Friday, December 31, 2010

Guinness Dark Life (New TV Ad)

Last year Guinness produced a really cool New Year's Eve experience as part of their Guinness 250 campaign (posts here and here). In true epic form Guinness have again produced something new this year. You may have seen the new Guinness ad already in the cinema (where it went live from December 17th) but it won't be seen on tv until this evening when it will be aired in Ireland exclusively. The ad, entitled ‘Dark Life’, is all about Guinness's life and energy from its unique swirls and surges from a settling a pint of Guinness. The ad was shot in various locations including Hong Kong, Columbia and New York.

Speaking about the new ad, Head of Marketing for Guinness, Tanya Clarke said “Guinness is an iconic Irish brand that is celebrated globally and at the heart of our new ad is the idea that there is more life in the dark. Daytime scenes from around the globe are transformed by the coming of a magical liquid which brings on the night. The captivating film connects with consumers across borders and cultures.”

The Ad Storyboard:
From East Village in New York, the liquid swirl continues on a journey of vitality throughout the ad. Dark Life is unveiled as we see people gathering together in anticipation of something exciting. They begin to unite in field where they start to build a bonfire. As the stunning sky comes alive, darkness falls.

Then we see a woman happily sitting on a swing, waiting patiently as the magical liquid darkness appears. Then a couple are seen excitedly running through a field chasing the liquid darkness. We then see a flash of a steel works station on the edge of a remote town. Then quickly it pans to an urban scene where we see a train heading into the striking sky line. From there we are transported back to East Village where the young guy is seen joining his mates in a bar.

As the energy builds we are presented with a bicycle light in Hong Kong, As the camera pans out it reveals hundreds of people cycling with their lights beaming and creating a sense of occasion and togetherness. From there we are taken back to Hong Kong where a beautiful colourful light scene is formed as the day turns into night

As the liquid surge in the sky unveils magical scenes we see people celebrating and enjoying life in the dark. By the bonfire, in a field, on the busy street of Hong, all bringing to life the unique energy of the Guinness surge.

And here's the ad itself:
‘Guinness: Dark Life’

Some interesting facts about the ad:
  • The street drummer at start was found on youtube.
  • The surge effect was achieved by constructing a special tank into which pieces of wood matching the shape of buildings in the specific shot were placed. Then liquid was injected and shot at very high speed. This replicated the liquid night descending around the buildings.
  • Bicycles Scene: 75 cast members were recruited on the street. Streets cannot be closed for filming in Hong Kong, so the ad was shot around the constant busy traffic.
  • The New York Fire Department assisted by opening the fire hydrants for shooting the street dancing scene.
  • The cornfield shoot was shot through the night and only stopped shooting when dawn light prevented us from continuing.
  • The ad was shot on a traditional 35 mm film and Canon 5D. The 5D gave great freedom when shooting on the streets as it is light and easy to transport.
  • The skyline shots were all shot from the top of buildings. Over many hours the skylines were captured as darkness fell and these different exposures were then combined in post production.

Production Info:
The music track used in the ad is entitled ’10 mile stereo’ by the band Beach House. The American indie rock duo from Baltimore recently played a sold out gig in Vicar Street. Their third and latest album released this year, received positive critical and commercial reaction. Their track ’10 mile stereo’ was chosen as it “perfectly carries and enhances the magical, uplifting energy of the ad” said Irish International BBDO’s Mark Nutley.

The ad was directed by the award winning French director, Frederic Planchon and was joint production between the Guinness marketing and BBDO teams of both Ireland and Great Britain. Frederic is a prestigious French director, whose work has been recognised globally including the Masters of Advertising, where he won Director of the Year and at Cannes where he picked up a Silver Lion for Jeep Treacherous Terrain. He continues to be a prolific, and much sought after director worldwide.

Frederic Planchon about the new Guinness ad, “The different parts of the ad combine to create an atmospheric arc that starts at the end of a normal working day around the world, and culminates in a New York bar where the surging of a freshly pulled pint mirrors the urgent buzz and anticipation of a New York City night getting underway outside”.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Last Minute Shopping...

As someone who's definitely going to be doing last minute shopping I thought I'd share this...

[Press Release]
Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre has confirmed that it has extended its opening hours due to the challenging weather conditions over the last few days, to allow for some last minute Christmas shopping!

Speaking earlier today, Greg Devitt, Manager, Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre said; “The challenging weather conditions have made it very difficult for people to go about their Christmas shopping, so we have decided to extend our opening hours until 10pm tomorrow, Thursday, 23rd December, to give people the opportunity to do some last minute shopping”.

Footfall to the Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre is up 15% when compared to the same week last year, which would suggest that consumers are making a last minute dash to get their Christmas shopping done.

“Dublin City Council has worked very hard overnight to clear the footpaths in the city centre, which has made conditions underfoot much better. We look forward to welcoming last minute shoppers through the doors tomorrow and we will also be opened until 6pm on Christmas Eve”, continued Mr. Devitt.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Buzzword Bingo

I got an email today from the folks at Modea, a digital ad agency in the US, about a new app that they have just developed, Buzzword Bingo. Modea describe themselves as being different in their approach and culture, and decided to create a free app instead of a regular 'Agency Christmas Card'.

Buzzword Bingo is a free iPad app designed to
"end the workplace buzzword epidemic by turning meetings into an interactive, social game experience that allocates crucial attention toward inauthentic ad speak".

