The Brief

The Brief

Creating a new campaign for a brand with an advertising heritage as rich

as that of Guinness is both a privilege and a nightmare. However, Ogilvy

& Mather’s first experience with the stout proved that Guinness can,

indeed, be good for you - the Rutger Hauer ’Man with the Guinness’

campaign spanned seven years and 21 films.

Two years ago, Guinness decided that consumers had become too

comfortable with the campaign. After a struggle (during which an Irish

campaign bridged the advertising gap), O&M came up with the ’Black and

White’ idea.

The launch ads, ’Bicycle’ and ’Old Man’, aimed to make people take a

fresh look at the brand by presenting implausible scenarios summed up by

a quotation. The line ’Not everything in black and white makes sense’

let viewers make up their own minds about the situations in the ads and

Guinness itself.

The Campaign

’Statistics’ is the fourth and most recent ’Black and White’ ad and,

like the previous ones (including ’Fishing’ which ran a year ago), its

style is designed to create debate.

It is the first one in the series not directed by Tony Kaye (this time

Chris Palmer was called in). The film shows a series of situations

illustrating different statistics, the truth of which is never

established. At the end, the viewer is left wondering - do 88% of clowns

never fall in love?

Did 36% of strippers have a convent education? Do men think about sex

every six seconds? A Vic Reeves quotation explains: ’88.2% of all

statistics are made up on the spot.’ As the camera cuts to a pint of

Guinness, there is a flashback to a girl in a bikini.

The Result

Since ’Black and White’ broke, Guinness has achieved its highest ever

share of the beer market -5.2%. With 56% recall in this week’s Adwatch

chart, the detailed data reveals that Palmer’s ad has achieved

consistent awareness across social class and male/female groups. It

performed well in Scotland and the north of England and among its

principal target, 25- to 44-year-olds (63%). Incidentally, all the

statistics in the ad (unlike those in Adwatch) were complete


The Account

Client: Guinness Brewing

Marketing director: Julian Spooner

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather

Creative team: Jerry Gallaher (copywriter) and Clive Yaxley (art


Annual budget: pounds 10m

Media: National TV, satellite and cinema

Target: 18- to 34-year-old males

ADWATCH: The weekly analysis of advertisement recall in association


     Last  Account                   Agency/TV buyer                   %


1    (1)   BT                        Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/

                                     The Negotiation Centre           84

2    (2)   Goldfish                  TBWA Simons Palmer/

                                     Manning Gottlieb Media           77

3    (-)   Walkers Crisps            BMP DDB/MediaVest                76

4    (8=)  Kill Your Speed           Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/

                                     New PHD                          65

5=   (4)   Nescafe Gold Blend        McCann-Erickson/

                                     Universal McCann                 64

5=   (3)   Safeway                   Bates Dorland/Zenith Media       64

7=   (8=)  McDonald’s                Leo Burnett                      63

7=   (-)   TV Licence                BDDP GGT/New PHD                 63

9    (6=)  Kellogg’s                 Leo Burnett/J Walter Thompson    62

10   (14=) Sainsbury’s               Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/

                                     New PHD                          59

11=  (5)   Asda                      Publicis/TMD Carat               58

11=  (-)   Somerfield                Butler Lutos Sutton Wilkinson/

                                     The Negotiation Centre           58

13   (6=)  Peugeot 406               Euro RSCG Paris/Mediapolis       57

14   (-)   Guinness                  Ogilvy & Mather/The Network      56

15   (18)  Cable & Wireless          Rapier Stead & Bowden/

                                     The Media Business               50

16   (-)   Dulux Paint               Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/

                                     New PHD                          49

17   (-)   Sony PlayStation          TBWA Simons Palmer/

                                     Manning Gottlieb Media           48

18   (-)   Flora                     Ammirati Puris Lintas/

                                     Initiative Media                 45

19   (-)   Ford Fiesta               Ogilvy & Mather/The Network      43

20   (-)   Golden Wonder Pot Noodle  HHCL & Partners/BMP Optimum      41