Guinness Africa – #MadeofBlack - (2014) (UK)

 
 

Guinness Africa – #MadeofBlack - (2014) (UK)

Guinness explode on the African continents market with this ad, that features talent from Lagos, Accra and Cape Town all the way to Nairobi, Gaborone and Johannesburg picked to express what "made of black" means. It's funny that a European aired Guinness effort, showing the Sapeurs / Elegant Persons in Congo felt more African than this does. On paper, I get it: "Black is not a colour. Black is an attitude. It’s a mindset, it’s a way of life. Black represents the best of Africa. People who are Made of Black are people who are Made of More." And visually, it's stunning with the vivid colors, the gravity-defying dance-moves, the edit and avant garde font. But, honestly now, this feels like a bunch of westerners somewhere in a rainy city trying to express "African" with the help of an American hip-hop song. I mean, Kanye is the soundtrack - a man living in Hollywood hills, what does he know about Africa? What's the matter, were Spoek Mathambo, Just a Band, Muthoni The Drummer Queen and countless other talents on the massive continent busy? I'm not African, but I've at least been there (and my family has lived in west Africa), and I know that attempting to speak to an entire continent with vastly different nationalities, is going to be hard. But boiling it down to the old "dancing black man" and bright colors routine also made it a tad insulting - which is all we see in this edit. Made of black has to be more than just your standard surface, because just like Africa, Guinness itself runs deeper and more complex than just the color of the stout.

Conclusion, pretty as hell, but vapid and pandering. Sheesh, you chose Kanye? What were you thinking? Black says why not? Did this just turn into a Diesel ad?

See the creative people that are #madefromblack DJ Steloo, Bee Diamondhead, the pantsula dancers, the Botswana bikers.

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

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Comments

Guinness, this is absolutely horrible. Way to be offensive and one note definers of black people. Perhaps next time hire a director and creative team that has any semblance of cultural sensitivity.

The short clips of the artists, dancers, subculture celebs are FAR more interesting than the main edit of the ad. The interactive "upload your selfies & show us what your made of" is the usual blaha, and so far I see only one actual person has uploaded their selfie. The Hashtag #MadeofBlack however, is crowded by people declaring their pride, shouting out to their favorit artists and just randomly tweeting. At least 50% of the tag is coming from people who are on the continent of Africa too, it trended in Ghana for two days straight.

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