A Stroll Through History With Johnnie Walker

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Best ad of the year so far? It just might be this brilliant five-minute-plus spot by BBH London, in which Robert Carlyle, in a single continuous take, narrates the progression of Johnnie Walker whiskey from the backroom experimentation of a humble shopkeeper to the multinational powerhouse it is today.

The combination of bagpiper abuse, well-timed visual cues, pitch-perfect writing and music, and Carlyle's charisma keeps the mini-movie chugging right along. (When was the last time you sat through an ad this long, and one that really just puts in motion the boring brand-history page from the Web site?)

It's also nice to see the renowned gloomy Scottish countryside put to good use.

UPDATE: Shots has an interview with the director, Jamie Rafn of HLA in London.

See also:

Hitching a ride is always weirder with booze

Johnnie Walker gets into art history

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.