Johnnie Walker's latest addition to its "Keep Walking America" has a musical bent. A new ad celebrating International Jazz Day on Sunday, April 30, stars Jermaine Gardner, known as "The Musical Autist." Although Gardner was born with loss of vision and hearing, among other disabilities, he's an accomplished artist. The spot depicts him plinking out notes on the piano from a Braille score, but once he recognizes the melody he takes off with his own lively of rendition of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," the folk tune which has served as soundtrack for the campaign.
The ad was created out of Anomaly and directed by Anonymous Content's Chris Sargent, who was on board for the campaign's anthem spot as well. Since its launch, "Keep Walking America" has flown the flag of diversity, upholding the various cultures and backgrounds of American citizens.
Along with the new spot, Johnnie Walker has named in his honor, a lounge at the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute & Cultural Center in his hometown of Baltimore.
"I was truly honored when Johnnie Walker asked me to be a part of their new Keep Walking America campaign," said Gardner in a statement. "Life may have placed many obstacles in my path, but I knew I wouldn't let that stop me as I continued to push forward to reach my goals and chase my dreams, which is what the Keep Walking America campaign is all about. Over the years, I've turned to music as my creative outlet and viewed my work as a way to unite people around the country. Through my music and with Johnnie Walker, I hope to continue inspiring others to never give up on what is most important to them."