Jude Law and Giancarlo Giannini’s high-seas wager

Anomaly's ECD Dave Douglass shares the tale behind the short film for Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

The idea for Johnnie Walker Blue Label’s short film was, fittingly, conceived in a bar.

The brand released its global online video this week starring Jude Law and Giancarlo Giannini cruising in the ocean and traversing the streets of London. But the plot behind “The Gentleman’s Wager” was crafted last fall at the Soho House in Toronto, during a visit from Anomaly global partner and CCO Mike Byrne and AD Mark Sarosi, who partnered with Toronto’s ECD Dave Douglass.

The film opens with the pair relaxing on a rare boat, which Law insists he wants for himself. When Giannini tells him it’s not for sale, Law offers to win it, with a dance.

The effort Law puts in to pull off his wager is intended to celebrate the craft behind the making of the spirit, Douglass says.

“The time and effort that goes into it makes the experience worthwhile,” Douglass says. “That’s synonymous with the product and everything that goes into the rareness of Johnnie Walker Blue Label.”

The kicker comes after Law’s jig, when the pair are back on the same boat, and now Giannini declares he will win the boat with a story. It’s implied these two may do this often in their pursuit for things money can’t buy.

Byrne says  the inspiration for the script came out of a detail in the brief from the brand about “gentlemen searching for rare experiences that money can’t buy,” which got the creatives thinking about the sort of conversations these gentlemen would have over a glass of fine scotch.

“We loved the concept of a gentleman’s wager where it wasn’t about money and there was this camaraderie and it was about experiences money can’t buy,” Douglass says. “That goes right back to [the brand's] brief of a journey of personal progress and rare experiences.”

Douglass recalls that as they worked on the script for the six-and-a-half-minute film, they knew it Law was to be paired with a slightly older, well-travelled gentleman, and wrote Giannini into it as the perfect complement to him.

He says that for its filming, they spent 10 days on a “historical tour” of London, shooting scenes on Savile Row, at handmade shoemaker John Lobb and at the historic Wilton’s Music Hall, and shot the ocean scenes near the British Virgin Islands.

The film, directed by Jake Scott, will live online and Douglass says it will be entered in some short film festivals as well, and supported by posters. Unruly Media handled distribution of the video.