'Sapeurs' by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO for Guinness

Thinkboxes January/February 2014 Winner

Guinness has established an enviable reputation for its creative and filmic TV advertising, and this month’s Thinkboxes winner, “Sapeurs”, featuring the Society of Elegant Persons of the Congo, is one of its finest.

The Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO epic shows men working hard at their day jobs, from toiling in the fields to factory shifts, as the voiceover says: “In life you cannot always choose what you do, but you can choose who you are.” Once home, they wash off the day’s grime and transform, donning elegant, flamboyant outfits for a night out. These are the Sapeurs. It closes with the “Guinness: made of more” endline.

Stephen O’Kelly, Guinness marketing director for Western Europe at Diageo, says: “We chose to celebrate the Sapeurs as we felt they were a vibrant, colourful expression of the ‘Made of more’ attitude. Our creative teams are often inspired by people and places around the world. In this case, members of AMV’s team from South Africa had heard of them.

Stephen Kelly

At its core, the Sapeurs’ story is one of dignity and self-expression. We wanted to capture the story of men whose integrity and character shine through despite the challenges they face. For the Sapeurs, fine clothes stand for peace, integrity and honour.

Stephen O' Kelly Marketing Director, Guinness

 Client Guinness; Ad agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO; Creative team Nadja Lossgott/ Nicholas Hulley; Production MJZ; Director Nicolai Fuglsig

Other ads on the podium

Land Rover: Grey and pleasant (2nd)

  • Creative agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
  • Creative team Phil Forster, Tim Brookes, Jules Chalkley, Nick Simons
  • Clients Laura Schwab, Jennelle Tilling, Meghan Farren
  • Production company HLA
  • Director Simon Ratigan

Three: The ride (3rd)

  • Creative agency Wieden & Kennedy
  • Creative team Dan Norris, Ray Shaughnessy, Chris Lapham, Aaron McGurk
  • Client Lucienne Martin
  • Production companies Partizan
  • Director Traktor

Also shortlisted

Cadbury Dairy Milk: Office

  • Creative agency Fallon
  • Creative team Tom Chancellor, Elliot Harris, Cameron Mitchell, Santiago Lucero
  • Client Matthew Williams
  • Production company MJZ
  • Director Blue Source

Thomson: Simon the Ogre

  • Creative agency BMB
  • Creative team Christopher Keatinge, Dan Bennett
  • Client Jeremy Ellis
  • Production company Sonny
  • Director Fredrik Bond

A view from a Thinkbox Academy member on this month's pick

Darren Bailes

When we make TV spots, we have a duty to avoid what has been done before, to put something on the screen that viewers have never seen before. To avoid the traps and clichés of the sector.

Darren Bailes Executive Creative Director, VCCP

Click here to see who won the previous award

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