Hooray Beer!

The above commercial is for the Jamaican-based beer, known as Red Stripe. It is one of my favorite commercials simply because it keeps me laughing the entire time. It is safe to say it was a low-budget commercial and even includes some “cheesy” elements such as the blinking text at the end. Either way, after breaking it down a little more closely, this commercial does have a shape of a story behind it, although simple and straight forward. Breaking the commercial down..

0:00-0:05 – At the beginning, the setting gives away a lot of the story. You can see two man standing in a small, village-type bar with just a few other patrons in sight. In these first five seconds, one of the men is clearly dancing, smiling, having a great time, and also wearing a red stripe sash. The camera zooms in on the second man, of different ethnicity, who has the expression of feeling a little awkward or feeling a little out of place. However, the great times the by the other man seems to be rubbing off.

0:06-0:10 – The camera now zooms in on the man dancing, where the commercial enhances the point that the man dancing is truly having a grand ol’ time. At this point, it is made clear that the dancing man is wearing a red-stripe sash and also holding a red stripe beer.

0:11-0:15 – The turning point in the commercial is in this section where the man dancing hands the bottle of beer to the second man. The second man immediately begins to dance, suggesting that red stripe beer is so good that it makes you want to dance. But this also suggests that the second man now feels more comfortable in his surroundings, since at first he gave off a vibe of being out of place.

0:16-0:20 – The camera zooms out, both men are now dancing.

0:21-0:25 – Now that the point is made that red stripe can influence your mood, the narrator of the commercial (the first man dancing) says, “Red Stripe and Reggae, helping our white friends dance for over 70 years.” Narrowing in on a particular race may have been a little risky, but because the second man was a clear tourist, I think it was ok for the commercial to walk the politically correct “tight rope.”

0:26-0:30 – The commercial leaves the viewer with a positive outlook and a sense that the second man, now that he was introduced to red stripe, has a great rest of his vacation.

Relating this commercial to the story spine..

Once upon a time: There was a man on vacation in Jamaica
And every day: He was feeling out of place and a little uncomfortable with his surroundings.
Until one day: He was introduced to Red Stripe beer.
And because of this: He was able to dance and have a great time.

7 thoughts on “Hooray Beer!

  1. This commercial also had me laughing! The Reggae music in the background serves to indicate the location of the film. I’m curious, however, on what your thoughts are around why the man with the Red Stripe sash is dressed in a suit. It doesn’t fit the tropical, beach location conveyed by the Reggae music. Do you think the Red Stripe team was trying to sell the beer as “elegent,” by being hawked by a man in a suit? Or do you think they were trying to convey that a man in a suit is trustworthy?

    • chronicwndrlst – Thats a great point regarding the suit, that didnt cross my mind! But I agree that the marketing strategy behind that is the “classy” look associates with a good tasting beer..

  2. I love your choice of commercial, especially because I’ll be going back to Kingston next week. I will remember the story spine and reach for a Red Stripe whenever I need a boost of confidence that will turn the frown into spontaneous dancing – all for a great time! I need to learn how to embed videos into my blog – thanks for the nudge.

  3. You really nailed the details of this commercial. A reflex might be to make a correlation that drinking this beer makes you a better dancing, but perhaps it is more of just relaxing your apprehension and appreciating another culture can make you more at ease with the world?

    It is great at playing with stereotypes in a way that does not (I hope) offend anyone, perhaps it is the obvious exaggeration?

    It is also worth noting (and this is subtle) the cuts in the camera angle- the opening straight on shot sets the scene; then we shift to a view from more of the white guy’s perspective, and after the beer is handed over, we are more in a view of Mr Red Stripe’s perspective. This gives is an effective sense of the “action”, more so than if it were just the single camera looking at both men.

    Mmmm Red Stripe. I like that beer. HOORAY. The music too adds to the cheesy effect, right?

    • cogdog – I like your perspective regarding the camera angle, more specifically the fact that drinking red stripe can make yo ua better dancer! I’m sure that was one of the things they were trying to get across.

  4. bcodelson says:

    Hooray beer! This commercial is awesome. Pretty crazy that all that detail is packed into 30 short seconds. I think credit is due to the creators who can come up with the message, infuse it with humor, and make it all understood by the viewer in such a short amount of time. I agree with @CogDog that the exaggeration helps with the humor of the racial call-out. Great story spine too — short sweet and to the point!

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