I recently came across an incredibly moving commercial on a TED blog post called “Ads Worth Spreading”. Out of the ten well-done ads featured on the TED blog, my favorite was “Friendship” for Guinness.
I loved how the ad juxtaposed stirring music to rough visuals of grown men sweating and wheels chair crashing, almost as if the viewer knows that there is more to the story than just men intensely focused on their game. The announcer does not speak until more than halfway through the ad, which builds upon the already intense emotions of the basketball game. The ad’s heartwarming message about the choices we make for friendship and brand’s values/image is seamlessly tied together by the message about one’s choices about loyalty and friends are what reveal the true nature of our character.
According to Ace Metrix, the spot was the most effective TV beer spot during the third quarter of 2013. I encourage you to check the ad out for yourself, you may experience some different emotions than I did!
Yet, with any widely talked about brand communication, there always seems to be backlash. According to AdWeek, there was some initial backlash from paraplegic activists about the commercial’s portrayal of people in wheelchairs. These activists were unhappy with what they felt the ad alienated people in wheelchairs by making them seem as though they were “lesser” men that needed other people to conform to their way of playing basketball.
So Loyola, how do you feel about this ad? I loved the commercials use of music, visuals, sound effects, voiceover, and all around heartwarming message about friendship. On the other hand, I can see the point that the unhappy activists were making about the ad’s portrayal of the man in the wheel chair as pity, rather than solidarity between bros.
Do you think the ad is making an offensive comment about people in wheelchairs? Or, like me, do you believe that the point is more about friendship and eliminating differences between friends, sports, and bonding time over beer?
Basketball | Ads Worth Spreading | Watch | TED. (2013, November 29). Retrieved October 24, 2014.
Heine, C. (2013, October 3). Guinness’ Wheelchair Basketball Ad Spun Circles Around Competitors in Q3. Retrieved October 24, 2014.