A few months ago, Guinness, the popular beer brand, aired a commercial that has some people arguing in what has been a relatively quiet controversy. For those that have not yet seen the commercial, it shows a game of wheelchair basketball.
This is not typical game; the men playing are colliding with one another and being extremely competitive. Just watching makes you want to sweat.
In the end, we find that all of the men are able to get up from their wheelchairs and walk without any hindrance—all except one man.
The story here, of course, is that these stand-up guys were doing what they could to spend time with their handicapped friend. The clip really is touching at sweet at first glance. However, there is a bit of confusion when the viewer finds out that the commercial was for beer.
This has many people wondering if Guinness is really just using people the handicaps of others to promote their product. Perhaps, this side argues, Guinness wants to establish itself as a classy beer—the beer that is drank by men that have a bigger heart than those that are drinking its competition.
With so many organizations keeping an eye out for the rights of particular groups, a commercial like this is bound to raise some eyebrows. It really all comes down to the context of it. Simply placing your brand name at the end of such a powerful commercial is seen as some as cheap and exploitive.
Of course, without the Guinness logo and branding at the end, the commercial is a perfect representation of friendship. It was such a powerful and popular commercial that it went viral online very quickly and was even featured on The Huffington Post.
So what do you think? Are some people right to be upset by the structure and approach of the commercial or is this becoming a big deal based on a company’s efforts to make a touching commercial with an important message?