At the beginning of last month, dabitch alerted us to a campaign created by Leo Burnett for Audi Bank in Lebanon designed to run in the middle of the war and suggested it was the beginning of a trend. Looks like she was right.
Yet another ad, also created by Leo Burnett (H&C Leo Burnett, the agency's Beirut affiliate), was created for similar reasons for Johnny Walker. Using the global campaign idea of "Keep on Walking", this billboard and print ads were run to improve morale.
Diageo's internal marketing code prohibits the company's ads from taking political positions, said Alicia Tetlow, a spokeswoman, adding that the campaign in Lebanon had simply been intended to "capture a popular mood about moving forward."
Farid Chehab, chief creative officer for Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East at Leo Burnett, the agency that created the ad, agreed that its purpose was to improve morale, not to make a political statement. But he added that the ads represented "a new idiom in terms of how far you can go.
The campaign was developed shortly after bombing began and includes the billboard as well as some print spots which began running in July.
All of the ads use the "keep walking" slogan and the brand's striding figure. One shows him alongside the fuel gauge of a car, which registers "empty," a reference to the blockade of Lebanon, which caused fuel shortages and long lines at gasoline stations. Another shows a signpost indicating the directions to destinations like Cyprus and Australia, hinting at the mass flight from homes around Lebanon as the Israeli campaign unfolded. An arrow labeled "Lebanon" points straight to the Johnnie Walker character.