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Company: Diageo
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: Guinness
Ad Title: Mess
Business Category: Alcoholic Beverages
Media Outlets: Television (unaired)
Country: United Kingdom
Region: Europe
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide
Year: 1995
Target: Mainstream
Ad Spotter: Anthony Vagnoni
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Theme(s)

Same-Sex Affection

Same-Sex Couples/Families

Theme Breakdown

AdRespect Score: 
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A hunky, young guy gets ready for work, making a mess all along the way. After his bath, magazines and other articles float in the water. Selecting his clothes, he sniffs then rejects the shirt by tossing it onto the floor.

Meanwhile, a rubber-gloved hand picks up after him. As he runs out the front door, coffee cup in hand, he passes his boyfriend, whom we see for the first time, and the Tammy Wynette tune "Stand by Your Man" swells. He puts the mug atop his car and gets in as his boyfriend wearily waves goodbye, the mug clunks to the ground, and the ad closes with a glass of Guinness beer.

Artfully shot with the help of maverick California-based British producer Tony Kaye, the UK tabloid press widely reported the planned ad before it aired, to much scandal. Pubs and consumers were shocked that the traditional brand would air a gay ad.

Fearing greater backlash by straight consumers, the TV spot was ultimately dropped by Guinness. Later, the company tried to deny that this spot even existed.

"There was a desire by the agency and Guinness to have a certain ambiguity about it," Kaye told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. in 1997 about the ad he created. "So that when you watch the spot, you said, 'Well are these guys gay or not?' These guys are gay -- the storytelling, to me, needed him to give the other guy a little peck on the cheek."

When asked why the company would deny the existence of the ad he shot, Kaye offered, "Most of them have the vision of a dead rat. I think it was charming and it was very funny and would sell a hell of a lot of beer."

It is deeply unfortunate that the spot never aired, as it regularly gets standing ovations at live Commercial Closet screenings to gay audiences.

Ironically, Guinness also markets Bass Ale in the U.S., a brand which is advertised in the gay press. Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing Co. have the distinction of being among the few companies that advertise in gay media and also has a mainstream media commercial with a gay theme.

Beer companies are well represented in The Commercial Closet, largely due to an effort in the mid-1990s to pull away from the industry's longterm sexist advertising themes that objectified women. Such commercials were summed up by the Swedish Bikini Team. Looking for new material to mine, brewers began extensively playing with gay and transgender themes in their advertising. However, because beer drinkers are stereotypically macho, the tone of many of the ads were more often negative.

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Madison C. , Singapore
I would have greater respect for Guinness if they had ran the ad. It's gorgeous. I would even have become a Guinness drinker just because it's hip.

Paul C. Nadratowski ,
I hate this ad. Too cutesy and righteous. It reminds me of that horrible, preachy "West Wing" on NBC TV. We SHOULD accept drag queens and leather guys. To say they are negative, is falling into their mindset. It is ridiculous to say that the underwear commercial is negative and to over praise that cutesy "stand by you man" ad. I find the "sanitized" version of gay life more insulting than any leatherman. Gay people are not saints, and if we cannot face our darker side how do we suspect the straight society to accept it? Why should commercials tip toe around the truth? That is why I find QAF so important, despite it's shortcomings.

Popz , Toronto
I love this commercial!!! It's too bad it was never aired, it should have been.

Carlos G. , Mexico
Guinness...please!...run this ad! The song is lovely, the boys are hot. Come on!

Curt Esident , Boca Raton, Florida
Great ad. A real stereotype smasher if I ever saw one!

Kesh , Manilla, Philippines
I don't know how, but I guess the ad will scare away straight consumers of Guinness. But it's sweet (aw!) though, and I love it.

Neil , Vancouver
This ad is absolutely wonderful! I think it shows a beautiful part of gay life that is rarely resented to the public. I think it's beautiful and it would make be buy their beer if I saw it on TV. I have the urge to give my boyfriend a big hug and kiss!

Mark Walters , West Yarmouth
It truly is a shame this commercial never aired. Guinness has done an excellant job with this ad, they really should step up to the plate and let it air.

