Los Angeles-based funk quartet Chicano Batman breaks out a smooth bilingual cover of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” for Johnnie Walker as part of the scotch whisky brand’s “Keep Walking America” campaign.
Now, musician/advertiser pairings don’t often produce good music—in fact, they almost never do—so Chicano Batman doesn’t have a high bar to clear. Nevertheless, they clear it. Lead singer Bardo Martinez has more than enough charisma to carry the song and the video on his back, and his band is funky without trying too hard at it. Also, they might be the only four men in America who can wear bow ties without looking like dweebs.
The “Keep Walking America” campaign, by Anomaly, is meant to celebrate American diversity and encourage cultural progress. That would sound like typically non-committal sales copy under normal political circumstances, but here in 2017, it sounds bold.