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Stoked Director Hadi Conjures Gorgeous Flames for Johnnie Walker

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Leo Burnett Lebanon launches #KeepWalkingLebanon campaign with inspirational message

Stoked Director Hadi Conjures Gorgeous Flames for Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker released their new #KeepWalkingLebanon campaign for 2014, a tribute to the inextinguishable Lebanese spirit, created by Leo Burnett Beirut.   

A film released online (with a shorter version running on television) illustrates the story of a flame rooted in the earth, braving a powerful storm. Narrated by a mystical female voice, the film pulls the viewer into an epic legend of a battle between the flame and the storm. The analogy resonates louder in Lebanon, whose people have been resilient and defiant to a series of unfortunate conflicts. While many Lebanese have been forced to look for opportunities overseas, the campaign celebrates the spirit of achievement of the Lebanese who decided to stay and succeed in their country no matter how difficult it gets. 

The story ends with a defiant statement by the flame “Storms shall always pass, but the fire inside burns on”.  

The film is finally signed off with a call for the Lebanese to “Keep Your Flame Alive” and the hashtag #KeepWalkingLebanon.

Produced by Stoked, the film was directed by Hadi to remain faithful to the simplicity of the concept. Using no computer graphics at all, the battle between the storm and the flame was shot on a 40000Sq meter shift made terrain in Lebanon. Special Effects supervisor Max Poolman, known for his work on District 9, flew from Cape Town to handle the visual effects. Almost 3 minutes in length, the film is cut to a magical track by Cliff Martinez. 

The campaign extends into social media with a response activation over two weeks. People can tweet messages of hope and resilience using the hashtag #KeepWalkingLebanon and a calligraphy artist, who will be traveling across different parts of Lebanon at night, will draw their messages using fire. The brand will respond to the users with a photo of their message brought to life with the flame that keeps them walking. Some users have been invited to the night shoots to appear in the photo of their message.

Using open shutter photography, the brand has created so far tens of photos available on Johnnie Walker’s Lebanese Facebook page. Unfortunately for people living outside Lebanon, the page uses geotagging to block the content from reaching other territories. But you can still check some of the posts on the temporary Instagram account @keepwalkinglebanon2014

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Advertiser: Diageo

Brand: Johnnie Walker

Post Production / VFX

Colourist: Paul Harrison

Post Production Company: Finish


Editor: Javi Acinas

Creative Agency

Creative Agency: Leo Burnett Beirut

Art Director: Nadia Deghaily

Copywriter: (Arabic) Lama Bawadi

Group Creative Director: Malek Ghorayeb

Managing Director: Kamil Kuran, Nada Abi Saleh

Associate Creative Director: Davina Atallah

Production Company

Director: Hadi

DOP: Will Humphris

Executive Producer: Charbel Aouad

Producer: Rita El Hachem

Production Company: Stoked

Photographer : Karim Jabbari


Song: Cliff martinez " life is a tapestry"

Sound Design: Simon Cross

Genres: Dialogue

Categories: Spirits, Alcoholic Beverages

Stoked, Thu, 13 Nov 2014 15:05:56 GMT