Johnnie Walker Blue Label has released a new ad-cum-short film online, which features actors Jude Law and Giancarlo Giannini engaging in a ‘gentlemen’s wager’ over the ownership of a beautiful sail boat…
Blue Label is Johnnie Walker’s luxury whisky product, and this film is duly steeped in wealth and extravagance. Shot by Jake Scott, it opens on board the boat, moored off the British Virgin Islands, where we see the wager proposed, before the action moves to London and the bet plays out.
This is not the first time Johnnie Walker has engaged top acting talent to market its whisky. Back in 2009, the brand released The Man Who Walked Around The World, a charming short starring Robert Carlyle that was originally meant only for internal use at the company but proved a hit with the public when it was leaked online.
This film is a more elaborate offering than the Carlyle piece, as perhaps befits the luxury side of the brand. It is not just an ad for Johnnie Walker either, with the YouTube version of the film featuring an ad-within-an-ad via clickthroughs to Mr Porter where viewers can purchase the clothes that Law and Giannini are wearing in the film.
The Gentleman’s Wager is released at a time when the ad industry is obsessed with the notion of ‘content’ and ‘storytelling’ (see a recent speech from Stefan Sagmeister for more on this subject), and would certainly tick the box as an example of these forms. Or you could just call it a good old-fashioned short film, with a heap of branding thrown in. The audience won’t care either way, of course, but the combination of Jude Law and an enjoyable – if rather tame – story seems likely to make it a hit.
Agency: Anomaly New York
Creatives: Mike Byrne, Dave Douglass
Agency producer: Winslow Dennis
Production company: RSA
Director: Jake Scott
Editor: Andrea MacArthur
Composers: Smith & Elms