AMV BBDO Attempts to Define ‘Black’ for Guinness Africa

By Erik Oster 

AMV BBDO, London has a new spot for Guiness Africa entitled “Made of Black” that gets a little awkward.

Well intentioned as it may have been, the spot comes across as a bit tone deaf, homogenizing a continent of diverse cultural groups with the term “black,” because that’s also the color of Guinness. Opening with the question “What is black?,” lines like “Black is an attitude” and “Black got swag” come across as either pandering or condescending. (Several YouTube commenters even go as far as to call the spot racist.) Add to that the poor soundtrack selection of Kanye West (why would you not select an African artist in a spot that supposedly celebrates Africa?) and you’ve got quite the headscratcher. To be fair, the spot’s visuals are quite impressive, but somehow we don’t think that’s what people are going to be talking about.



Client: Guinness Africa
Agency: AMV BBDO, London
Creative Director: Mike Schalit
Creatives: Mike Sutherland, Antony Nelson
Production Company: Rogue Films
Director: Sam Brown
Postproduction: The Mill
Editorial: Final Cut
Editor: Amanda James