TV advertisements for Guinness

Guinness is a fairly old beer in comparison to some of the others you find in pubs today. The 90s was a time where Guinness had to compete with a huge alcohol market. They had to persuade people to buy their product and not all the new stuff that was coming out. To do this they had to appeal to the younger generation who haven’t grown up on Guinness, obviously this meant that the image of Guinness had to change significantly to meet the new market of ‘men behaving badly’.

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In the latest TV advertisements for Guinness, we’re going back to nostalgia suggesting the market has grown up again, living to earn for the family etc. But the advertisements are far more complex and sophisticated now than they ever have been before. In conclusion, nearly every product aimed at males has had to change over the past forty years. The products have to adapt to the male image otherwise they will not sell. This is clearly proven by the changing Guinness adverts.

While Guinness has survived by changing it’s image of the typical male with what society sees as acceptable, James Bond has survived by essentially staying the same. Since Bond started in the 1960s the films have stuck to the same formula with only a few subtle changes in his character as time goes on. Bond is always seen as suave, confident, well dressed, exceptional, successful and self-assured. He is a womaniser who uses his witty charm to his advantage. His character is that of a risk taker who really doesn’t care about much, apart from maintaining his rather outrageous and ridiculous image, which many men aspire to and are jealous of. To prove that the ingredients for Bond have remained the same, I will compare Goldfinger (1964) with The World Is Not Enough (1999),

Goldfinger opens with Bond swimming to shore with a duck on his head. This is typical British Humour. He then knocks out a guard and plants a bomb. It goes to an exotic bar where we see Bond womanising and there is a fight sequence, he uses innuendos such as “shocking” and humour to make it all lighthearted and less serious than it really is. It then goes to Miami, very glamorous with Big Band music playing and lots of women in bikinis. We are introduced to the Villain. There is a fade out from Miami to London – music picks up. Bond flirts with Moneypenny and there is a very lengthy briefing scene explaining everything at once. The meeting is crafted for people who don’t know what the plot is, it is formal and darker shots are used. English accents are used in the meeting. It then goes to the gadget scene with Q.

The World Is Not Enough starts in an exotic location with Bond eyeing up an attractive woman. From the beginning we see that the gadgets Bond uses are far more advanced than those in Goldfinger. Bond uses humour in a nasty situation and escapes. There is a formal meeting in MI6 headquarters as in Goldfinger but it is not as long and drawn out. It then goes on to a mythical action sequence that lasts a very long time and shows expense. The opening sequence in World Is Not Enough is 14 minutes long.

The Opening sequences in both films follow a traditional pattern. Starting in an exotic location with an action sequence, going on to the briefing at MI6 headquarters and the gadget scene with Q. It is also in the opening sequence that we are introduced to the main villain or a bad guy of some kind. There are differences in the two opening sequences. The pace is much quicker in The World Is Not Enough, the technology is more sophisticated, the scenes are shorter and informative and the fashions (clothing) are different. These are all however, differences to do with cinematic techniques of the time, technology and what’s in fashion at the time of filming. They are nothing to do with the character or image of Bond, and the ingredients for both the opening sequences are the same.

It is in the action sequences that we see the most significant changes between Goldfinger and The World Is Not Enough. Goldfinger is a thriller in terms of action sequences. It relies on the tension of the plot as the film is very much plot driven. The pace is slow and the cameras often show the faces of the villain and bond and mostly close up shots. There aren’t many camera angles in the action sequences either. The cinematic techniques date the film quite a lot. From the action sequences in Goldfinger you can tell the Bond likes to be in control, for example winning the golf game and sabotaging the villain’s card game.

In The World Is Not Enough the action sequences are very superior. They are fast and furious and full of danger. Bond is seen as very impulsive, instinctive and seems to enjoy the risk and goes after the villains. All the guns and explosions do not intimidate him. There are hundreds of camera angles, a lot of them are taken far away and some are close up. The camera angle also changes to show danger in the action sequences. The buzz track is dramatic and is complementary to the plot, for example when Bond is skiing the music is light and grand. The music also suggests threat and helps to create tension. You can’t really compare the action sequences of The World Is Not Enough and Goldfinger because the technology and cinematic techniques are so much better now than they were in the 1960s. But Goldfinger is primitive in comparison.