Friday, February 22, 2008

Guiness Advertising Campaign: Genius in Message and Medium

Like any good strategy it seems obvious in hindsight. Not unlike the 'Born from Jets' campaign that Saab ran a year or so ago. When it comes to establishing performance pedigree, what better than to leverage the company's heritage as a manufacturer of fighter planes?

The 'Alive inside' theme seems like it emerged in a place that many of advertising's finest ideas come from: the pub. No doubt in the spirit of some old fashioned but time honored product interrogation (which the creatives unusually suggested) someone noticed that there's a lot of activity when the pint has been poured and it is settling.

This was a good starting point but not enough. The idea needed to be connected to some distinct group which shares a belief or mindset, actual or aspirational. The result pays of well in this example of outdoor advertising for the brand in downtown San Francisco.

The inventiveness of the medium is easily apparent. The kiosk supports the idea of a pint of Guiness perfectly, which is what it seen from a distance.

Closer up, however, the Guiness reveals itself not to contain bubbles but instead to be filled with people holding up cigarette letters as if at a concert.

The viewer is rewarded for closer observation, but it also confirms the positioning intent: Alive Inside is a statement that extols as much about the characteristics and ambition of the Guiness drinker as it does the drink itself

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