a dickish guy makes a big deal over holding his girlfriend’s purse for a minute. He drops the bag on the ground, potentially damaging the contents within, and uses a plastic bag to pick it up, which he then turns inside out — as if the purse was, in fact, a steaming dog turd. Now john st. has resurrected the somewhat sexist “Wiserhood” campaign with a new spot featuring another boyfriend of the year.

In “Swan Song,” a couple are at the movies when the guy sees a display ad for a new action movie called “Swan Song” that contains the tagline “Death is back for an encore.” When his significant other returns (presumably from the bathroom or something) she asks if he’s picked a movie for them. They look at the movie titles currently showing and the woman says “Hmm…’Swan Song,’ sounds romantic.” The guy enthusiastically agrees, in all likelihood knowing fully well that his significant other is going to utterly hate the movie for the next couple of hours. What a dick.


Here’s my problem with this spot, putting the sexism aside for a moment: Who goes to the movies these days without knowing what they’re going to see? Going to the movies is freaking expensive. Too expensive to go into all willy-nilly “I’ll see whatever” and just walk into a terrible movie. Plus, people tend to know what’s playing from advertising and the Internet. If they don’t know what’s playing, they look it up and pick something out before going to the theater. It’s not 1994. While I understand that this is a short ad, and isn’t all that considered with verisimilitude, this still bothered me. It makes the spot seem like it’s from a different time, which I would guess is not what they were going for. Credits after the jump.Credits 

Client: Corby Distilleries Limited
Agency: john st.
Executive Creative Directors: Angus Tucker/Stephen Jurisic
Creative Directors: Chris Hirsch/Nellie Kim
Writer: Chris Hirsch
Art Director: Nellie Kim
Agency Producer: Dale Giffen
Account Service: Ian Brooks/Mark Graham/Zalona Caruso
Director: Benji Weinstein
Production Company: Steam Films Inc.
Editor: Griff Henderson – Posterboy Edit
Visual FX: The Vanity
Music/Audio: Vapor Music