by Jordan Sudermann
Check out the recently launched Guinness communication.
The commercial goes squarely for the heart with an emotional appeal.
Here's the idea: Get the viewer to admire the wheel chair athletes who are engaged in a pick-up game of basketball. These basket ball athletes are playing every bit as grittily and determined as any physically-abled, group of friend, and it's a pretty inviting proposition.
Then, twist the story.
At the end of the game all of the guys, but one, stand up from their wheelchairs and walk off the court. A voice over talks about authentic loyalty and true friendship. These values are celebrated by sharing a pint of Guinness beer in a bar.
This is where I am torn. One one hand, this message is showing how great of friends behave and that Guinness is a catalyst and reinforcer of important ideals (authentic friendship and loyalty). That's inspiring. If I feel good about the piece and link it to the brand, the net impact is I'll like the brand more. That's good for the brand.
On the other hand, I can't escape the feeling that this is somewhat of a public service announcement declaring how ignorant we are about disabilities- and the needs of peoples with disabilities- and we need a beer company set us straight. In other words, I feel a little bit tricked which makes me like the ad less- and therefore brand less.
For me, then, this ad is not a clear winner.