Guinness's Sapeurs TV ad has been cutting quite a dash on our TV screens recently, and last week we were delighted to see that the world's most famous stout had extended the length of the Sapeurs' catwalk into some online video content.
In case you've missed the ad, the Sapeurs (from the Society of Ambianceurs and Elegant Persons – SAPE) are a group of male fashion enthusiasts in both Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo famed for lightening the mood of all who see them with their extravagant dress sense and artful promenading. That they do so against all expectations of their personal background and environment means that these dedicated eccentrics are just the right chaps to bring to life Guinness's brand idea: made of more. So with such perfect material with which to work, it's gratifying to see that Guinness decided to cut more than just an ad.
The sheer showmanship of the Sapeurs makes them eminently watchable, but it's the context in which they perform that really intrigues and makes them a perfect subject for content. This 5 minute film gives us a chance to find out who these people are, what they do and how they do it, something the ad just can't convey (though it does a fine job of trailing the content, perhaps advertising's future role?). The only small disappointment with Sapeurs is that we learn little about why they do it, and how their reasoning may relate to the recent troubled history of their respective nations. That depth of examination may have felt uncomfortable for Guinness, but it could have made this documentary as moving and thought-provoking as it is diverting. Without doubt the Sapeurs are made of more, but they're so good we'd have liked Guinness to have made even more of them.