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Guinness - Horses and surfers

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16 Reviews

Former pop video director Jonathan Glazer created this modern masterpiece combining horses jumping through waves with human surfers, while tick followed tock followed tick followed tock.

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    16 Reviews
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      07.05.2008 20:57

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      The best advert i have ever seen in my entire life. This advert is in black and white which is infact the coulour of the guinness and the white horses represents the white creamy part in the top of the guinness.

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      12.08.2002 22:52

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      I feel this is one of the best adverts ever broadcast in my lifetime guinness have succeded again - Advantages: Brilliant - Disadvantages: there r no

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      20.04.2001 06:36
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      Flushed with success from both the general public (to whit, the winner of the 100 best ads) and critical acclaim from advertising colleagues, Jonathan Glazer has obviously been given free rein on the new Guiness advert to allow his artistic licence to spiral completely out of control. The latest advert with its dreamworld of drinking squirrels and climbing over crowds to look into peepholes is so laughably pretentious and derivative that Glazer should be brought swiftly to heel. Simply because you have made a couple of semi decent pop videos and a good advert does not turn you into Orson Welles so get back to promoting the product and lets have less of this nonsense on our screens.

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        09.03.2001 15:17
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        I dont drink guiness but if any advert has ever made me want to buy the advertised item this is it. This is such an eye grabbing advertisement. It is nothing like the usual ones you see and then forget and know that they were made on the cheap. I dont know how this advertisement with the horses and surfers were done but I certainly stop what I am doing to watch it. It is the best advertisement at the moment. I hope one day that they do a poster of it as I for one would certainly buy it. It is known that some advertisements are better to watch than programmes and this definately falls into that category. Well done Guiness and I certainly look forward to the next one.

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          07.02.2001 11:00

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          What is wrong with me!!! I should love this advert, it has powerful music, powerful visuals. And it actualy has meaning. Ok so its quite obvious in your face meaning but its there and its powerful. Yet at the same time I don't think it deserved to be award winning. Its hard to be cirtain if it had that special something or not. But if I am unsure if it had it, then clearly it did not. To some extent it was killed by being shown in the cinema and on TV ad-infinitum. I also disliked the commentary they gave it. Regardless of the fact it doesn't echo quite the right sentiment (acting on ones hatred to the detriment of everything else), it just wasn't nessisary. Do I hate this advert, because everyone else likes it? Is liking too mainstream, do I now feel I have to hate it to be different? Do I like to hate it? Ultimately though, I just saw it too often and that spoiled my enjoyment. The same reason I can no longer listen to Catatonia is the same reason I can no longer watch this ad.

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          03.02.2001 00:17
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          This advert was rated as the best advert ever on Graham Norton's TV ads on channel 4 (uk), and, if you ask me, it deserved it because this advert somehow manages to pack lots of emotion into a pint of beer. The special effects of the horses jumping in the waves are stunning, when I first saw this advert I thought that it was a trailer for a film, it was that good! The makers of the advert did actually time how long it took for every drop of guinness to drop into the glass and this is where they get thier slogan from, 'Good things come to those who wait' The backing music to this advert goes extremely well with the visuals, the advert is one of the best.

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            21.01.2001 06:13
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            Guinness - Horses and Surfers [Background: Channel 4 has recently been running a series of compilation programmes on a Saturday night. There have now been a number of programmes looking at a range of topics from the top 100 number one singles to the top 100 TV programmes. The most recent show, hosted by Graham Norton, featured the top 100 TV adverts, as voted for by you, the general public. Not surprisingly, this masterpiece topped the poll] Sometimes, television commercials have the ability to touch the viewer in a way no programme is able to. A television programme is usually at least thirty minutes long and has to retain the attention of the viewer during that time. An advert, on the other hand, has only thirty seconds to capture the imagination of its audience. Many adverts do this admirably, and as a result pay for themselves many times over with the increased revenue that result from additional sales via increased recognition. Many of course do not succeed in this regard, and are unable to have as significant an effect on the general public. We can all cite adverts that we enjoy, or that perhaps made us want to try a product, but it is a rare event for an advert to be viewed as anything more than that. The Guinness 'Horses and Surfers' advert, however, does just that. Taking a simple theme - namely that the best things are worth waiting for ie: the 119.5 seconds that it takes to pour a pint of Guinness, and then for it to settle, director Jonathan Glazer uses the medium of the television commercial to display all his artistic prowess. Also known for his radical and thought provoking music videos, for the likes of Jamiroquai and Radiohead, Glazer has produced a masterpiece for Guinness. Filmed in black and white, rather appropriately considering the product, it features a group of surfers, and the clever use of photography effects to show white horses jumping over the 40ft waves. The analogy
            is made between the wait for a perfect wave, and the wait for a pint of Guinness. The music, 'Phat Planet' by Leftfield, only adds to the overall effect, with its driving beat pulsating through the course of the commercial. The only lull is a dramatic silence towards the end, which is then broken by a continuation of an even stronger beat. The secret of this commerical is that the effects are so dramatic that you almost forget it is an advert, and allow yourself to get caught up in the sheer wonder of the event. However, in pure advertising terms, for me anyway, it has failed. I do not drink any more Guinness now than I used to. In fact I despise the drink - give me lager any day of the week. Rest assured though that sales of Guinness in totality will have benefitted dramatically over the past couple of years thanks to Glazer's directorial work on this piece. In many ways this opinion, or any other on this subject, cannot really describe effectively the beauty and sheer power of this short piece of film. So if you haven't yet seen Horses and Surfers, which is unlikely considering its wide exposure, then I suggest you keep an eye out for it in the near future. {An original Dooyoo opinion © Blackjane 2001}

