Guinness travels to the Congo for new spot

Guinness has released its latest TV ad today, and it’s a charming celebration of the ‘society of elegant persons of the Congo’, otherwise known as the ‘Sapeurs’.

Guinness has released its latest TV ad today, and it’s a charming celebration of the ‘society of elegant persons of the Congo’, otherwise known as the ‘Sapeurs’.

Created by AMV BBDO and directed by Nicolai Fuglsig, the ad opens on scenes shot in Brazzaville, Congo, that show burly men performing a range of physical tasks: carrying loads of wood, and metal-working. At this point I thought we might be revisiting the overblown territory of the 2009 Bring It To Life campaign, where such manly activities resulted in the incongrous creation of a new world. Happily then, the emphasis in this new spot quickly shifts to the night-time and sees the men transformed into the Sapeurs – a sharply dressed group who come together to party, drink Guinness and revel in their sartorial elegance.

The spot follows on from last year’s ‘Basketball’ Guinness ad, created by BBDO New York, which saw a group of friends playing wheelchair basketball. That ad came with a surprising twist at the end and turned out to be an affecting meditation on friendship. ‘Sapeurs’ similarly celebrates friendship and good times, this time those of a genuine community.

This move towards the real seems a good one for Guinness; there is a bit of the self-importance that we’ve come to expect from the brand here for sure, but at least the action is ultimately centred on a bar, with the black stuff fuelling a good night out. Accompanying the film is also a short documentary, shown below, which tells us more about the Sapeurs.

Agency: AMV BBDO
ECD: Dave Buchanan
Creatives: Nicholas Hulley, Nadja Lossgott
Director: Nicolai Fuglsig
Production company: MJZ

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