Guinness takes us back to jazz age New York in a stylish black and white spot commemorating a producer and talent scout who championed black jazz musicians.
John Hammond stood up to prejudice in the 1930s by championing the potential of black and white artists working together. He discovered artists like Billie Holiday, Count Basie and Aretha Franklin, signing them to Columbia Records. As the spot, narrated by the actor Danny Glover, outlines, black and white musicians rarely played together in '30s New York and many music venues permitted white audiences only. The ad recreates scenes of Hammond putting jazz on air and people letting loose and dancing to jazz across the city.
The spot, shot in black and white by director Jake Nava of Cherry for agencies AMV BBDO and Irish International, features many nods to Hammond's discoveries. Its soundtrack is a remix of "Sing Sing Sing," originally made famous by the Benny Goodman Trio -- the first major mixed race band in America. Hammond was instrumental in bringing the band members together. Grammy-nominated British singer Lianne La Havas, who features in the ad, has cited Hammond artists such as Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday and Bob Dylan as influences on her music.
The ad will run on TV and online but to encourage sharing, Guinness is running it on Instagram -- the first brand to launch a 60 second video on the platform in the U.K. and Ireland.