Guinness Rugby World Cup 2015

SPOTTED: The insights behind the ads

Dancing. Evolution. Surfing. Toucans. Guinness has produced many memorable adverts over the years. Have these ads enthralled us? Absolutely. Have they made us think fondly of the brand? Undoubtedly. Have they continued to drive sales? Not quite. Producing great adverts and creating tremendous brand affinity is one thing, but successful marketing also needs to drive the bottom line — and Guinness has encountered problems with this in recent years, with sales in the US and the UK plummeting.

Struggling to engage the next generation of drinkers, the brand has found it difficult to move beyond being an occasional drink — usually on the one day of the year when we all become Irish. But a new campaign, created by AMV BBDO and released to coincide with the start of the rugby world cup, aims to connect with a new generation of drinkers through something they find even more compelling than the sight of velvet black clouds billowing in a glass — values.

Drenched in emotion, each spot features a rugby player revealing how they found the strength to be themselves and, whether it be the courage to reveal their sexuality or escaping life in a gang, explaining why this has been their greatest achievement.

The idealism and pluralism entrenched in younger audiences through global connectivity means that diversity is a value they proactively seek and embrace. And with the vast majority (85%) of UK consumers believing brands should play a larger role in society, the next generation of consumers are demanding that the brands they buy from aspire to a purpose greater than profit. Guinness seem to have understood that real engagement requires real substance. The new campaign is very firmly about celebrating diversity — and that’s something we can all drink to.

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Written by Olly Chubb, head of client services at Canvas8