Cannes Lions


AMV BBDO, London / GUINESS UDV / 2021






Guinness Clear is what can happen when you treat responsible drinking responsibly.

As a leading beer brand, Guinness is committed to ensuring our products are enjoyed responsibly.

The landscape of responsible drinking campaigns seemed somewhat half-hearted; treated as a pause in the fun or an afterthought at the creative party. We needed a fresh approach.

Imagine this: it’s late November 2018 and Guinness pulls off an audacious bid landing a 6-year deal to sponsor the Six Nations.

It was the ideal moment to make our mark – during the Six Nations, our biggest sales peak of the year, when drinking usually goes up, not down.

If you’ve been to a pub in Great Britain or Ireland during the Six Nations, you’ll know this was never going to be easy.

Both countries have strong beer-drinking cultures.

During sporting events we can drink up to 50% more than on a standard day.

People get caught up in the revelry, underestimating the volume of alcohol actually consumed.

While most understood the downsides of problem drinking, no one wanted to fall out of the pack or out of sync with their mates ordering rounds of drinks throughout the match.

They don’t want to look like they can’t keep up or be separated from the group and are generally too embarrassed to order anything non-alcoholic.

But having the confidence to carve your own path is at the very heart of Made of More, so our first strategic intervention was turning our celebration of ‘more’ on its head with the thought ‘Sometimes less is more’.

But telling them to drink less wasn’t enough: we needed a real-world intervention.

A proven (and practical) way to moderate alcohol intake is to consume water.

The benefits are numerous as it hydrates and provides a chance to pause between drinks.

The players stopped for water during the match: why couldn’t we observe the same practice off the field?

We needed to turn water into something everyone would enjoy and even be proud to order at the bar.

We rebranded ordinary tap water as an exciting new drink: Guinness Clear.

We leaned heavily on our trademark humour and wit.

This cool ‘new’ product would turn ordering water from an embarrassing bar call to an enjoyable one.

We promoted it just like a beer.

Our film advertising had all the high production values you’d expect from a beer ad – and parodied the clichés of Guinness advertising.

We continued the parody theme with social content showing how to master the Guinness Clear two-part pour (at home and in the pub), with sampling events and celebrity endorsement.

The team captains and legendary figures from the game endorsed Guinness Clear in social media and on film, in a brand partnership with the UK and Ireland’s most popular media outlet, The Sun.

Film advertising appeared on national TV and social media.

Print advertising appeared in national newspapers.

Meanwhile, sampling at games and designated Hydration Stations enabled fans to get their first taste of Guinness Clear.

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