Tom , Chicago
This is the most feel-good commercial that I have ever seen in the U.S. Guinness should really air it.

Mamie , NYC
What a shame this ad doesn't air! It's merely a humorous look at the kind of "complimentary" relationships many of us are in -- heterosexual or homosexual. Such a smart and witty ad would definitely make me reconsider drinking Guinness, and I can't stand the stuff!

Tom , Budapest, Hungary
I saw this commercial about one year ago: the German RTL2 station aired it in a DDD Special (i.e. 'Die Dicksten Dinger', weekly one-hour magazine on advertising). It's a great ad, a very positive one. And it shows how good it is to be loved, in whatever shape or form that love may come.

Paul , Berkeley, Calif.
This is far and away my favorite ad that I've seen through Commercial Closet. I can see it again and again because it is so beautiful. I always get on the verge of tears when I see it -- because it represents what I really long for in life -- a sweet relationship with another man where we stand by each other. It's a real crying shame that Guinness never aired it.

Gil , Waynesboro, VA
Guinness truly could set a record "straight" with this one. I laughed, empathized and shared with all my friends.

Eric , Paris, France
It's a very nice movie with two beautifuls guys, and I love this song... A sweety movie.

Steve Ungerer , Long Beach, Calif.
What a great ad. Both my boyfriend and I killed ourselves laughing (since I'm kind of a slob, and he's a total neat freak). And that's what appealing advertising should be: we like it because we identify with the human situations depicted. But shame on Guinness for bowing to pressure and pulling the ad. It's their loss...this one could have become a true classic.

Mike Escobar , Elizabethtown, Penn.
i have spent some time here at COMMERCIAL CLOSET....and this remains my favorite clip.....i show my friends...family and real family....

Simon , Aventura, Fl.
At last an ad that represents the gay life I aspire to. No leather, no promiscuity, no drag queens, just good ol' plain love. Yes, the gay community may have a darker side, but that side is over-represented in commercials, movies and television shows and I'm tired of it. The gay mainstream silent majority deserves more representation and this is an ad I'd be proud to show to my straight friends.

Don J. , Chicago
I'ts a shame that Guinness shelved this one. I see it as a mature portrayal of a portion of real gay life, where "gayness" is just an integrated part of a caring relationship. We need more portrayals which show gays as caring individuals. We are a maturing population, with more to offer than simple "shock". This commercial presents that concept in an elegant, simple fashion.

Claire Adams , Vancouver
I liked this ad overall, I thought that it was rather negetive at the end when it said "not everything in black and white makes sense". It left me wondering, is the company trying to say that a homosexual relationship doe'n't make sense?

Skip Chipps , Baltimore
I loved it!!! I love this site too --just found it today! I'll be back!

Vladimir , Pittsburgh
Great ad. I love it. Very nicely done. Damn you Guinness for not airing it! What the hell? Ever heard of breaking sterotypes?

John , Calgary, Canada
This could very well be the best gay ad I've ever seen. :) It's a perfectly realistic shot of the side of gay life that's rarely portrayed in public ads. It's a poor shame Guinness doesn't have the balls to air it. It totally made me want to wrap my arms around my boyfriend!...and even maybe drink a Guinness...*yAk*

Auggie , Kitchener, Canada
I couldn't disagree more with reviewer Paul C. Why is an ad which shows a large section of the gay community reprehensible? The ad is artfully shot, and does an excellent play on people's expectations and stereotypes. We see a loving, committed gay couple which to the mind of many ignorant "straight" people, is something outside of their experience. What I find truly offensive is the p.o.v. that such people (as those shown in this ad) are not "gay enough" or are otherwise unworthy. Btw, I'm also a fan of QAF, because it also accuratly portrays part of the gay community. But why get so divisive, when the ad is so gorgeously done, and has a worthwhile message to boot?

Miguel , Mexico City
I think this is a great ad. This is the image we want to portray: not all gay guys wear leather and have a different sex-partner every night. Some can be, and some of us aspire to be, what they portay in the ad. Sorry Paul, that's why I hate QAF.

