Analysis of The Guinness Advertising
Praised by the media industry, described as "the most beautiful and
powerful piece of film on our screens," and voted greatest television
advert of all time. The Guinness advert achieved this kind of status
soon after it hit our screens in 2000.
Guinness ads, clever and flashy as they usually are have out done
themselves again with this incredible piece of footage. Its
provocative speech, together with the carefully designed filming
techniques compels the audience from beginning to end.
It opens with a close up of a man's face. For nine long seconds, all
you can do is look at him, gaze into his eyes and wonder why he's just
standing there, what he's going to do, and why he doesn't speak. This
draws you in, you sit, captivated as the wind ruffles his toilet
brush-like hair. Then, from the silence come the words "he waits."
You don't know how long he's been waiting for, or indeed, why he's
waiting at all, but you guess he's been there a long time. Three more
men appear, each clasping a board, and the newly formed group of
surfers run flat out towards the crashing waves of the forbidding
ocean. "Tick followed tock followed tick." This further emphasises the
fact that he's waiting, and extends the time that you think he's been
waiting for, weeks, months, years we don't know. A faint pounding
grows steadily louder at this point, as the situation becomes more
desperate; I think this is supposed to symbolize the surfer's
Next is the battle with the wave, several very muscular, white horses
are introduced, this makes you even more aware of the very real danger
which the surfers are facing, and makes them seem totally
insignificant when compared to the shear size of the waves, and the
beauty and strength of the horses.
There is a vital shot when it seems that our man will not be able to
get into position. The designers have chosen to do a close up of his
face at this point to show his panic stricken expression, he's
fighting in mortal combat against the elements, and at this point he
becomes very aware of it, as do you. Ahab says: "I don't care who you
are, here's to your dream!" Making the point that this is the surfer's
greatest ambition, this is their moment. It's also encouraging you to
be the best that you can be, it doesn't matter who you are, or what
your past is, you go and there and do it. Make your dreams come true!
There are some point of view shots of the waves and horses; this makes
you able to relate to what the surfers are thinking at the time, and
it makes you feel like you're there with them, it's also quite
frightening in a way because all you can see is this confused scene
with a lot of dangerous horses and waves coming towards you. "The old
sailors return to the bar, here's to you Ahab." This made me think...