Guinness Penguins are Best Mates For Life

Guinness this year attracted the attention of the Irish with a television commercial featuring Emperor Penguins. In time, the advertisement has gained the attention of animal rights activists, concerned about the plight of the Argentina-based penguin actors. The Guinness Penguins ad opens with a shot of a night time scene in Antarctica. The Aurora Australis swirls as the stars in the Southern sky twinkle. Emperor penguins march across the pack ice. Two penguins take a detour across more hazardous terrain. When they reach the sea it looks as though one has pushed the other into the path of an orca (killer whale). The voiceover: “The amazing thing about penguins is that when a penguin chooses a mate, a best mate, they stay together for life.

Penguins find their way in Guinness TV ad

Penguins escape from an orca

Both penguins swim together through the water and burst out onto the ice. As the sun sets the two penguins waddle into a bar to join others of their kind, listening to the song, “Accentuate the Positive”. They greet another couple who are standing by their glasses of wine. But it’s Guinness for the two best mates. The joke at the end is that the one who was going to pay for the Guinness can’t find his wallet. The super: “Knowing What Matters.” Click on the image below to play the video.


The Guinness Penguin spot was created at Irish International BBDO, Dublin, by creatives Malcolm Stevenson, Rory Hamilton, Jonathon Cullen, with producer Noel Blyne.

Filming was directed by Lynn Fox, the directing trio from Blink Productions, London, with producer Nick Glendinning.

Editing was done by Sam Sneade at Speade.

Post production was done at The Mill, London, by producer Liz Browne, colourist Paul Harrison, Lead Flame artist Gile Cheetham, Flame artist Gareth Brannan, 3D producer Miles Petit, 3D artists Hitesh Patel, Kevin Rooney, James Sindle, Laurent Makowski, Guy van der Walt, Ed Boldero, Chris Rabert, Alex Jenyon and Josh Fourt-Wells.

Animal Defenders International have expressed concern that penguins can be subject to harsh training regimes to perform in a commercial environment. Denise Murphy from Diageo Customer Relations explained that most of the penguin action in the spot was created using CGI, based on filming of penguins natural behaviour at Mar Del Plata Aquarium in Argentina. ADI in turn points to reports that Mar Del Plata Aquarium use dolphins and whales for commercial entertainment.

Penguins at the bar in Guinness TV ad