Guinness gets love from beer lovers and Irish men and women alike. It has been around forever. Guinness has done a fantastic job making sure it appeals to both audiences. The beer creates a story; it creates an experience that the beer drinker and the Irish can relate to. People love good beer, and people love to be a part of an identity. Guinness does both.
Recently Guinness, with the help of London's AMV BBDO, created a new ad called "the Clock." It is part of its "Made of More" campaign. The advertisement is set in a small town where the clock shows how it can make slow moments go by quickly, how it can turn back time to make sure wrongs can be made right, and how the clock can make good moments last.
The ad then relates how Guinness is similar to the clock. The spot is below.
The Guinness faithful — as well as AdLand — were not too pleased with the spot. The critiques have been quite interesting to read. Most of them say that the ad was vague, that it was a "failure in branding." Others thought that Guinness missed the mark. Some people thought it could be better used as an ad for clocks, or watches, or a brand new product launch.
Anything but Guinness.
We can understand the uproar; the spot and concept are something new. We humans like familiarity, so when a brand that is dear to us goes on a different path, no doubt there is going to be some pushback.
But has Guinness missed its mark? Hardly.
Guinness has changed its advertising concepts several times throughout the ages. Who can remember this ad?
Or, when we were coming of age and trying all the libations we could get our hands on, we remember seeing this TV spot of Guinness:
Clearly, two different styles. Both Guinness. Did Guinness lose its focus?
Is the "Clock" ad different than the current Guinness creative out there? Absolutely. But we would be hard-pressed to say that Guinness "missed its mark."