Twist on iconic Guinness surfers in £3.5m Extra Cold ads

LONDON - The iconic Guinness surfer will retreat from chilly water and Rutger Hauer shivers in a new £3.5m campaign for Guinness Extra Cold that pays homage to previous celebrated ads for the brand.

The campaign breaks today with five new ads, three of which are new shoots -- "Rutger", "anticipation" and "surfer" -- while "fishy" and "snail" have been re-edited to fit with the new strapline: "Guinness. But Extra Cold".

The campaign has been created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, but draws on some work created by Ogilvy & Mather, with Guinness hoping that a return to its most talked about advertising can help it reverse a 3% slump in sales in the second half of 2003.

The company said that the new campaign would remind consumers during the summer that Guinness is available in a colder, more refreshing version.

In the new version of "surfer", which was voted the UK's favourite ad in a poll in 2000, the formerly brave characters retreat from the edge of the sea when they realise how cold the water is. The famous male dancer of "anticipation" is now an Eskimo, and in "fishy", the fish who rides his bicycle is now riding it through the snow.

Rutger Hauer, who appeared in a long series of ads in the 1980s under the "pure genius" banner, makes a return for the brand, shivering in the cold as he delivers the line "nice weather for penguins".

The campaign will break during 'Big Brother' on Channel 4 tonight and runs throughout the summer, showing in June primarily during Euro 2004 matches on ITV.

Nick Robinson, marketing director for Guinness at Diageo Great Britain, said: "The campaign has all the qualities you would expect from Guinness advertising with an enormous amount of wit that we know from research will be loved by our consumers."

The latest advertising for the main Guinness brand introduced a new strapline "Out of darkness comes light". The ad broke in February, and since then Diageo says there has been a 5% rise in volumes sold of Guinness Draught compared with last year.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.