Two brothers retrace their youth through the rugged hills, glens and mountains of the north-west of Scotland.
In a ruined house they share a dram of Johnnie Walker whiskey from old cracked glasses. The mood is intimate but melancholic as a narrator urges “be near me, guide me, always stay beside me so I can be free.”
This sentence suggests all is not well, and seen through to the end, the 90-second film, made as a project for the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy, does indeed have a sting in its tail.
The emotion of the advert, titled “Dear Brother” and directed by students Daniel Titz and Dorian Lebherz, has clearly struck a chord, as it has already been viewed over 2 million times on Youtube since it was published on Monday.
Critics have also been full of praise. Advertising consultant Markur Sekulla described it as “the most moving advert of this Christmas period” , adding that it was “more than a nose length better than the acclaimed Edeka advert” which touched on a similarly dark theme.
Adweek meanwhile asked whether it was the best student work ever made.
“This haunting Johnnie Walker spec ad from Germany explores that concept in highly memorable fashion—delivering one of the most potent punch lines of the year,” the industry newspaper writes.
Speaking to Adweek Lebherz said We wanted to create a story that touches the viewer within 90 seconds. I think when something touches you, you keep it in mind.
“So, one day we had the idea of two brothers visiting the places of their youth for the last time together. The Scottish landscape and the brand felt perfect for this situation,” he added.