Definitely an interesting idea and something I thought worth sharing. You can find it at here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

1,000 Posts

No trumpets or fanfares but I did think it was worth a post of its own. This is the 1,000th post on Digitology. Yay! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Helena Christensen’s Top 5 Photographic Tips

At the beginning of November I posted about Baileys ‘Let’s Do This Again’ Facebook photo competition to give one fan a chance to attend a VIP party in NYC. Helena Christensen, an accomplished photographer, is the personality of the competition and photographed a day in her life as part of the campaign for Baileys. Today, I'm delighted to post Helena’s top photography tips for the competition.

Helena’s top five photographic tips are as follows:

  1. Shooting family and friends is all about capturing the natural moment, pieces of action as they happen. Staged photos and orchestrated set-ups really make people feel unsettled.
  2. Always carry a camera / camera phone etc with you - don't be scared of shooting snap shots - these are the best, in all lights and at all occasions.
  3. Don't be scared of dark lighting conditions, I love photographing people and places in dim light - just capturing the image without being too obvious, shooting in the overhead light of midday is far too harsh and you get very varied results.
  4. Mixed weather is also very cool to shoot in - the rain against the window or a dark stormy sky, you'll look back on the severe weather conditions and remember the moment instantly, it’s like listening to an evocative piece of music.
  5. Just be brave, with digital there is no pressure not to shoot - with film we always had to think about the number of shots we were going to be able to take, but don't let digital make you lazy or think less about what you are going to shoot, just because you can shoot hundreds of shots it doesn't mean you should or you need to, use your gut instinct, once you feel you have the shot, move on.

According to Helena; “Capturing these special moments on camera is very important to me, because those are the ones that stay with you forever, so to be able to look back at them for the rest of ones life is something to be grateful for and look forward to.”

The competition will give one lucky person in the Republic of Ireland the chance to attend an exclusive party in NYC co-hosted by Baileys and Helena. Facebook fans can simply upload a picture of themselves and their friends sharing special moments with Baileys onto the Baileys Facebook page before the 16th December to be in with the chance to win.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

10 Years of the Guinness Storehouse

10 years ago on 2nd December 2000 Guinness Storehouse first opened its doors to the public. Those humble beginnings weren’t all that humble either, with former US president, Bill Clinton being the first in a long line of famous faces to pay a visit. Today the Storehouse is recognised as Ireland’s No.1 visitor attraction and has received over 8 million visitors.

Managing Director, Paul Carty, speaking about the auspicious milestone, said “We are delighted to mark 10 years since we first opened our doors back in December 2000. We have welcomed millions of people from countries all over the world, and this year we were particularly delighted to see a 25% increase in Irish people coming to visit Guinness Storehouse, to learn more about their own genealogy and an important slice of Irish culture.”

Paul continued “2011 promises to be another exciting year for Guinness Storehouse as we will be undertaking a €2 million investment in a new restaurant and catering facilities on our fifth floor. We’re obviously hoping that plenty of Irish visitors also take the opportunity to come and enjoy a great meal here, accompanied by the fantastic views we have out over Dublin.” Further details of these exciting plans will be made available in the New Year.

Beyond Mr. Clinton, some of the other famous faces to make up the 8 million happy patrons that the Guinness Storehouse has enjoyed over the past decade are Chris Rock, Will Ferrell, Susan Sarandon, Dermot O’Leary, Adam Sandler, Beyonce Knowles, Pink and Sean Penn. Each of whom had the pleasure ofa complimentary pint of Guinness the Gravity Bar, the highest viewpoint of Dublin City.

Interestingly, it is estimated that in total over 7,086,142 pints of Guinness have been served up in the Gravity Bar over the ten year period.

If you’re somehow unaware, the Guinness Storehouse is a seven storey treasure trove of everything Guinness –allowing visitors to gain an understanding of why Guinness has become one of the world’s most iconic and best loved brands. For further details on Guinness Storehouse visit

Guinness Storehouse Over the past 10 years

  • Has welcomed approximately 8,336,638 visitors
  • Over 1.6 million visitors have tasted Guinness for their first time
  • Over 400,000 visitors have learned how to pour a pint of Guinness
  • The Guinness Archive has collected over 7,500 linear meters of paper records
  • Has provided nearly a quarter of a million servings of Beef & Guinness stew

General Guinness Storehouse Facts
  • General building was erected between 1902 and 1904 for use in the fermentation process
  • The building is 125 feet high, 170 feet long and 151 feet wide.
  • It would take 14.3 million pints of Guinness to fill the giant glass atrium in centre of the GUINNESS STOREHOUSE building
  • Gravity Bar is the highest bar in Dublin located 46 metres off the ground
  • The interactive genealogy pods contain the records of nearly 20,000 former Guinness Brewery employees dating back to the 1880’s.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Absolut's Drinkspiration Home Edition

About a year ago I wrote about Absolut's iPhone 'Drinkspiration' app. There was a huge amount of interest and I thought that you’d be interested to know that there is now a 'Drinkspiration Home Edition' app available exclusively for the iPad.

Where the mobile Drinkspiration was the perfect going-out bar companion, the iPad Drinkspiration app is the ideal at-home entertaining tool. With more than 3,000 drink recipes and images, six pre-installed drink collections, drink suggestions based on ingredients, a shopping list creator, social media sharing, and even 'how to' videos the home edition app is a totally inspirational resource for all party hosts and bartenders.

Fredrick Tallroth, Senior Manager Interactive Marketing, at The Absolut Company, said: "At ABSOLUT, we continuously want to make the most out of new technology, and learning to mix drinks has never been this fun. With its large high-resolution display, and multi-touch functionality, the iPad is the perfect platform for making drink mixing a social happening at the party."

Check out the app's promo video below and go here to download the app.