Giles Keeble: unravelling the mystery of Guinness

Is ‘Made of More’ bollox? I may be slow but when the cloud was floating over NY I didn’t get the metaphor/analogy/fairy tale of the brave little cloud with the big heart/golden lining. Then I saw a few print ads which indicated it was about the drinker not the drink (the spider not the fly?) and that Guinness drinkers are a bit special because Guinness is a bit special.

‘Good things come to those who wait’ is obviously easier to understand and is a statement about the product as well as a springboard for creative executions, from the swimmer to the snail to the surfer. ‘Made of more’ is a hanging comparative, and could be one of those sports sayings like giving ‘110 per cent’ (unless more has suddenly become a noun).

Nevertheless, there have been some terrific Guinness films and they have always been great to look at, brave little cloud being no exception. I think the new wheelchair basketball spot (below) is unexpected on first viewing, well shot, and moving (and American) – and surely a departure from all that has gone before by personalising the drinkers.

I imagine we can now expect human stories of ‘going the extra mile’ – to get that cliche out of the way – rather than spiders and clouds and clocks, but still ‘Made of More’. Unless there are two strands to the campaign- an American emotional one, and a British intellectual, metaphorical, more lateral one. A campaign that is made of more, as it were.

But there is more and another thread, if thread of MOM it is. This is the link to Oxford Uni’s Psychology Professor Robin Dunbar’s research that shows the benefits of friendship, especially to men, and not through social media but face – to – face participation. Spending the money to place this sponsored research in the Jonathan Ross show is brave, novel, and interesting, even if just to find out what was going on.

Unknown-9Ads that are something more than ads have always been interesting, so long as they are relevant, and we are now redefining what an ad is or can be.  I’m not quite sure where this Guinness ‘Round up Your Mates’ experiment will end up. It does encourage a visit to the website to read the research summary, which, if we bring it back to Guinness, recommends that going down to the pub to share a few pints of Guinness after a game of footie, rugby, or just for its own sake, is healthy for a man’s body and soul.







Friendships as defined by Oxford’s Professor Robin Dunbar, back in the day.

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