Guinness' Rugby World Cup Campaign Tells Coming Out Story of Player Gareth Thomas

Uplifting Spot Contrasts With Rugby's Macho Image

Published On
Sep 10, 2015

Editor's Pick

Rugby is a hugely macho sport in the U.K., associated with burliness, mud, battle scars -- and beer-drinking. So kudos to Guinness for choosing, in its Rugby World Cup campaign, to focus on the story of gay Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas and how he came out asto his teammates, after years of being terrified to do so. The uplifting spot, and a longer-form film, is movingly and sensitively directed by Stink's John Hillcoat and concentrates on Thomas himself explaining how his teammates' reactions surprised him -- in his mind, he'd felt rugby was "so against everything I was" but in reality, it didn't matter.

The campaign is by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and the main spot is running on TV and in cinemas, with the longer film on social media.