Guinness, “Man Hug”

Gearing up for St. Patty’s, Guinness’s latest campaign aims to school the less socially adept among its male clientele on the basic interactions they might be required to perform while out drinking on what it dubs “the friendliest day of the year.” This “Man Hug” spot, cut by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, focuses on the “’A’ frame” embrace, whereby the two dudes assume an awkward posteriors-out posture to ensure ample clearance between their respective junk. (Other ads in the series offer pointers on how to smile and strike up chats with strangers). The commercial doesn’t do much to push the beer for the holiday—for Ireland’s most iconic brand, it doesn’t really have to. Instead, it basically pokes fun at stereotypes about guys’ aversions to contact with other guys, including a warning to “never nuzzle or smell another man’s hair.” But it has drawn fire from some gay-issues advocates who suggest it reinforces homophobia—a familiar pitfall for beer marketers.
—Gabriel Beltrone

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