Johnnie Walker "Dear Brother" is a spec ad and in just a short month, since hitting reddit’s stream (December 2015), it is climbing past 3.5 million views. Yes, it’s true! It’s an emotional short. The director duo, Daniel and Dorian, whom by the way were never hired by Johnny Walker, produced the short video to showcase their abilities. By the end of the 1:31 video, my face was streaked with tears-of-pride for my Scottish heritage.
On screen, the duality of melancholy and optimism is viewed through a beautiful story of brotherhood with an energetic connection to the past. The short is especially significant to me because of the poignant link to the McKinnon clan motto -audentes fortuna juvat- or fortune rewards the daring.
Shot in the Isle of Skye, the home of the McKinnon clan, the beauty of the Scottish countryside sincerely led me to research the tale of my ancestors. In "Dear Brother", the journey of two brothers returning to their childhood home in the Isle of Skye, resonates with a deep philosophical meaning for me.
I imagine my ancestors on this cloud island with velvet moors, jagged mountains, iridescent lochs, and rising sea cliffs. The haunting mist folds in and I am transported to a feast of overflowing beer glasses, the lords of the island at the table, toasting to a day of hard work and building a nation of free men.
The Isle of Skye is the second largest of the Scottish islands. Today it is a prominent holiday destination with many castles, museums, pubs, restaurants, art galleries, and craft studios. The McKinnon clan became lords of this island at the end of the 10th century.
Among the prominent features, in the video, you will see a pair of massive stones called Sornaichean Coir’Fhinn, in Loch Eyre. Legend has it, the giant Fingal, placed the stones in their location, to suspend a pot of stew over a campfire. That’s where I come from, a brand of whimsy with the exciting features of magic, fairies, giants, and of course hardworking men.
Let's toast to the McKinnon clan, in the words of Dear Brother:
"I will always be alive and by your side
in your mind