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TV Commercial Trades Oppression for Addiction

A powerful 60-second TV commercial depicts Mexico's long march out of poverty and oppression. At the beginning of the ad, thousands of Mexicans, men and women, young and old, are bound by chains to a huge boulder. With their faces contorted and their eyes downcast, they trudge up a mountainside with chains wrapped around the boulder and their bodies. The boulder holds them back. Hungry buzzards fly overhead. They push forward again, straining and wincing, but the boulder slides back downhill. Everything looks hopeless …

But, suddenly, hope dawns! One of the men defiantly removes his chains. One by one, they all stand up straight and take off their chains. Finally unburdened, they smile and start walking up the mountainside, leaving the boulder and chains behind. At last, they are free! As triumphant music plays, thousands of smiling men and women stride confidently up the mountain.

But what is the product being advertised? What is the savior and hope for the Mexican people? In the last five seconds of the ad, a phrase appears on the screen—"Keep Walking Mexico"—with a company logo. The logo is the stylized "Striding Man" for Johnnie Walker, the world's number one selling Scotch whiskey. Today, four bottles of Johnnie Walker are consumed every second, with some 120 million bottles sold annually in 200 countries. It's all about Johnnie Walker's campaign to not just sell whiskey, but to sell a lifestyle and an aspiration.

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