Guinness launched its long-awaited advertising campaign for 1996 this
week, through Ogilvy and Mather, backed by a pounds 12 million media
The campaign, shot entirely in black and white, seeks to tease the
viewer with puzzling scenarios that have no obvious meaning.
The ‘black and white’ theme replaces the ‘man with the Guinness’ work,
which starred Rutger Hauer and ran for seven years across 21
Guinness is initially running two films - ‘old man’ and ‘bicycle’. The
commercials, which broke on ITV, Channel 4, satellite and at the cinema
on Monday night, will run for six weeks.
The theme of the campaign is summed up in the strapline: ‘Not everything
in black and white makes sense’ as revealed in Campaign last week. It
asks the viewer to think again about the situations presented in the ads
and about Guinness. The commercials each present a scenario, described
by a quotation, which turns out to be not quite as straightforward as it
first appears. None of the films features a pint of Guinness until the
The ads were written by the O&M copywriter, Jerry Gallaher, and his art
director, Clive Yaxley. The director was Tony Kaye through Tony Kaye
Films and post-production was by the Mill.
‘Old man’ features an elderly man in his house, talking to his canary
and looking fondly at pictures of his late wife. The quote reads: ‘I
hope I die before I get old - Pete Townshend.’ The old gentleman is next
seen standing at the altar marrying a busty blonde a quarter of his age.
He pats her on the stomach and it becomes clear that she is heavily
The second execution shows women living in a world without men.The
backing music to the ad is I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta my Hair
taken from the film, South Pacific. In the commercial, women arm-wrestle
in the pub, work down a coal mine and collect refuse. The ad then shows
a completely empty maternity ward, and flashes up the quote: ‘A woman
needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.’ Right at the end of the film,
we see a surreal shot of a fish riding a bicycle.
Live Issue, p12