This Crazy, GIF-Filled Beer Ad Pleads for a Break From the Insanity of GIFs

A pause in the endless cycle

Are GIFs a major problem in the world? Probably not. But Argentinian beer brand Brahma urges its fans to break the cycle of repetition in a literally loopy ad from agency Santo and director Armando Bo (the Oscar-winning writer of Birdman).

The spot opens with GIF-like looping footage of a man being kicked in the face by a horse. The repeated blows seem to knock some sense into the guy, though—after the third kick, he stays on the ground, avoiding a fourth pummeling. After miraculously breaking out of the loop, he surveys the scene around him—people everywhere are caught in GIF loops—and wonders aloud if it isn’t time to do something more productive than living life on repeat.

Check out the full spot here:

Brahma isn’t the first alcoholic beverage to latch on to this idea. In June, rum brand Bacardi and BBDO New York gave us “Break Free,” in which an entire Caribbean town was trapped in a similar digital loop—the endless back-and-forth of Instagram’s Boomerang clips. It’s also hardly the first video ad to include GIFs; that’s been happening for years.

The idea of an alcohol brand helping you break out of your boring routine is nothing new, either. It’s been the theme of thousands of commercials. This is just the digital world’s version of it. And if it’s a bit muddled conceptually—no one is caught in a GIF in real life, that we know of, and having GIF characters break free within a fictional world is pretty esoteric for a beer ad—the spot is eye-catching and weird enough to command attention.

It helps that they go Bo involved. Along with his Hollywood bona fides, he has a brief but proven record in advertising, having directed Lifeline, a 30-minute thriller for Qualcomm starring Olivia Munn, which topped the Branded Entertainment contest at The One Show this year.

Client: AB InBev
Product: Brahma
Agency: Santo
CCO: Maxi Itzkoff y Pablo Minces
DGC: Ariel Serkin, Juan Pablo Lufrano y Rafa Santamarina
CD: Juan Ignacio Etchanique
Production: Rebolución
Directors: Armando Bo and Sebastián López