Keep Walking Lebanon – The Expo: A Different Perspective from Millennials
Johnnie Walker has always been a champion of progress, creativity, and hope for a better tomorrow. Keep Walking Lebanon has been celebrating the resilience of the Lebanese at large and their positive spirit for years now.
This year, Johnnie Walker specifically gave the opportunity to university students to interpret “Keep Walking Lebanon.” Full of ambition, passion, and a hopeful perspective regarding the future, this group of creative minds – university students from various institutions in the country – see a different Lebanon. The objective was to provide a platform for an un-skeptical generation to bring their progressive visions for the country to life, and prove that if we provide them with the right opportunities they will keep Lebanon moving forward.
The result of this creative process gave birth to this year’s Johnnie Walker campaign: The Keep Walking Lebanon Expo.
It all started with the #KeepCreatingLebanon competition, which called for contestants to come up with an idea that reflects their own interpretation of Keep Walking Lebanon. Working individually or in a group, and coming from different artistic disciplines – Film, Graphic Design, Architecture, Interior Design, and Fashion Design – their ideas varied and ranged from installations, to projections, to innovative product designs.
After months of preparation and under the mentorship of industry experts Bernard Khoury, Azzi & Osta, Nada Debs, Wissam Smayra, and Bechara Mouzannar, 200 projects were submitted out of which 14 were selected to be showcased at the Keep Walking Lebanon Expo on February 7, 8 and 9 at KED, Karantina.
The Launch Night hosted a large of number of special guests who witnessed the reveal of the projects and met the masterminds behind them.
“It is a great moment of pride to see not only how far the Johnnie Walker brand has elevated, but also how it progressed here in Lebanon,” said George Rbeiz, General Manager Diageo MENA. “Very inspiring to witness how ‘Keep Walking’ evolved to ‘Keep Walking Lebanon’ and then to brilliant creative interpretations crafted by promising university students.”
“It is an honor to be a part of this initiative and to help the talented millennials and creative minds speak out their progressive ideas and transform them into finished projects that could keep Lebanon walking” said Bechara Mouzannar, member of the jury and chief creative officer of Leo Burnett MENA. “They are truly an example of how millennials could support a nation with ideas that disrupt the mainstream and could re-invent their lives and opportunities in this country.”
Following the Launch Night, a private party was organized for the university students, their friends, and select guests.
The Keep Walking Lebanon Expo was then open to the public on the 9th to discover the great work of the university students; people could also attend a series of talks given by the judges.
All the visitors were also given the opportunity to vote for their favorite project helping them reach the top 3 for a cash prize award.
The students are also getting the chance to access the mentor’s, ensuring a promising start to great careers ahead.
It was indeed a remarkable move from Johnnie Walker to bring its brand purpose to life by engaging millennials – pillar of an emerging economy – and providing them with a platform to help shape the community and culture around them.
The expo was complemented by unique pieces from the Johnnie Walker archive collection were flown especially for the event: Items that had almost never been moved from their Heritage Archive Room in Scotland. Those included vintage bottles of the Red Label and Black Label from the 1930s, the brand’s famous “Around the World” book from the 1920s, as well as a replica of Sir Alexander Walker’s (John Walker’s grandson’) blending notebook from 1913 until 1918. Items that are a testament of the brand’s long-standing commitment to the idea of human progress.