Marketing to People with Disabilities: It’s Good Business

Getting Back to Work
September 2, 2013
What is Disability?
September 30, 2013

Marketing to People with Disabilities: It’s Good Business

Mark Hogan and I have known each other for the past 12 years. We have become friends, through our wives friendship. Recently, we’ve had the opportunity to share marketing stories with one another. Over coffee this morning, I mentioned this wonderful video produced by Guinness.

Mark has a very well-written blog. He takes a look at businesses with an interesting marketing platform then goes in-depth about their successes and failures. I have enjoyed reading his blog.

I’ve been thinking about posting a blog in regard to this video, but I would rather leave it to the expert. Please consider following Mark on his Twitter feed and his blog. – John


Posted by Mark D Hogan, Brand Expert. Twitter @mdhmarkdhogan

Guinness is one of my favorite beers. Guinness as a brand is all about community. It’s about bringing people together and sharing stories. Guinness’ advertising campaigns are almost as iconic as the beer itself. For years, Guinness has developed some of the best advertising in the world. The brand has won numerous advertising awards.

The new commercial from Guinness is one of the most powerful spots that I have seen in recent years. It tells a very positive story. The 60 second commercial features a group of guys playing a highly competitive game of 3 on 3 wheelchair basketball. The game is very aggressive and features collisions and a guy falling over in a wheelchair. The music is The Cinematic Orchestra’s 2007 track “To Build a Home.”

After about 40 seconds of physical play, five of the six men stand up from their wheelchairs, revealing that they were using the chairs to include a friend who has a physical disability. This was a completely unexpected twist.

The commercial closes with a scene of the men enjoying a Guinness at a bar. A voiceover come on and says “Dedication, Loyalty and Friendship. “The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character”. This is so true.

For me, this commercial connects on a couple of levels and presents men and people with physical disabilities in a positive way. It shows the bonds of male friendship portrayed in a way that is absent from most advertising. It also positively portrays a person with disabilities overcoming their physical disabilities to compete in an aggressive sport with friends. Rarely do you see advertising that features people with less than perfect physical gifts. Guinness as a brand and this commercial is all about inclusion. I love it, great job.