Guinness bids to capture the true essence of friendship

Guinness is looking to tug on the heartstrings of drinkers with a thought-provoking online advert to put the brand at the heart of friendship.

The ad features a group of men – all in wheelchairs – competing in an adrenaline charged game of basketball.

It showcases several collisions between the players as a narrative voice talks about “dedication”, “loyalty” and “friendship”. The match finishes with an unexpected twist revealing all but one of the men are able to walk. It then cuts to the men enjoying a pint of the black stuff with the narrator concluding “The choices we make, reveal the true nature of our character”.

The BBDO New York created TV spot is a change of tack from previous Guinness ads, which have opted for more surreal takes on the brand’s premium positioning. Recent ads under the brand’s current  £34m marketing platform have included a talking clock and a cloud promoting its “Made of More” strapline. The latest effort aims to open the Guinness brand up to a younger and broader range of drinkers.

Industry experts have told Marketing Week the brand needs to do more to “create real social currency and influence” among younger drinkers to kickstart declining sales. Value sales of the dropped dropped 3.3 per cent year-on-year to £89.5m for the 52 weeks to July 2013, according to IRI Worldwide. The brand claimed, however, it gained share in the last quarter as a result of increased marketing spend.  

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Josie Allchin

Welcome to The Marketing Week, your guide to the good, the bad and the ugly in the marketing industry over the last seven days.

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