Guinness Sapeurs: love at second sight

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The last ad of Guinness which made waves across the world was the basketball one. The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character, said the VO, linking it to the ‘Made of More’ tag line. A new campaign for Guinness is also being talked about in trade and other media across the world. The ad features the ‘Sapeurs’, (Society of elegant persons of the Congo’), a group of humble and refined people from Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo.

Agency: AMV BBDO, London.

When I first saw the ad, I thought it was just a bunch of actors changing costume and doing a dance gig (the cliched before-after transformation) and just having a good time. And then I read about the approach:

Guinness follows the Sapeurs, whose way of life is a testament to the belief of putting more in, to get more out. Their life is not defined by occupation or wealth, but by respect, a moral code and an inspirational display of flair and creativity. This is demonstrated through their love of stylish dressing; but it is not the fabric or cost of the suit that counts, it is the worth of the man inside it.

I loved the line in the ad: ‘In life you cannot always choose what you do. But you can always choose who you are’.

Sapeurs  La SAPE  in the Congo – A New GUINNESS Campaign for 2014

The ad works because it drives home the brand promise, had repeat value and makes you think about the deeper message: it is not just about style, but about integrity and character. And ordinary folks inspiring us to do more.

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