Trevor Iwaszu , Seattle
I think this is a fabulous ad! At the end I just wanted to say "ohhh!" It's very well done and cute! Too bad it never ran... but there's still time!

James De Polo , Phoenix
I remember the first time I saw this advert. I was in Chicago at a video bar called Sidetracks and when this came on, it seemed the entire bar stopped to watch. It is truly a beautful representation of gay life. I can watch this commercial over and over and I still get misty eyed every time I see it. I am so happy that it has a second life on this web site.

Lee , Memphis, TN
I think this is a wonderful ad. It beautifully and non-explicitly depicts an average gay household -- which is what we rarely see in today's pop-culture. Too often the gay community is represented soley by the drag-queens and leather guys while modest, simple, and loving relationships like the one in this ad are overlooked. Nothing is wrong with drag-queens and leather guys, but they in no way represent the entire community. It warms my heart to see these two men and breaks it to find that the ad never aired.

Mike , Calgary
Wow! By far, this is my favorite ad so far in Commercial Closet. The way it was shot and the way it was edited is perfect. I have seen this ad so many times now and I don't get tired of watching it over and over again.

Mark Nave , Palm City, FL
Who owns rights to ad, ad agency or Guinness? Could Diagio repackage idea for a client more likely to use it? Seems like such a waste of a fine concept.

Maximus , Los Angeles
This could have been a really great commercial but I'm glad they didn't actually run it. O.K., so it does demonstrate some genuine affection between the two guys and one look at the slob in the bathtub gives at least some justification for why almost any of us would be willing to put up with some of his mess. BUT, come on, guys. This ad reinforces all the old stereotypes about one guy having to be the husband and one having to be the "wife" in a gay relationship. And, much as I love Tammy Wynette's song, it's just not appropriate as a subliminal message that "sometimes it's hard to be a WOMAN." Do we really need to have gay men portrayed as passive little housewives in this day and age?

Max Shultz , Antioch, CA
I think the ad is wonderful. A lot of promiscuous gays like to say that all gays are like them, and that monogamy never works. I'm sure this type of gay would dislike the ad. Gayness simply means sexual attraction to those of one's own gender. What someone does with this attraction is up to them. I'm gay and I'm not right-winged, but I do get tired of the cliches that all gays are promiscuous. "Queer as Folk" may be "for real" for many gays, but this ad is for real for many gays too.

George , Atlanta
I love this ad....I'm never sappy, but this was just too cute...Perfect depiction of the things love endure...In fact ,I think I'll buy a sixpack of Guinness tonight!!

Sarah D. , Newcastle, UK
The tagline "Men and women should not live together; they are totally different animals" followed by "Not everything in black and white makes sense" -- is that not a tad negative?

Jim Tuchschmidt , Portland, OR
This is one of the best commercials I have seen, no to mention the positive depiction of a gay couple. The artistry is great and the message -- not all things are so black and white, is creatively delivered. I agree that it is a shame that this never aired!

Rory , Leeds, England
Notice that 'the blond' is still ditz!

Geoff , Geneva, Switzerland
I loved this ad, it's cute, a little camp and funny. I think Guinness underestimated the British public's sense of humour and were foolish not to run it. I doubt the reaction would have been as predicted in the press. And anyway, what did they think would happen -- that people would stop drinking it because of an ad? On the contrary, I think a lot of people, particularly the younger generation, would have liked it. So, never believe anything you read in a tabloid newspaper, particularly one of ours (i.e. a British one)!

Steve , Toronto
Wow. This is EXACTLY like me and my partner...

Juliana , Hong Kong
I couldn't imagine anyone hating this ad! Yes this might be a bit overtly sweet, but hey, I've seen couples like this! And such is not limited to gender or sex-orientation.
I love Guinness beer myself, but it would add so much respect to this ad if this ever ran. Now IJulianna think everytime I zip a G, it is missing something...

Darus Walls , Milwaukee
I'd try a Guinness because o' this ad.

