Tim Warren, a School of Communication Cinema and Interactive Media M.F.A. graduate in motion pictures, won a Finalist award at the New York Festivals’ International Advertising Awards for his Master’s thesis highlighting the mystique of the Johnnie Walker brand. 

The student spot was shot in South Florida, the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and New York City. More than 60 industry professionals worked in sub-zero weather conditions, with a full special effects team, elite lighting crew and camera equipment, and the only Milo Motion Control Camera Rig in the Southeastern United States.

“Even though we were working with limited resources, we wanted to make sure that our audience couldn’t tell the difference between our spot and a high-budget national commercial. We were particularly focused on adding layers of detail, both in the visuals and the sound,” says Warren.

Warren set out to capture the brand through time, illustrating the rich history of the Johnnie Walker product from its humble beginnings in Scotland to the modern era, while showing viewers that the product is unchanged in recipe, in what occasions it is used for, and the feelings it promotes in consumers. Warren’s team accomplished this by using cinematic and storytelling principles and avoiding dry copy like statistics and brand talking points.

“Nobody really knows the secret behind Johnnie Walker’s Black Label, except for Johnnie Walker. This spot explores the persistence of his brand, from its humble highland roots to modern times,” says Warren

The ad relies on visual storytelling, which the team found worked to great effect – you’re able to feel the labor of Johnnie’s hands in the first segment, the joy of the swing dance of the second sequence, and the camaraderie of the three gentlemen at the end.

Aside from winning a Finalist award at the New York Festivals’ International Advertising Awards, the spot also won two Gold ADDYs at Miami’s local American Advertising Awards. To view the ad please visit the Artex Productions website at www.artexproductions.com.