Don’t Cry In Your Beer

I love advertising. When I was a kid, I dreamed about making commercials. I majored in Marketing at Tulane University because there was no option for obtaining an Advertising degree (although Loyola University right next door did offer Advertising as a degree *chagrin*).

If I ever were to pursue a Master’s degree, I would write my thesis on the concept that value cannot exist without human emotion. The concept of value is wholly dependent on an individual’s feelings. In fact, I would argue advertising and marketing are better suited as sub-sets of psychology than of business. After all, as a marketer, you’re attempting to key in on what will trigger a positive response in the consumer.

As an example, to my mom, a piece of cardboard measuring 2.5 by 3.5 inches with the picture of an athlete on it is basically worthless. To me, that 1984 Topps Dan Marino rookie card is priceless. Not only does it hold a market value that’s somewhere between $75 – $125, for me, it holds fond memories of my childhood. It takes me back to being in elementary school, sitting in the last row of the top section of the Orange Bowl, watching my beloved Dolphins take on the hated Jets.

What you consider valuable may differ from what I consider valuable, and the driving factor to that value is how we feel about a particular product or service. Savvy advertisers know this, and they do an excellent job tugging on your heart strings in order to better connect you to their product. I remember a Super Bowl ad for McDonald’s featuring pee-wee football. I remember holding back the tears as I watched because I played pee-wee football, and after every game, my dad would take me to McDonald’s. I was one of those little tykes in that ad, and McDonald’s became my fast-food restaurant of choice as a result.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love beer. I love the crispness of an ice-cold bottle of brew on a hot summer day when I’m working in the yard. I love experiencing new beers, from home brews to micro-brews to new products from the giant beer makers. I love going to a beer bar with 40+ draft options and needing to take 15 minutes to place my order. Beer is good (except for Coors Lite …… *bleh*).

I am particularly a fan of dark beers. I learned to drink dark beers by drinking Guinness, and even though I meander through the choices available – Left Hand Milk Stout is wonderful, BTW – I tend to end up back with Guinness. And that brings the conversation full circle. Not since the aforementioned McDonald’s ad have I seen a TV spot that literally moved me to tears. That is until I saw the newest spot for Guinness Beer. I will let you view and judge it for yourself, but I remember being mesmerized by the commercial the first time I saw it. It played on my emotions of competition, love of family, and character. It touched something inside me that resonated in my soul, and it reminded me that sometimes, an ad does more than just sell a product.

And the next time I’m at the bar, I will have Guinness and smile.


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