Robert Carlyle Keeps Walking For a Great PR Stunt

by Holyrood PR

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

It’s been such a while since I saw a truly great advertisement – either on TV, in print or in a movie theatre – that I was beginning to worry it wouldn’t come at all.

With most consumers spending their time constantly crying “me! me! me!”, advertisers have had to assault our senses with flashing lights, swirling images and hypnotic voiceovers, telling us we have to buy this latest washing detergent/confectionary/car or face the prospect of a slow, lonely and painful death. 

But thankfully my faith has been restored by this absolute gem for Scottish whisky company Johnnie Walker which has recently been posted on You Tube. And it’s a belter of an ad.

The premise is pretty simple: get one famous Scottish actor (in this case, Robert Carlyle) and have him telling the story of how the now-world famous Johnnie Walker came into existence. No fancy tricks or CGI. Just a 5 minute long story told by a nice looking bloke walking through a Scottish glen.

However, the thing that is truly staggering about this piece of film is that it is just one continous take. All shot on location in the Highlands, there is no camera trickery or sneaky cut scenes – everything is just placed exactly where it needs to be along the path that Begbie walks along while telling his tale.

Cinema has a long history of using tracking shots as a means of impressing audiences. Just look at the nightclub segways in Goodfellas or Boogie Nights, or the breathtaking Dunkirk scene in Atonement. I’d go so far as to argue that this Johnnie Walker effort is on a par with those movie shots – far transcending its position as a mere advert.

No dount this will be used as an example of a PR masterstroke to show to the budding young marketers of the future, and quite rightly so too. No matter that it probably won’t ever be shown on TV, it’s a stunning piece of work. Nice job fellas…

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