Ad of the Week: Meet your match — a matter of taste
by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki) It’s been a weird week in advertising, what with ‘that’ DA ad being banned and then unbanned – after the Streisand effect gave it far more attention than was probably ever hoped for.
However, it was a very classy campaign from Johnny Walker that caught my eye. It’s a brand that has a lot of traction, and we’ve looked at the “Keep Walking” campaign before, but this felt like a case of getting back to basics and really getting customers to look at the product in a new way.
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King James & Punk for Johnny Walker: “Meet Your Match”
Building on this, Johnny Walker’s agency, King James, along with its digital division, Punk, have plugged into the trend of customisation with this campaign. It’s a campaign that focuses on individual taste, and the fact that there are actually four different types of whisky under the Johnny Walker label.
So which one is for you? To answer that question, Johnny Walker invited well-known molecular gastronomic chef, David Higgs, to create a ‘taste test’ in order to profile four very different South Africans: rugby hero Bob Skinstad, architect/design guru Mokena Makeka, TV presenter Jeannie D and radio host DJ Fresh. Instead of blindfolding them, Higgs used his culinary wizardry to disguise and re-engineer the various ingredients. This way the test subjects were forced to keep an open mind about what they were putting in their mouths.
The video segment shows all four being taken through the process, and their reactions. The voice over by Higgs describes how he approached the challenge. “What we tend to forget is that everybody’s palate is different,” he explains, adding: “It’s really all about opinion and personal taste. So how do you force a whisky—or anything for that matter—onto someone?”
Using the profile of each person, Higgs and the Johnny Walker people then were able to assign one of the four whiskies to each test candidate. The final ‘reveal’ – which resembles a tense moment from one of those food competition reality shows – matches up each celebrity with their label.
The filming of this ad is really beautiful. Most of the clothing and the décor is black. The food preparations look mind-blowing, presented as they are with a sort of zen-like simplicity. The lighting is subdued and warm, lending a sense of luxury to the environment. The sound-track is really spot-on: starting with a laid back electronic piece that bursts into a guitar-driven anthem as each celebrity is shown their ‘match’.
The final sequence is of each celebrity on a black leather seat, holding their whisky, with the brand label in gold supered over. The final shot is of what you might call an ‘everyman’ guy in the same black leather chair, but without a whisky in his hand, and the text: “What are you?” – followed by the URL: www.meetyourmatchsa.co.za.
Visit the site and you’ll be presented with a short video featuring David Higgs once again, but addressing the camera. He invites you to find your personal match, using your computer and visual stimuli.
The test takes you through various beautiful screens. The first has images which depict different moods, from “feeling mellow” to “celebratory”. Next come 3 flavours you have to choose, such as cherries, chocolate, sherry and orange rind. Then you have to choose 3 aromas, including smoke, cut flowers and vanilla. The fourth screen asks you to select your environment from places such as “at home”, “VIP” or “bar”. Then you have to choose your serving, such as rocks, straight, cocktail, or ginger ale. As you mouse over each beautiful picture, a sound-effect plays, so it really feels like an interactive experience.
Having gone through all your choices, a video of Higgs will tell you your personal ‘match’ in terms of Johnnie Walker label. The page features all your choices, along with a sound-track to match. In the video, Higgs invites you to click on a link called “Your Pairings” which is a suggestion of cocktails and meals that would suit this particular whisky.
He also invites you to share it on Facebook where you stand in line to get an invitation to an event where you will get a personal flavour profiling from Higgs himself. The Facebook page has close on 9 million ‘likes’ – not bad considering it’s a South African page.
Having Higgs as a guide makes the entire experience engaging and strangely personal. Even though you’re interacting with your computer, you feel like there is a certain connection. Higgs is unassuming and likeable, and there is no ‘hard sell’ – it’s all about you, the consumer – what your preferences are, what kind of person you are.
It’s a really smart way of interacting with customers and potential customers, making them feel special, and educating them about the product.
Great concept, great execution, and as classy as a glass of JW Black.
Ad of the Week, published on MarkLives every Wednesday, is penned by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki), the CEO of Ornico, a Brand Intelligence® firm that focuses on media, reputation and brand research.
If you are involved in making advertising that is smart, funny and/or engaging,
please let Oresti know about it at email@example.com.
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