Diageo’s whisky brand Johnnie Walker has rolled our a new campaign in Brazil appealing to the country’s fast-growing market with a blockbuster-like spot. From the first sight, the new video seems to be strange as it’s hard to imagine that people on the streets would laugh if they saw a stony colossus arising from Rio de Janeiro’s Sugar Loaf mountain landmark.
But everything comes to its places when the words appearing in the spot in Portuguese are translated into English: ‘The giant is no longer asleep’ followed by a tagline ‘Keep Walking, Brazil.’ It’s a part of the brand’s global ‘Keep Walking Project’.
The phrase refers back to the notorious statement that Brazil is a sleeping giant. The Johnnie Walker ‘Rock Giant’ spot recognizes Brazil as a colossus that has finally awakened, says Ad Age.
“We lived with the image of having a lot of potential but not really taking advantage of all the wonderful resources we had,” said Alexandre Gama, president and chief creative officer of Neogama/BBH, the Sao Paulo office of Johnnie Walker’s global agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty. “[People used to say] Brazil is the country of the future, and always will be. We don’t accept that any more.”
According to Mr. Gama, the idea came to David Gates, global category director Diageo’s whiskey brands when he visited Brazil and noticed the changes that he had witnessed earlier in China. It was decided to create a campaign that would tap into this change on the Johnnie Walker’s fastest-growing market with a 30% annual increase in sales volume. Then, Mr. Gama glimpsed Sugar Loaf Mountain, and the concept was born.
The spot that was rolled out on YouTube and Facebook on Friday, October 7 had more than 187,000 views on YouTube by Sunday night. The spot went viral as Mr. Gama sent it to his friend Luciano Huck, a popular Brazilian TV host who has more than three million Twitter followers and he tweeted about the spot. In addition, a full-page ad in the form of a false cover run by one of Sao Paulo’s leading daily newspapers, Folha de Sao Paulo was bought, with ‘Sugar Loaf Mountain was part of a giant’ as the lead story.
Directed by Gorgeous with post-production and composition of the giant by The Mill, the spot was hard to produce. It required special software enabling the trees to react to the movements of a giant more than a mile high. The entire production employed 420 people.