LIVE ISSUE/GUINNESS CAMPAIGN: Does AMV’s new TV ad for Guinness live up to expectations? - Well executed but tenuous or ’pure genius’? Eleanor Trickett canvasses opinion

’Good things come to those who wait,’ Guinness says in its new Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO-spawned endline, neatly reflecting the ad industry’s bated breath over what will come next in Guinness’s history of seminal advertising.

’Good things come to those who wait,’ Guinness says in its new

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO-spawned endline, neatly reflecting the ad

industry’s bated breath over what will come next in Guinness’s history

of seminal advertising.

But what we are seeing this time is not an enigmatic vignette depicting

the darker side of life in the spirit of the old Rutger Hauer ads.

Instead, we are treated to an old-fashioned story. In the 60-second ad,

an elderly former swimming champion takes part in an annual race in

which he attempts to cross the village bay before a pint of Guinness,

poured by his brother, has settled. Due to the swimmer’s advancing

years, his brother delays pouring the pint for long enough to ensure

that the race is won, to the delight of the crowd (Campaign, last


As the endline suggests, the ’anticipation’ strategy is back, last seen

in the dancing man spot created by the Irish agency, Arks, in 1995. But

weren’t we promised cutting-edge work from Abbott Mead when the account

was won?

In a bid to take Guinness advertising back to basics and appeal to a

wider audience, Abbott Mead has moved away from the stylish ’black and

white’ campaign by Ogilvy & Mather. The figures for the brand read well

but there is room for improvement - people drink one or two pints of

Guinness then move on.

Hugh Derrick, AMV’s account director on Guinness, says: ’The connection

between the brand and its advertising was being broken; lots of people

loved that ads but didn’t buy Guinness. These ads open up the old

territory to more people by putting the pint at the centre of the


Campaign asked three creative directors to give their opinion of the new


In a bid appeal to a wider audience, Guinness has moved away from the

enigmatic ’black and white’ campaign run by Ogilvy & Mather. The figures

for Guinness consumption read well, but there is room for



As the son of an Irishman, the thing I like most about this commercial

is its lack of Irishness. I’m heartily pig-sick of the inexorable rise

of Plastic Paddydom in this country. (O’Neill’s, Caffrey’s, Shane

McGowan et al.) Guinness has a lot more going for it than being Irish.

This is a genuinely international film.

As an occasional Guinness drinker, the thing I like most is the loving

way the ’settling’ sequence is woven throughout the film.

As someone who works in advertising, I can’t help but detect the ghost

of Volvo’s stunt-driver lurking in every nook and cranny.

As a bloke who loves ideas, I love the idea that ’good things come to

those who wait’ because they do. And they will to this campaign.

As one of those old-fashioned souls who finds the sight of sweaty,

semi-naked, sinewy, wizened old Italians less than appetising, I find

the sight of the sweaty, semi-naked, sinewy, wizened old Italian less

than appetising.

As a big fan of Tom & Walt, I’m certain this is the start of something

very large indeed. And while I just can’t wait for the next five

commercials, I guess I’ll have to. Good things come, and all that.

Trevor Beattie is creative director of GGT


Glazer, Tom & Walt, Guinness, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. Is this an

unbeatable combination? Sadly not.

Why was I so disappointed? Was it because the hype behind this campaign

has been so enormous? Or was it the inappropriateness of setting the ad

in sunbaked Italy?

I liked the fact that the agency bravely went for dubbed sound, giving

the ad an authentic feel. But I hated the fact that it meant I couldn’t

quite make out the words.

It feels like ad number five in a long-running campaign. A launch ad it

is not.

Dramatising the ’wait’ is a strong idea, no question. It is rooted in

the experience of Guinness drinking. But a swimming competition? Where

are the lyrical qualities that are integral to the product?

When do athletics and Guinness go together?

I’m sure someone, somewhere, decided that the brand needed to be a

global one, full of energetic values. The words ’baby’ and ’bathwater’

spring to mind.

I have a great deal of fondness for all the names at the top of this

piece. So I’m sorry. This is beautiful beyond belief. What it has to do

with Guinness is beyond me.

Larry Barker is creative director of BMP DDB


Every now and then a piece of philosophy combined with basic truth,

wrapped in human observation, distilled in a few words, results in a

great advertising line.

So it was with ’Guinness - I’ve never tried it because I don’t like


It confronted my prejudice, intrigued my palate and celebrated the

quirky spirit of the drink.

But now they’ve woven a wonderful story around a product attribute. And

isn’t that what advertising is supposed to do?

The notion that Guinness takes a long time to pour is now accepted as a

beneficial element in its eccentricity and in retrospect it seems

obvious that a Guinness campaign could consist of what might be achieved

while the glass is filling. This storyline is delightful and the ad is

superbly made with a terrific twist - and there’s the snag.

I didn’t spot the deceit in the plot. Neither did all but one of the 12

people I showed it to, even when prompted where to look.

Maybe those who made it prefer that obliqueness and, given Guinness has

a tradition of enigmatic advertising, they may have a point. But it

isn’t one I’d accept because when you understand the story in full, a

superb ad becomes brilliant.

Andrew Cracknell is chairman of Ammirati Puris Lintas

It’s against that I’ve judged all subsequent Guinness advertising and

found it wanting.