This ad is a combination of Product-image format, Personalized format, and Life-style format. Product-image format is a type of ad that already assumes the viewers to be already aware of the product’s basic function and utilities. Johnnie Walker, similar to most other alcohol/alcoholic beverage advertisements, does not state the basic function of “alcohol” or what kinds of effects alcohol have to our body. Because, alcohol, as known by most consumers, retains detrimental effects such as “loss of breath,” “blackouts,” “heart attacks,” and in extreme case, “death.” Interestingly, Johnnie Walker, since it is aware of the fact that the consumers maintain knowledge about alcohol/hard liquor, the ad is trying to eliminate such knowledge. However, by introducing “rich” socialite’s life-style in its ad, Johnnie Walker is suggesting a different meaning to the product that the product, aside from the possible harmful effects it can bring, actually fits into our lifestyle (“Lifestyle format”), especially for those who are already a member of such “high society” that they utilize the product already in their parties (“Personalized format”).

I think lp1082 made a very interesting observation when he/she says ‘The hyperpoblic depiction of the important man’s life, using words like “leverage, portfolio, and fiduciary,” pokes fun at the idea that scotsch is only for such apparently stuck-up people, aiming to help the “less important” be able to relate to the commercial.’ There are several elements, as mentioned by lp1082, that reveal that this ad is trying to portray seemingly lifestyle of a “high society”; however, such overt portrayal makes the viewers laugh. The ad “trying” to sell the lifestyle of a prosperous, male socialite; however, this ad may not seem very appealing to the “high capital consumers” or “cultural elites” who are attracted by high artistic quality, vagueness, cultural values in ads. For those who retain “high cultural capital” generally share “affluent, educated and diverse” backgrounds. The ad’s efforts to appeal to such readership is because such prosperous, affluent lifestyle maybe shared by those with high cultural capital. The main focus of the ad centers on the male character, who is a wealthy, “party-going” businessmen, who seems like he can have high cultural capital and tastes. Nonetheless, the ad fails to appeal to the intended audience because the ad is too blatant about the desirability of high society and tastes. The “high cultural capital” consumers are greatly interested in cultural, sophistication, connoisseurship, aesthetics and quality rather than how the goods will elevate their financial and social status in a society. It is because, they are already aware of and has almost already forgotten about the fact that they belong to the “affluent and elite” category. Their core interests are not based on “prosperity” or “to show off” but rather becoming “tastemakers” in a society and “culture advocates.” “Rich,” “freedom,” “upper class” are tags that automatically follow the “culture advocates” or “tastemakers.” Even though the ad does not reveal the price of one bottle of Johnnie Walker, it pretty much puts out there that the product belongs to “upper class” businessmen and his acquaintances. 

Therefore, I think the ad successfully incorporates different adv formats that may expand their audience group and outreach. However, the ad may have failed to appeal to their principal, focus audience demographic, which are consumers with high cultural capital.

Work Cited:

Leiss, William, Stephen Kline, and Sut Jhally. “Mobilizing the Culturati.” Social Communication in Advertising: Persons, Products & Images of Well-being. London [etc.: Routledge, 2005. N. pag. Print.