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Rutger Hauer Guinness adverts: story-telling and entertaining content

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I revisited the Guinness adverts that ran in the UK during the 1980s and 1990s featuring Rutger Hauer. Revisiting these adverts emphasised to me that, contrary to what PRs may believe they are not the only people who are great at creating content and story-telling. (If we’re honest about it advertisers having been producing great stories since Procter & Gamble staged the first radio soap operas in the US during the early 20th century).

The adverts have a logical progression and get to put over the product benefits of Guinness, and respond to the critics at the time who thought that it was pretentious rubbish. One has to remember, prior to these adverts, Guinness was an old man’s drink.

Finally, if you had asked anyone back then what kind of job Hauer’s character’s dress would have worked in, you would have heard creative director or an architect mentioned. So in essence you have the creative speaking directly to the target audience, bonding with them by alienating other audiences and having a dialogue as part of an ‘exclusive club’ who got it. Then there is the semiotics of the outfit. Hauer’s character is the human personification of a pint of Guinness, the blond top with black trousers and frock coat.