Robert Diercks , Rindge, NH
This ad had me laughing out loud! I don't particularly like Guinness, but I certainly would drink it once in a while if I saw an ad like this on TV.

Aaron , Greensboro, NC
I think this ad is simply wonderful! Very touching, and humorous. I just have to add to the comment Paul made. He's completely wrong. Not every person in gay society "is not a saint" and "has a darker side". It's that old stereotype that if you're gay, you have lots of mindless sex, wear leather, and go clubbing like crazy, until we grow old alone. So not true! That's one aspect, not all of it. Some of us want the picket fenced house and wonderful husband represented in this ad, and a "true love forever" relationship.

Brian , Fulton, IL
This has got to be one of the best commercials I have ever seen. It's about time we start seeing those in the U.S. as well! Kudos to Guinness!! :-)

Na'el Gharzeddine , Beirut, Lebanon
It's gorgeous. Out of all the ads posted I played this one a dozen times in a row.
Congratulations for all who were behind the making.

Angela , Providence, RI
After seeing Mike Wilke's presentation at my college, this was my favorite ad out of the 50-something he showed. It is beautifully shot, the scenes are wonderful, and I love the choice to use black and white. I think this ad is very positive and I don't care about the "cutesy" music. I think it's advertising, not some HUGE life changing decision, and to convey an idea in 60 seconds calls for something catchy. I thought the song worked perfectly, and I loved the sillyness of the ad. How this total slob had to be followed around by his neatnik boyfriend (hmmm...should have been the motorcycle Bissel guy!!). I think the portrayal was VERY VERY positive of a unique "odd-couple" (one neat, the other overly messy). To me, this ad showed the normalacy of gay life. They are not wierd, unusual, or something to be feared. They are just like any other straight couple in what they do, they just chose to do it with the same sex. Does this make sense?? I feel this ad should have aired, as it is amazingly done. I loved the "men and women should not live together, as they are different animals" quote.

Wesley C. Galland , Chula Vista, CA
This is the best ad I have ever seen. I watch it at least once a week and have emailed the link to all my friends straight and gay and, yes, most of them are straight. My mother even loves the ad. Guinness should run it. I would buy the beer might pour it down the drain but there should be a petition out there to air this ad. I would love to sign that one!

Dennis , Chicago
It's hard to argue with this ad. I would hardly call it sanitized and they couldn't have picked better music. It plays right into the "wife" at home cleaning up after that horribly messy, gorgeous man. The looks are what make it and the tag pulled it all together nicely. We're not all Drag Queens and Leather Daddies. This hits a lot of us where it counts… brand preference. It's too bad they didn't run it. Wimps!

Michael , Tampa, FL
Jeez, I love this ad. I've lived in Ireland off-and-on for years and I think the Irish would have appreciated Guinness taking the p*** out of themselves by showing this ad. It's lovely. Excuse me, while I go and have a 'pint of the plain' now...

Max , Antioch, CA
A lot of people have said things like "Yeah, a lot of gays are into leather and drag. But some gays are into monogamy". You need to understand that people can be into leather and drag yet be into monogamy at the same time. The ad should have left out the ambiguous lines "men and women should not live together. They are different animals. Not everything in black and white makes sense." And the ad should have aired. Aside from that I like the ad.

Jonathan , Toronto
I think this ad is brilliant! Cleverly done, and a nice ending. A nice reverse on the traditional domestic couple.

Rick Kamarer , Ft. Lauderdale, FL
This is a prime example of the creative genius of the gay community. It is precisely this type of televised advertising that helps to keep the reality of "gay families" alive and well in the mainstream media. Just look at what it has done for other large corporations such as Toyota and the clothing industry all of whom know where the spending dollars are. If more corporations would stand up to the likes of the immoral majority, as Disney has done regarding "Gay Days", this type of advertising would not be so "shocking" to the senses and the foes of the gay community would have no fodder for fuel.

