In May 2015, Johnnie Walker launched the Walker Wager campaign nationally. A wager was made between South Africa’s top racing driver, Gugu Zulu and his friend, two-time Formula 1 World Champion, Mika Hakkinen. The wage? That Gugu could train a person with absolutely zero racing experience, to drive a lap of Kyalami within 5 seconds of Mika’s best lap time. The person he chose was Vusi Thembekwayo - a businessman and public speaker.

From the moment Mika accepted the wager, the real work began. We had to train Vusi to become a racing driver in just 7 days. So we had to do some pretty extreme things to get him up to speed. This made for 3 gripping webisodes. The 4th webisode featured the final race with the big man himself, Mika Hakkinen. The full film was broadcast into the homes of 50m South Africans on national TV.

The Walker Wager campaign site allowed all of South Africa to watch Vusi beat Mika in the real-world wager and follow the wager through a live aggregated social feed and photo narrative.
Visit the website


Once Vusi had won the wager against Mika in the real world, we wanted to let South Africa have a go at beating him in the virtual world. The Race interactive experience allowed users to sit in Vusi’s seat and try to match or beat Mika’s lap time. Accept the wager and begin the journey of learning the fundamentals of racing.

Choose between 3 synchronized camera angles at any time - a pov cam, a third-person cam or a racing cam. It’s your race, choose the view most suited to you.

In order to drive faster and beat Mika Hakkinen, users had to master 4 in-race driving challenges teaching them the fundamentals of racing. From cornering techniques to reaction tests to handling g-forces. The quicker you learned, the quicker you went.
If you successfully managed to master the in-race driving challenges and win the wager, you were automatically entered into a real-world advanced driving day at Kyalami in the iconic SLS AMG that Vusi raced in.

Your virtual progress, made real.

Loeries 2015: 
(Digital & Interactive) Microsite - Bronze
(Branded Content Video) Campaign - Bronze
(Digital & Interactive) Digital Integrated - Bronze
(Digital Crafts) Illustration Photography and Design - Craft Certificate
Johnnie Walker | The Gentleman's Wager | The Race