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Why Guinness Wants Everyone to Be Able to Celebrate Football



AMV BBDO creatives Ben Smith and Dan Kennard on ‘Brothers’, the inclusive campaign that follows 2021’s ‘Black Shines Brightest’ spot, writes LBB’s Nisna Mahtani

Why Guinness Wants Everyone to Be Able to Celebrate Football

Set in a Nigerian football viewing centre, Guinness’ new campaign focuses on inclusive football celebrations, with everyone around to enjoy the moment. The spot features a duo of brothers who watch the matches – with a Guinness in their hands – and embody the lively, celebratory culture of football viewership across Africa. 

The ‘Brothers’ campaign begins with an introduction to Miracle, a man who commentates and brings the football game ‘to life’. As it carries on, his brother, Abidemi, explains that Miracle is blind, but that doesn’t stop him from enjoying the game, or from being the life and soul of the party. Abidemi goes on to narrate the game for his brother, explaining, “For him, football is not just about what we see, but what we feel.” 

‘Brothers’ follows up on Guinness’ 2021 campaign, entitled ‘Black Shines Brightest’, which celebrated the release of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. The 2021 campaign and signature tagline, which also feature in this campaign, recruited 1.5 million new Guinness drinkers across Africa, proving a hit with locals in the region. This year, bringing a sense of life and soul to the unusual timing of this year's football festivities, the campaign targets Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Cameroon and Ghana – with an adaptation for French-speaking nations.

To tell us more, the creatives on the project, Ben Smith and Dan Kennard, spoke to LBB’s Nisna Mahtani about how they rustled up this spot.

LBB> What was the initial brief for this spot?

Ben & Dan> The brief was to celebrate football fans who make the game brighter for other people – whether that’s being the life and soul of the atmosphere, or bringing new people in. 

LBB> Can you tell us about some of the ideas that were discussed at first and how you landed on this particular concept?

Ben & Dan> We really liked the idea of celebrating someone who brought football to life for others from an unexpected position. Someone who couldn’t see the game, but felt it in his heart. And we wanted to tell that story in a way which was positive and fun. 

LBB> The campaign feels lively and fun, can you talk us through the general styling of the piece?

Ben & Dan> It’s a celebration of football, but also of African ingenuity, style, and swagger. So, we filled it with fun details – from the little bus that carries the remote control, to a suit made of football shirts and football tassels on the shoes. People might not spot all the details, but together, they make an immersive world – the kind of place only Guinness could create.


LBB> The spot also feels inclusive, due to the representation of a visually impaired character. What was the casting process like, and how did you find the right person to feature?

Ben & Dan> The casting was crucial for the story, as we were looking for a blind or visually impaired actor who could bring their authentic experience and embody the whole-hearted and spirited character we see. Our hero actor, Miracle, was precisely that. Throughout the creative process, from script to production, members of the blind and visually impaired community were consulted to ensure that the advert reflects an authentic experience. The core audience for this campaign is passionate football fans in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Cameroon and Ghana and there is a French adaptation for French-speaking markets.

LBB> Why was this the right time to create the campaign? What about the sporting season and Guinness goes so well together?

Ben & Dan> Guinness is synonymous with football across the continent - perfect to enjoy with friends, fans, and even rivals coming together and sharing their passion for the game with a cold FES [Foreign Extra Stout].

LBB> There’s a real sense of vibrancy and pace to the spot. Can you tell us some of the details you used to make this happen?

Ben & Dan> We wanted to continue the vibrancy and energy from the ‘Black Shines Brightest’ campaign that resonated so well with consumers last summer. There are some technical solutions, like shooting with slow frame rates, crash zooms and 360 cameras that help, but a lot of it comes from the casting. We knew Miracle was a one-of-a-kind character when we saw the audition tapes, and we wanted to embrace him and his personality to give us something that feels energetic, fresh and distinctive.

LBB> ‘Black Shines Brightest’ is a fantastic line of copy. Can you tell us how you came up with it and why it was important to include it in this African, Guinness campaign?

Ben & Dan> In August 2021, Guinness launched its first pan-African campaign in five years: ‘Black Shines Brightest’. Inspired by the bold and unique beer, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, the campaign celebrates African creativity and ingenuity, and features some of the best-known local culture makers, including Ghanaian choreographer Incredible Zigi, Nigerian designer Adebayo Oke-Lawal, and Kenyan media personality Adelle Onyango. Proving that it resonated locally, ‘Black Shines Brightest’ led to the recruitment of 1.5 million new Guinness drinkers across Africa during fiscal 2022. The latest campaign expresses the dynamic and progressive spirit of ‘Black Shines Brightest’ through the lens of football - Africa’s greatest passion.


LBB> What was the inspiration behind the music in this campaign? Was it a given to choose this track or were there other contenders? 

Ben & Dan> We wanted a great African track that didn’t sit within the afrobeat cliché. Fela was actually the first track we heard on the edit, and we didn’t need to change it.

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AMV BBDO, Fri, 11 Nov 2022 17:43:00 GMT