Julie H. , Austin, TX
I really enjoyed this ad, and I've watched it several times when I've come to the website. My partner and I are very much like that couple. I'm a high-tech geek with my head wandering around the clouds somewhere, and she's constantly picking up things I've absentmindedly left all about the house. I'm not as much a pig as the man in the ad, but on any given day you can find computer parts and empty coffee mugs I left after my brain ran off on some computer geek tear and the rest of the world was left behind. I agree with others that I'd respect Guinness more if they aired the ad. I'm sure plenty of couples exist just like the one which is portrayed -- whether they are straight or gay or lesbian.

John J. , Auburndale, FL
All people should be exposed to what a true loving gay relationship can be for some. We want to be accepted as what we are, well, that isn't just the outrageous. I recently witnessed a gay couple being honored for 40 years together!! Now that's commitment, be it straight or gay. If that were a straight couple in that commercial, people would love it and say, "That's what love truly is." Yet, because it's gay, suddenly it's not so real? Shame on all gays who wouldn't like to see every day life exposed to the public and to be able to portray us as being able to live "normal" lives.

IanWatson , London, UK
I think this ad is wonderful, and I hope one day (even 8 years later) they decide to show it. I don't think it is cutesy or naff at all, just a wonderfully funny advert. And worse than anything else, extremely true to life... (I won't embarrass myself by saying which one I identify with!) Come on Guinness, show the advert it is too good for only a select audience to see!

Osvaldo , Chicago
I thought this was very original for a beer commercial. It is too bad that Guinness opted not to air it, much less admit that it exists. I thought the use of Patsy Clines' music was a nice added touch. Hey, wouldn't it be great if this ad aired during the Super Bowl?!?!?!?! Ha, that will be the day! Well, we are close to getting gay marriages, so it might not be that crazy of an idea after all.

Dale Pawley , Las Cruces, NM
Perfect! I love this ad! It's great for someone like me, who lives in a very close-minded and socially conservative smallish town, to see a portrait of gay men as being capable of living normal, domestic lives. I didn't find the commercial at all "cutesy", in fact I found it to be a very refreshing change of pace from the typical stereotypes.

César , São Paulo, Brazil
I loved this ad!!! And I totally disagree with Paul Nadratowski. Relationships are the same, it doesn't matter the sexual orientation. If we do love someone we'll forgive the little details that annoy us... That's what commitment is. I do think the ad is just about it, forgiving when we're in love...

David C. Jr. , Brattleboro, VT
I thought it was extrememly nice, the only part that got me was when it said, "not everything in black and white makes sense" it almost made it sound like homosexuality didn't make sense. But nonetheless I would give it a 7 out of 10.

Juli , Hong Kong
I love this ad! How can anyone not like it? I am a straight woman but still think this is such a great ad. I know lots of gay friends and some of them sound just like this ad. Just ordinary couples living together; sharing everything. It's great!

Elizabeth , New York City
So great, until the "not everything in black and white makes sense" comment. The whole commercial is in black and white. It implies that the relationship does not make sense when it seemed to be so great and make so much sense. Harumpf!

Kenneth M. Koehn , San Francisco
How about an ad with two guys holding hands? Symbols say it all!
The Guinness ad gets a "B" in my book.

John Walsh , Minneapolis
Loved the ad until the final shot with "not everything in black and white makes sense." Kind of a slap in the face at the end.

Lance , Aliso Viejo, CA
I think this is a great ad! It shows opposites attract even if it is not the opposite sex. Some may complain that this portrays gays as too mainstream, too tame. But you cannot ignore the fact that gays and lesbians are already in the mainstream. We're everywhere. This ad simply acknowledges this truth. It is nice to see images that reflect my self-perception. I wish I had seen this ad on TV.

Derek , New York
I really love this commercial; it's my favorite. The media tends to usually depict gay men through stereotypes and I found this ad to be a very welcome change. I'm tired of heterosexuals growing comfortable with gay people only as long as they're laughing at the portrayals of stereotypes without feeling threatened (a la Will & Grace). This commercial represents the silent majority of homosexuals who might threaten the masculine ideals of many straight people but are nonetheless a big reality. I didn't mean to turn preachy; I'm only twenty and probably a bit naive. But I loved the commercial.