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              14.10.2000 22:11
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              Just what is supposed to be so good about this stupid advert.. it's just not that good.. it doesn't have the camp brilliance of the Shake and Vac one, or the Ferrero Rocher one, nor does it have the comedy essence of the Budweiser ones, or even the madness of the Smash adverts! So what 's so good about it, and why was it voted number 1 advert in a recent poll, ahead of tonnes of my favourites.. I just don't get it.. perhaps all the people who voted live by the sea, or are surfers or something... I'm completely perplexed! And it's far too long for my liking.. ads should be short and punchy, otherwise they end up like those american infomercials, and have to flash up "this is an advert" every few minutes! On the other hand, it has been very successful, so in that case, at least it's done it's job well, even if I can't abide it at all.

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                10.10.2000 02:45
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                Tick Followed Tock Followed Tick Followed Tock Followed Tick. The sound of a clock. I don't really know why the sound of a clock is being spoken, and I'm not really sure why the men are racing the horses out of the sea, if anyone wants to tell me you can write it in a commentary, but as usual this advert shows that, quote, "Good things come to those who....wait." I don't think this advert is amazinngly good, mainly because I don't get it. I prefer the one with the swimmer Macko racing against the pint.

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                  03.10.2000 04:53
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                  One of the best TV adverts I have seen in a long time. The impact of this short video clip was amazing. Friends were asking if I had seen it. I think the sheer simplicity of the horses, waves and surfers was what really made this work. In an age when everything is hi-tech, bright, glitzy,and overstated, this advert made a refreshing change. The black and white video and the foaming waves suggested Guinness (even to non Guinness drinkers.) It's certainly a work of art. I could watch it over and over again.

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                  03.09.2000 18:47
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                  Boom-ba-boom-boom-ba-boom-boom...It's a really catchy sample from Leftfield's 'Phat Planet', that simple bass rhythm drives into your head and doesn't come out for a while. The ad's narration probably doesn't mean anything really, but it sounds good. That and the bass line provides the perfect soundtrack atmosphere for the visuals (recorded in some variation of sepia, I think). Men surfing, one of them with a look of determination and bulldog spirit in his face - and the shot merges into white horses amongst a crescendo of water, and the men return to land, and the end of the ad, the legend-sounding ends, and the bass sample mutes down, as it dissapears, just promoting the Guinness name at the end. An arty and simple ad that's not wholely clustered by it's marketing purpose, which is rather amazing. A work of art, pure genius - like it's product, I presume.

