Johnnie Walker is using Bruce Lee as its ambassador to enter the Chinese market.
Notwithstanding the fact that Bruce Lee abstained from drinking, Johnnie Walker has digitally created this ad using an actor to portray the image of Bruce Lee in all of his former glory.
This ad has created controversy. Some people have a problem with this ad on the basis that Bruce Lee may not have done this ad if he was still alive. That’s a choice he now does not have as Johnnie Walker has made it for him in this ad campaign.
A Chinese news poll found that most people found the ad to be disrespectful. In particular, it has irritated the people of Kong Kong given that Bruce Lee was a Hong Kong idol and that this idol status is being used to promote Bruce Lee into Mainland China.
This ad certainly has created some great discussion. The discussion has also allowed Johnnie Walker to gain a great deal of attention in the press and in social media.
The controversy around the ad has not stopped Johnnie Walker embracing the negative reaction around their decision to use Bruce Lee. Some discussion that disagrees with the choice of Bruce Lee has been loaded to their Facebook site. And that’s the right approach. It shows that Johnnie Walker are not hiding from the fact that some people are not giving them ‘high fives’ for their choice of Bruce Lee in this ad campaign. It shows their preparedness to join the discussion, to listen to the debate and the need to respect a point of difference even if it goes against what they consider to be an exciting ad campaign. This is the right approach.
What do you think about this ad campaign?