Tyler Barnes , Kelowna, BC, Canada
Personally, I don't find anything offensive about this ad. Some feel that this ad is sanitized, but aren't most commercials? I felt it was well thought out, and the unsanitary behaviors of the one spouse were delivered smartly, in contrast to the stereotypical gay male that is clean to the point of sterility. The slob is the guy that plays hockey or football, and scorns ballet. How can this be a bad thing?

Max Lamb , Victoria, BC, Canada
I think that the whole "black and white" reference was not meant to be interpreted as homosexual, suburban relationships not making sense. The entire ad is shot in black and white, sure. But for most of the ad, we are assuming that the man is preparing for his day as his [i]wife[/i] cleans below. That is the black and white image, and doesn't make sense. Hence, what many who dislike end forget about is the tagline "men and women should not live together; they are totally different animals." I think because we repeat this ad over and over, we start to change our views. It does what it set out to do, which is give a good first impression. My complaint is about the passive little housewife thing. I know it's a dream that many of us have, but seriously, people, how many of you are hoping to be the guy getting ready for work, and how many of you want to be the housewife? Of course it's a dream we have! But I won't be putting any rubber gloves on anytime soon while my partner goes to work.

Erin , Portland, OR
I can respect the dislike of "straightwashed" portrayls of gays, but I love the ad anyhow. It's visually appealing, artful without being cheesy, and my partner and I are are a "typical" couple rather than "leather," so it is appealing in its normalcy. I sell advertising to the LGBTQ community for a living and I appreciate how well this ad was made. The only thing I don't like is that Guiness is too chickenshit to run it. Oh well, I guess I'll have to keep drinking scotch!

Kim , Sydney, Australia
I think this ad was wonderful. Initially the song had me thinking it was a wife cleaning up after her husband; then I see it's two guys. Mild ambiguity still stands-- they could be housemates or relatives who peck each other on the cheek (it happens), or yes, partners. I love the black & white line too-- very well done. If Guinness had aired this ad, the stout would have won it's place as my man.

Joshua , Phoenix
Absolutely adorable. Both of then are just plain gorgeous.

JC , Sydney, NSW, Australia
Sorry but how does the commercial "toe around the truth" by just showing a happy couple? It's really offensive that to assume this "dark side" has any relevance to the lives of all gay guys. Obviously everyone's different.

Some say it's too cutesy and righteous, well there are thousands of people like that out there. That's not to say that everyone's nice and innocent, but plenty of people are.

I don't see how it's any different from the heterosexual world. There are plenty of both negative and positive images in the media of heterosexuality, which is true to life.

Matt Chester , New York, NY
I cannot understand all the fuss about this sappy commericial. In 2004 we are still talking about playing house the same way straight people? One has to be husband-like and the other one has to be wife-like. Come on, gimme a break.

Owaen Randolf , Houston, TX
I believe this ad will experience a rebirth. In it's 10 year anniversay, I say it is time this was played again with today's GLBT programing. I think channels like Bravo, VH1, and Trio have the right market to do it. The times have caught up to this ad.

Styopa , Montreal, QBC, Canada
I love this ad, and like most of you, I think it's a shame that Guinness tossed it aside. I'd like to remind everyone about QAF's disclamer: "Queer as Folk is a celebration of the lives and passions of a group of gay friends. It is not meant to reflect all of gay society." The same with this ad.

Daniel A. , Boise, ID
Great ad, shows that we aren't all Queer Eye for the Straight Guy types. Some of us aren't interior designers. Loved it.

Sami K. , Helsinki, Finland
That tagline really bothers me. I can see why people tend to ignore it. The story [i]is[/i] lovely. But still. "Not everything in black and white (as this movie?) makes sense"? Obviously we are supposed to think Guinness does.

James WtC , Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
GREAT Ad from GUINNESS as it's projecting a very different type of human relationship; real, honest, provocative & genuine ... just like GUINNESS is a very different type of beer: black, deep, distinctive & bold... WHY NOT AIR IT?

