Guinness Long Form Ad Home Nations Rugby Storytelling

November’s autumn internationals see Guinness kick off its home nations rugby campaign led by a set of four short films about inspirational figures – one from each country – running under the brand’s ongoing umbrella ‘Made Of More’ big idea.


Guinness sponsors all the home nations’ rugby unions and each ad in the campaign celebrates a totemic character or a heroic performance from one of the home nations – England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales – via a long form storytelling.


Interestingly, the English spot focuses on France’s love and admiration for Jonny Wilkinson (and his humility)


‘Merci’ is an unscripted film, with 240,000 YouTube views to date, exploring how humility and determination can win the hearts of nations.



The Scottish film tells the tale of legend Bill McLaren and revolves around how he was forced to give up the game after catching tuberculosis but his love and passion for rugby drove him to become perhaps its most celebrated commentator.


‘Irrepressible Spirit’, with 226,000 YouTube views to date, features the irrepressible spirit of the ‘voice of rugby’ AND SHOWS that it is not the misfortune we are dealt – but how we face it – that really counts.


The Bill McLaren Foundation was also involved in shooting the film.



The ‘Mind Over Matter’ Welsh commercial, with 250,000 YouTube views to date, features Shane Williams and aims to prove that there are far greater qualities a man can possess than just physical ones. With determination, character and ambition, anything is possible no matter what the doubters say.



The ‘David & Goliath’ Irish spot, with 452,000 YouTube vies to date, revolves around the famed 1978 Munster rugby team and tells of one of the greatest stories of Irish rugby and reminds us what can be achieved when we choose to defy expectations.



Working with agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, the films began airing on UK TV from 5 November.


The campaign was written by Nicholas Hulley, art directed by Nadja Lossgott, and directed by Dan Maslen and John X Carey via Rogue and John Doris.


The films front what is Guinness’s biggest Autumn International campaign thus far and are supported by below-the-line activity in around UK 3,000 pubs, plus heavy investment in outdoor activity and events at outlets around tournament stadiums Stadia.


Indeed, 30 key outlets have been selected for enhanced experiential activation, ranging from 25ft+ rugby posts at Twickenham to 50ft Guinness Domes in Murrayfield.


Guinness is also working with Matchpint and operating in over 500 on trade venues nationwide to provide consumers/fans who sign up and share their details the opportunity to receive a free pint of Guinness.




Storytelling through long-form ads is certainly en vogue in contemporary sponsorship activation – as illustrated last month by the avalanche of lengthy films leveraging LeBron James’ basketball homecoming (see previous case study).


The objective behind this set of Guinness stories is to drive fan passion around the new international season and act as a rally call for fans of each country.


‘We have a long and proud association with rugby,’ explains Guinness’ Western Europe marketing director Stephen O’Kelly.


‘These stories demonstrate the inspirational character and integrity that is central to the sport and the values of the Guinness brand.’


With Ireland leading thus far in the YouTube Views competition, could this be a sign for the upcoming 6 Nations Tournament?



Guinness Website



Guinness Facebook:



Guinness Twitter:



Guinness YouTube:






Scottish Rugby Union



Welsh Rugby Union



Irish Rugby Union



Featured Showcases