Guinness Extra Cold is like regular Guinness, but served colder. Tom Wnek came up with the endline, “It’s a few degrees out”. Lee Scratch Perry seemed the obvious choice to front up the campaign. We got him talking about his favourite subjects – aliens, meditation, dub, seafood and world peace, and just kept the cameras rolling.
The ads were shot on location in Dublin by artist and director Zac Ove. Scratch’s room at Dublin’s Morrison Hotel was transformed into something one can imagine was reminiscent of his famous Black Ark Studios. Drawings and writing covered the walls, and a painted cloth covered the screen of his ever flickering TV. Scratch stuffed his fee into his socks for safekeeping.
A couple of months later Scratch came back to Dublin to perform at the Witness musical festival. He’d put the dub into Dublin. His call to “Have a Guinness Extra Cold and be happy” was screamed back at him as he took to the stage.
Somewhere around there’s an improvised script from Scratch that we filmed. “Drink Guinness and live. Don’t drink Guinness and die”. Not sure the regulators were up for signing off on that one.
The ‘World Peace’ commercial was the favourite of the series. We were trying to include some ethical content within all our campaigns at HHCL, and this example strongly refuted any suggestion that Scratch was ‘selling out’.