Jack , Sarasota, FL
Make the ad better, cut only the kiss, and air the spot. It'll be even more powerful and include all metrosexuals!

Annette , Berkeley, CA
I LOVE Guinness! I am gay. I do not "get" the commercial. I don't see the connection to the product.

Graham , Tuscany, Italy
So the Guinness gay-themed ad was pulled because of fear of a "queer beer" label being attached to the Guinness name? Why on earth don't gay men start to react, stop drinking this Irish beer for a start? As a group, we are big spenders…stop spending. I am offended over and over again by our lack of action and not by the heteros action who are allowed to get away with murder over and over again. It's my world too!!!!

I do not support corporations with anti-gay policies or corporations who "fear" the spending power of the less intelligent heterosexual and bow down to the ignorant credit card-holding bigot. I am constantly being informed through advertising that I am wrong, that I should be different and have different values, and I am expected to accept all this and buy the product. My point is that I would prefer people to be offended by this type of action and act accordingly, it can make a difference.

Stuart Colquhoun , Reading, UK
I found this ad hilarious. It's a classic Guiness ad, up there with 'White Horses' and 'Women needs a man...'!. I can understand why it wasn't shown at the time, but there's no reason why it can't be shown now. Guiness please use it!!!!

Megan , Santa Cruz, CA
I find it troubling that this ad has received such accolades from your organization. I feel strong ambivalence about this ad.

The ad also raises the question why the guy in white stays in love with a man who apparently doesn't appreciate his efforts. This is reinforced by the peck on the cheek that apparently has left the man in white conflicted enough that he doesn't point out the coffee cup on the roof. And the last image of rubber-gloved fingers moving in a small, slow wave reinforces an unenthusiastic partner.

I am still conflicted about this ad. It was beautifully shot with interesting images. But I am still exploring the meaning it creates.

Jonathan , Perth Amboy, NJ
I love this ad. It's just so damn cute!

Michael , Indianapolis, IN
I can't believe so few of the comments on this ad are not focusing on the NEGATIVE TEXT at the end of the it. "Not everything in black and white makes sense." It seems clear to me that these advertisers are playing on the homosexual "twist" at the end, but they're saying it doesn't make sense. Isn't that negative?

Freddy Rodriguez , Miami, Florida
In the spot title "Mess", which is for Guinness Beer, two guys live together. One is the husband and one is the wife and that is made clear. The wife cleans up after his spouse as the song "Stand by your Man" plays. How is this positive? We have our own relationships that don't mirror heterosexual relationships. That spot is extremely homophobic and plays into the stereotype that one is the man and the other is the woman.

Angela Lou , Singapore
This ad is absolutely gorgeous. Being in Singapore almost half of my life, I would not have seen these ads, this is part of the wonders of the Internet.
However, what's more depressing is not being in a country where gay ads are banned but to know that an ad as wonderful as this, is being oppressed for fear of decline in profits or market share? I have never been a fan of Guinness as their ads have been "normal" and "unexciting" so far. This ad epitomizes individuality - different from others, yet it's not being aired and was even denied its existence.

Dusty Miller , Salem, OR
There is good and bad in EVERY culture (and at about the SAME percentages). Although the choice of music is sappy, it is no reason to offer jaded opinions for leather and drag queens over people sharing every day life. Being so sardonic is insulting to being human. As for the commercial, it's disjointed. Finding the connection between two people sharing their everyday lives together and drinking Guinness is illusive at best. As for Guinness itself, if it dropped the ad because of the uneducated fear of the public, then I find them cowards. On the other hand, if they dropped the commercial due to the quality of presentation, I would understand. It was a good concept that was poorly delivered.

Joan , Spain
It's really good when it says "men and women are not always supposed to be together - they're completely different animals".
And the black and white thing, I think it has a second meaning, saying that we should learn contrasts, there is not just good and bad. Black and white might also be male and female

Toby , San Antonio, TX
This commercial was, obviously, ahead of its time. Why can't it show now during Will & Grace, Queer Eye, etc.? No matter how down I feel, "Mess" always cheers me up.

