McCann Johannesburg and Johnnie Walker Stride for Good

On the morning of November 9, 2017, residents of Johannesburg awoke to the sight of 365 Striding Men “walking” the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge, prompting the whole of South Africa to ask, who are they? And why have they come?

The answers quickly became apparent. The statues were symbolic of the Johnnie Walker Striding Man logo and they had come to stride purposefully toward an abuse-free society in South Africa. They had no intention of doing it discreetly.

This campaign for Johnnie Walker from Diageo was envisioned by McCann Worldgroup Johannesburg and supported by four major NGOs, POWA, Lifeline, Million Men March and Tswharanang Legal Advocacy Centre. The statues appeared the day before the end to the international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

Fraser Lamb, Executive Chairman, McCann Worldgroup Africa, said, “Our mission is to help brands play a meaningful role in people’s lives and this was a sure-fire way to do it. You look at 365 guys, because that’s the point, the point is we can’t have 16 days of activism when it is really about it being every day. We want an abuse-free society in South Africa and this is the way to draw it to people’s attention. To do a stunt of such epic proportions really hits home and makes people think.”

Two statues in white flanked the left side of the Nelson Mandela Bridge – providing a physical platform on which supporters could sign their name; big, bold, in permanent marker – promising, for the world to see, to work toward an abuse-free society.

McCann and its clients acknowledge the role of alcohol in domestic abuse and intend this campaign to be part of the conversation that will effect real changes.

Diageo Marketing Director Sandy Griffiths elaborates, “This is a cause that is very personal to me and close to my heart. Being involved in the alcohol industry I see the adverse effects of alcohol abuse and I want to ensure, as an individual, and as an organization, that we are doing the right thing to educate consumers on the potential ill effects of alcohol.”

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