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Monday, April 04, 2011

The best design disrupts

TBWA describe disruption as "a tool for change and an agent of growth: a working methodology and a life view philosophy."

Disruption is doing something different, taking what is known and what is expected and turning that on its head to create something controversial, the unexpected.
Guinness's Surfer advert is a perfect example of disruption. They have created one of the most famous advertisements in history and not once do you see the product. This is revolutionary it breaks the mould of the traditional cliche low angle shots of an icy cold beer, or watching beer being poured from the tap, as it smoothly washes into the glass. Guinness combines various historical concepts, from the story of Moby Dick to the Roman god Neptune.

 The Guinness ad plays around the concept of time, having patience. It takes 2 minutes to pour, a long time to wait for a beverage. This is worth it though "tick followed tock followed tick followed tock..." Onomatopoeic words of time passing this pumping of adrenaline, the delay for the dream ale. One man holds out, the other sailors return to the bar. It's all about waiting, for that perfect moment, the moment you can catch the almighty Moby dick.
The advert appeals to men in their middle ages, delivering the excitement, youthful fun. A feeling of adrenaline rushing is created by the beat of the drum, it becomes stronger and more powerful as time ticks on.  A metaphor for what happens to the drink.

Use of white horses as symbolic imagery for the rolling white waves. As Neptune races to the shore, ride with him or be knocked off with a crushing blow. The black and white film suggests a history, its been around, the drink itself is patient. Everything becomes exaggerated to emphasise the message "good things come to those who..." , horses become giant as does the wave, displayed as a miniature tsunami. Notice how the birds eye shot of the wave appears as the fin of a whale reinforcing its connection to Moby Dick.

The disruptive breaks down the barrier of the cliche and the obvious, Guinness have taken historical references and transformed them into a metaphoric narrative of waiting for your drink to be poured. It captures your imagination, turning a negative aspect of time passing into a positive. Advertisments and branding creates chaos at every turn perhaps the only place we can escape is the safe confinements of our minds. Every now and then an ad will creep through, deep into your subconscious, the only way to achieve that is to disrupt, to take something completely unconventional and put it into the context of your audience.


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