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                    30.08.2000 08:30
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                    I've only just noticed that dooyoo has a category for TV Adverts, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to throw in my two cents, since it affords me the opportunity to criticise that most banal of the visual media, the advertisement. Having said that, there is occasionally the odd surprise which entertains and impresses, in addition to forcing a corporate logo into my subconscious. The Guinness "Horses and Surfers" ad was certainly one of them. The advertisement opens with a shot of a surfer's face, with his eyes pointing in different directions. The first line of monologue; "He waits. That's what he does. And I'll tell you what: tick followed tock followed tick followed tock followed tick...", accompanies a nine second shot of the man's face, before the harsh bassline of Leftfield's 'Phat Planet' kicks in. The camera cuts to show the surfer and three others rushing toward the sea. In the following 51 seconds, we are shown forty-eight frenetically cut shots of the four surfers fighting against a mighty wave - the wave that they've waited for all their lives. Upon this wave, we see a line of Lippizaner stallions composited by computer into the froth, a scene inspired by a painting by Delacroix. We see each of the surfers thrown from their boards, but only one man conquers it. The final moment of the advertisement is gloriously silent, in stark contrast to the booming Leftfield rhythm, as the other surfers rush over to congratulate the conquering hero. The monologue at the beginning and end of the advert is inspired by several works - James Joyce's 'The Portrat of the Artist as a Young Man', Dylan Thomas's 'Under Milk Wood' and Herman Melville's 'Moby Dick'. Many incorrectly attribute the text to 'Moby Dick' because of the "Here's to you, Ahab" line. The surfers were cast by the advert's d
                    irector, Jonathan Glazer, from authentic surfers from Polynesia. Certainly, to look at, the advertisement is undeniably impressive, featuring some impressive effects, especially in the composite of the horses with the surf of the waves. The advert is also very well cut - it's impressive to see how well the very rapid cuts work, alongside the long and lingering shot of a single subject at the beginning of the advert. But overwhelmingly, the ad is pretty hollow. It is, after all, just an advert aimed at making you think about a product. However, even in this regard, I'm not sure it succeeds. The connection to the product is tenuous at best - you have to wait for a pint of Guinness to settle, much as the Polynesian surfers have had to wait many years for this perfect wave. At the time that the advert first appeared on our screens, I'm pretty sure that when people talked about it, they couldn't even remember what the product was. It was only the subsequent saturation repetition of the advert that made people remember it. (Actually, now I think about it, the advert is in black and white, much as the drink is black with a white head... I suppose that's another connection to the product). I definitely applaud the degree of thought and design that's gone into the advert, but personally I'm quite sick of it now. I think this is mainly because the advert was shown so very much, but also because I was really never that inspired by the idea. Obviously, I appreciate that this is merely personal taste, but I didn't feel that the idea was really that original, nor that compelling. The rapid cutting and stark imagery seemed deliberately targetted at attracting the viewer's attention, and this triggered my natural response to rebel, and ignore it... The advert was voted the best advertisement of all time by readers of the Sunday Times and Channel 4 viewers in a poll in early 2000. One Sunday Times critic said it
                    was "the most beautiful and powerful piece of film on our screens", and the advertising magazine Campaign orgasmed that the ad was "the most gloriously beautiful ad. Ever". [Wow, who'd have thought I could have written this much on an advert!]

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                      27.08.2000 18:50
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                      It is estimated that Guiness spends the most on actually making their adverts, but it shows as they produce the best. Following the brilliant one when you see that old man swimming to the coast and back again before the perfect pint and been poured. This advert is equally brilliant and it puts other adverts to shame, like rubbish ones like that Homebase one. The basic premise of the advert is that the man is waiting for the perfect wave to surf on, he just not settle for second best, he waits for the best. While surfing whe waves merge into horses (Not sea-horses, hehe) and it finishes with the men celebrating the perfect wave. Another thing that makes the Guiness adverts so good, is the coice of music to go with them. And this is an inspired choice, a great track that has to be heard. As it thumps alongs, it has great beat to it. And this advert is truely better than many of the programmes that are shown on television. And they should take note, as you are never going to forget this advert.

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                        27.08.2000 03:56
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                        Well a wonderful drink and a wonderful advert. This is actually a strangely inspiring advert and the first time I saw it didn’t really understand it, however I now recognise it as a masterpiece. Simple scripting in ‘He wait’s..that's what he does’ and the whole ‘Tick followed Tock’ is excellent. I’m not even sure why this conjures any emotion in me, but it does, especially with the visual representations and the music. The music is brilliant matching the emotion from the speech and the images, however I’m afraid I couldn’t tell you who wrote it. The whole advert is in shades of white and black (obviously working with the whole Guiness and it’s head malarkey) imagery works wonders, as mentioned before it couldn’t work in colour. The horses stick in my mind, representing the power of the waves and how the surfer rides them. Ahh I can’t describe it, it’s worth watching even though it’s just an advert.

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                        27.08.2000 03:23
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                        In the words of the product in question, this advert is 'Pure Genius'. The use of white horses really is a touch of simplistic genius. The white tops of waves are known as 'white horses' and to replace these in the advert with real white horses is so simple it is brilliant. The effect is absolutely stunning, something that any Holywood director would be proud of. I don't really watch too much TV in general, but it is always on in the background. Each time this advert comes on I stop what I am doing and watch it. Most adverts are so short that after you have seen them a few times you start to get fed-up with them. Not the white horses ad though, this is one that I will never ever tire of. I can't actually remember ever seeing a bad Guinness advert. I remember reading somewhere that they use Sachi & Sachi (sp?) for their ads. If this is the case it must cost a fortune, but it is well worth it. When I was in Ireland recently I noticed a new Guinness product - a white 'wheat beer' called Breo. I tried it and must admit that I didn't really like it, but I am eagerly awaiting its arrival in Britain ... because we should be in for another advertising treat.

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