What does the latest round of Guiness (Extra Cold) adverts (a follow-up pastiche compilation of previous classic Guiness ads) suggest? That they’ve run out of ideas and are squeezing the last drops of the black stuff (not Bovril) from the damp bar cloth? Or is it an inspired celebratory reinforcement of the ideas and themes that have been tossed our way the last fifteen or so years by the marketeers?

Perhaps both in that they seem keen to signal the end of an era for the brand, possibly to culminate somehow with the fact that Guiness is no longer brewed in the UK at all – a major business change that I’m not sure regular drinkers of the stuff here will really notice. The ads on the other hand are easily noticed and indeed it’s somewhat remarkable the way the latest ones grab you with the exact single reference you would surely have placed on them (e.g. the fish on the bicycle – referring to an advert from the mid-late 90s – not a term they invented but seeing one on screen I’d be surprised if nobody instantly realised they were watching a ‘new’ Guiness ad…the image and the product becoming synonomous with each other in the process, or at least you would think that was the intention). More extraordinary is the re-appearance of Rutger Hauer who I thought was dead for some reason (probably a consequence of having done apparently nothing in the last 15 years, other than the odd ad for Irish stout…around 15 years ago).

These familiar references are enjoyable to see again though, representing the more thoughtful side of DYS thinking – a reward of sorts for those who’ve been paying attention to and enjoying the campaigns all this time, if not those who go one better by actually consuming the drink. One of the more popular adverts (‘Swimmer’ featuring the cheating brother vs the pint and effectively spawning a number one hit in ‘Mambo No 5’ has yet to be referenced as far as I’ve seen) and the ‘meaning of life’ one with the talking squirrel remain favourites here. All this enough to keep me interested (as far as ad-spotting goes) in seeing what they do next.