By celebrating its Irish roots, Guinness subtly sails into the mystic with "In Pursuit of More," a campaign that bows with this 90-second spot from Philadelphia agency Quaker City Mercantile.
St. James's Gate, the brand's 255-year-old Dublin brewery, is the inspiration for a meditation on its heritage. We learn something of its history, meet current employees and get a feel for the brewing process. "We're only 255 years into a 9,000-year lease," Irish actor Cillian Murphy says in a lilting, raspy voiceover. "We have a lot more beer to make."
In fact, the lease is no longer valid, as Guinness purchased its Dublin site long ago. Even so, that historical detail fits the overall thrust of this broadcast and online initiative. Developed mainly for the U.K. and Ireland, with more short films to follow, the work creates a timeless, almost mythical aura around the brand.
"We felt it was time to open the gates and let the world see the people who make our beer special," says Guinness marketing director Stephen O'Kelly. Fair enough. But Philip Montgomery's smooth direction, with visuals that are muted, gauzy, and at times slightly over-bright, give the piece an ethereal, quasi-spiritual vibe.
This vibe resonates even during some of the clip's most commonplace scenes. For example, the spot opens with a guy cycling to work at the brewery. As a moody piano piece by Alain Francois Bernard plays in the background, he turns down a narrow cobblestone street—it resembles a tunnel—and rides up to St. James's Gate. The huge doors are dark and imposing, like freshly pulled pints of Guinness stout. As he slips inside, it's no stretch to imagine he's entered a holy place where past, present and future blend into a heady brew.
What could be more on brand for a company emphasizing its ties to Ireland, the land of legends and strong beliefs, and particularly for Guinness, which has a devout cult following worldwide?