Cape Town-based ad agency King James has just launched a new Bell’s whisky advertisement that doesn’t just pull at the heart strings; it yanks at them, ferociously. The two-minute spot tells the story of an elderly man who sees a popular novel in the window of bookstore and then proceeds to learn how to read. As the narrative progresses, the protagonist’s frustration is viscerally presented in scenes that include a Scrabble faux pas, an annoyed wife and countless mistakes. Eventually, he does learn to read, and the end result is spine-tinglingly fantastic.
Although the spot is beautifully executed, the inclusion of the Bell’s catchphrase could’ve been a touch more subtle. But this is advertising, and the objective is, after all, to sell as many bottles of Scotch whisky as possible.