Let’s mix things up a bit. I’m actually going to take a step back this week and time-travel back to the Fourth of July. Hopefully everyone had a fantastic Independence Day, whether it was filled with cupcakes or something equally delightful. This year certainly featured its fair share of good eats and fireworks, however on top of that I noticed that along with the festivities came a slew of beer commercials to commemorate the day.
The most buzz-worthy, without a doubt, goes to Newcastle Brown Ale, whose viral campaign “If We Won” encouraged Americans to think about what would have happened if Britain had won the Revolutionary war. The campaign featured appearances from Zachary Quinto and Stephan Merhcant, and caused quiet a stir with many debating the appropriateness of Newcastle’s counter-patriotic attempt at humor (while we’re talking about Newcastle, let’s give them a shoutout for their equally funny Super Bowl commercial that never happened featuring Anna Kendrick). Despite Newcastle’s best efforts, it was another foreign beer that managed to one-up them and take home top honors for this year’s best Fourth commercial. Guinness, the legendary irish beer maker, created an emotional and powerful piece that paid tribute to those who served. The spot was very well crafted — much like their beer — and truly deserved top honors. You can watch the advert below, and as a result of it, I’ve been inspired to track down and featured some of the best beer commercials of our time.
1. Guinness ‘Empty chair’
The spot that inspired me to do this list, this powerful bit honors those who have served their nations. It ends with a touching message, “The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character”, as well as a nod to Guinness’ now iconic hastag, #MadeOfMore. It’s not a surprise that this takes the top spot; Guinness has been no stranger to terrific commercials, and recently put out an equally emotional advert featuring a game of wheelchair basketball. Be sure to watch both that commercial as well as the one below. As an added bonus, I’m going to include a short video on pouring the perfect pint as well as Conan O’Brian’s hilarious tour of the brewery.
2. Carlton Draught ‘Beer Chase’
Hailed by many as one of the top beer ads ever, the Australian brand opted for a retro vibe complete with a ‘car chase’ set to cheesy background music. The beauty of it is that of course no one is actually driving around, as both the cops and bandits have been drinking. In the end, this not only leads to a hilarious chase on foot, but also provides a great way to remind individuals not to drink and drive. Great stuff!
3. Red Stripe ‘Ugly’
There’s actually not much I can say about this one. It’s downright funny and straightforward: Red Stripe’s ugly bottle will make ugly people look beautiful. Nothing more to it, and nothing more needed.
4. Stella Artois ‘Gadgets’
Wes Anderson is no strangers to helping produce commercials, having worked with Prada and American Express. In 2010, he teamed up with Belgian beer giant Stella Artois to create this jovial little bit. Surrounded by an industry that relies heavily on humor for marketing, Wes brings a more cinematic approach along with his unique style in order to create this fun, quirky advert. It’s a breath of fresh air.
5. Bud Light ‘Swear Jar’
Yes, it’s extremely immature and childish, but it still cracks a smile. Whether or not it actually aired or was deemed too crude for TV, this bit is just simply humorous.
Bonus: Heineken ‘Walk-in Fridge”
A classic play on the contrast between girls and boys, while the women get excited over a walk-in closet, this tongue-in-cheek bit parodies that excitement when some men get excited over a walk-in fridge full of Heineken. As an added bonus and clever play on words, Heineken created a sequel feature nothing other than a “walking fridge”. Enjoy!