BEIRUT: This year for the first time in Lebanon, Johnnie Walker’s “Keep Walking Lebanon” campaign gave the opportunity to university students to celebrate and interpret their country’s progress with the progressive visions and showcase this generation of creative minds along with right opportunities to keep Lebanon moving forward.
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. Fourteen artistic projects created by university students and selected by judges were displayed in the campaign’s Keep Walking Lebanon Expo last weekend at KED, in Beirut’s Karantina. Johnnie Walker’s objective was to provide a platform for an un-skeptical generation to bring their progressive visions for the country to life. The result of this creative process gave birth to this year’s Johnnie Walker campaign: The Keep Walking 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. 14 final projects featured at the expo were selected from 200 submissions by university students working individually or in a group from different artistic disciplines- Film, Graphic Design, Architecture, Interior Design, and Fashion Design.
“What I love most about this project is the fact that it extends beyond the competition and into people’s life. The message behind the “Keep Walking Lebanon” mantra allowed me to understand my project differently and to think about it on a more humanitarian level, hoping to impact every Lebanese life,” said a contributor who showcased a short film at the Expo, Zelfa Louise Abou Charaf.
After months of preparation and under the mentorship of industry experts Bernard Khoury, Beirut-based couture house Azzi & Osta, designer Nada Debs, film director Wissam Smayra, and chief creative officer at Leo Burnett Beirut Bechara Mouzannar the launch night hosted a large number of special guests who witnessed the reveal of the projects and met the masterminds behind them.
“Johnnie Walker’s competition was all about the urge of creating. Even better than this is our generation creating for a better Lebanon by using art to move it forward,” mentioned Elza Khoury an art patron to Annahar.
The topics that tackled the final projects ranged from women’s empowerment to the piling of garbage in the country to self-sustainable community designs.
“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.”
Keep Walking Lebanon was a prescient move from Johnnie Walker to bring its brand purpose to life by engaging millennials and providing them with a platform to help shape the community and culture around them.
“You cannot create experience you must undergo it. Our journey with “Keep Walking Lebanon” helped us improve ourselves on several levels. This competition was a big challenge in parallel with our studies. It made us more persistent to pressure, and more confident with our abilities,” said a contributor who showcased fashion outwear design at the Expo, Nour Asmar.