Keyth , Lexington, KY
So many of us are so sensitive to every little nuance that we nitpick every little thing about every ad. That is, of course, why we rate these commercials, and I'm not saying we shouldn't. But we should step back every once in a while and ask ourselves if we aren't being too bitchy and anxious. Someone replied that this commercial steps around the truth and that Queer As Folk is more honest. I like this ad. Sure, it's meant to cause a stir among the straight, but so what? It still sends a good message.

Isa , Uusimaa, Finland
Uh, yeah, the lines may seem confusing, or excess, or vaguely negative -- if you don't get them. I used to think the ad could have done without any words. But, several weeks after seeing this I actually figured it out. I'm not stupid, I'm just a little bit slow!

The thing is, it's supposed to be playing with us at first. We think it's a woman picking up after the man, because the traditional gender stereotypes rooted in our minds tell us so. The quote says that "men and women are totally different" -- because look at that guy and his wife, they're like opposites!

But that's where it surprises us. The wife is actually a man, too. Gotcha. And when it says "not everything in black and white makes sense", it's talking about the afore quoted statement somebody wrote, that it's too simple and doesn't make sense in reality because -- and here's the whole point -- two people of the same gender can be just as different, or more different, than two people of "opposite" genders. And, only thinking about what men are like as opposed to what women are like is too black and white. That's the double meaning in there. I don't think there's any hidden gay-negative tone to it.

Generally I don't see this as representative of gay people or homosexual relationships so much. That's not really the main issue.

Man, I've grown to like this a lot more than I initially did!

Matt , Peterborough, ONT, Canada
I, apparently, viewed this ad differently than others. I found it very artistic up until the statement at the end: "Not everything makes sense in black and white." Consider the previous quote of "men and women should not live together..." This is a statement in text (also referred to as 'black and white') and the entire ad is shot in black and white. To me, this says that the quotation makes no sense and this leaves the viewer to observe that the idea of two men living romantically together is equally nonsensical. Beautifully shot, but utterly ruined at the end.

Michael J. Chou , Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Malaysia
What an interesting idea to promote freedom and equality through this ad! I love the story line...and the song sounds perfect! This ad will definitely target gay audiences. I'm shocked to see Guinness produce such an ad. More power to them.

Anonymous , San Francisco, CA
If anything, it needs spicing up... a lil' sexier and it would have been a hit in my book.

Jessica , New Jersey
Simply beautiful. Why are all the nice ones seemingly left on the cutting room floor? This is how homosexual relationships should be portrayed. No one looks unhappy about it, no one looks hurt by it. Everyone is happy. That is how things should be. Beautiful work. It is a pity it was never aired.

Anonymous , London, Great Britain
This one is too funny. But this looks more like a Carling Ad than anything Guinness would do.

Kenneth Demsky , London, Great Britain
How rare to see an intentionally mainstream TV ad supportive of homosexual monogamy! Bless its heart and let's hope for more like it that do make it onto the small screen!

Abby , Potland, OR
Straight people wouldn't see this ad and think, "Oh, all gay guys are saints who exchange chaste pecks on the cheek and never have sex." More likely, many of them will think, "WHAT?!? Gay guys do things other than having sex?!"

Arthur Adams , Laurel, Maryland
This one left me all choked up. It's just so sweet, but in a good way.

Unknown , New York, NY
I just love this ad.I have already watched it more than 45 times in less than 12 hours.I LOVE GUINESS and the next time I hit the bars you know what I am ordering.Keep the good ad's coming!
Thanks a lot! Commercial Closet and Guiness! :)

George , Dubai. United Arab Emirates
What a fabulous add!
I suddenly feel the need for a man to love in my life!..leave alone the beer!

Mike S. , Boston, MA
I do agree that the line at the end makes the ad pretty ambiguous. I think a good change would be something like this: "Not everything in black and white is what you think". Then they could show something like: "Guinness has no more calories than a typical lager." Takes away the negative connotations of the 'not everything in black and white' (which perhaps was a theme across multiple ads?) and educates people that Guinness isn't as high calorie as they might expect.

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