Dani Hynes directs South Africans ‘Making Strides’ for Johnnie Walker

Ads, Creativity

Egg Films’ Dani Hynes and McCann 1886 have collaborated on a TVC unpinning a new campaign for Diageo brand Johnnie Walker that both commemorates and celebrates the ambition and determination of South Africans who have made it to the top of their fields.

The creative directors at McCann 1886, Theo Egbers and John Withers, were inspired by the idea of bringing ‘the stride’ taken by Johnnie Walker in The Striding Man logo to life. Their concept involves showcasing South Africans who embody this stride to inspire others. Each stride is different, but when they are viewed as a collective, the viewer soon appreciates just how far each person has taken the South African nation further.

The cast list for the new ad reads like a Who’s Who of South African achievers, each one a legend in their own field – for example, there’s the country’s first black female helicopter pilot Refilwe Ledwaba, actress and businesswoman Enhle Mbali, Olympic swimmer Chad le Clos, fashion designer Thebe Magugu who was recently feature in Elle, artist Nelson Makamo whose work graced the cover of the February edition of Time, businessman Ze Nxumalo, leading female trombone player Siya Makuzeni and cinematographer Motheo Moeng. One of South Africa’s famous exports, Trevor Noah, finishes off the spot.

“It was the simplicity of the idea that first engaged the production team,” said Hynes. “For me, personally, ‘Keep Walking’ eloquently captures the brand essence and always has, but to allow the striders to mimic the logo and become part of all it represents was so captivating, that we fell in love instantly,” said Hynes.

“It was a challenge to make each step feel like it contributed to a single walk but, thanks to a very clever team of post people, amazing clients, great agency support and our dedicated crew, the visual technique works in delivering a powerful message.

“I was delighted to work alongside incredible South Africans who have excelled in their fields, locally and internationally. It is very clear, even though we walk our paths alone, our consistent, individual steps toward greatness propel us all forward. In hearing each person’s story, it soon became evident that positivity and perseverance are the special characteristics that set the ‘greats’ apart,” she said.

Creative Credits

Lead Agency: McCann 1886

Creative Directors: Theo Egbers and John Withers

Producer: Vanessa Borthwick

Production house: Egg Films

Director: Dani Hynes

Executive Producer: Colin Howard

Producer: Melanie Curtis

Post-production: Orchestra Blue and Wicked Pixels