Video Marketing

The Evolution of the Traditional Beer Narrative: 5 Videos Analyzed

Yoav Tourel
Yoav Tourel

Beer ads. You know how they go. The protagonists are generally men. The narration is usually about masculinity. The setting is often the pub, where they laugh, sign, and chant. Sports are frequently involved – and so are attractive women. Lately, the sports game may even involve a prank, as with this Heineken video, “The Dilemma.”

Focused on Men You Want to be Friends With

However, lately, the narrative has been shifting ever so slightly. In fact, if there’s a prevailing theme when it comes to beer these days, it is to present its male heroes as funny and hilarious rather than just muscular and manly. These are men you’d want to be pals with.

For example, the men being chased by the police in this Carlton Draught video below are not your traditional manly heroes, but you’d still have a lot of fun hanging out with them.

Overall, there’s something to this link between beer, mate-ship, and brotherhood. Guinness, in particular, taps into this solidarity with its emotional and great Guinness Wheelchair Basketball ad. Note the “Dedication, Loyalty, Friendship” voiceover.

The same thrill also holds me every time I see this Guinness-mate film that celebrates the courage of Rugby player Gareth Thomas and the support shown by his teammates when he needed them the most.

Men Teaching Men

Mexican beer brand Tecate taps into this insight as well – but reframes the narrative almost entirely. In a new PSA created by Mexican ad agency Nomades, it calls attention to violence against women. This comes at a time when Mexico has seen a rise in reports of violent crimes against women.

The message in the PSA spot is: If you don’t know how to treat women, we don’t want any business with you. In other words, if you want to be our mate, you better not condone this behavior.

Watch here how Tecate redefines manhood in the video.


Beer ads may get a bad rap for dialing up the masculinity in cliché ways, but recently the narrative has been evolving. The men featured are still the kind of guys you want to be friend with, but today, it appears that muscles and masculinity may matter less than humor, courage, and respectfulness.

And one last note… there’s another protagonist in these stories: video.

Online video is the future of brand storytelling. Couple that with discovery and you have a powerful marketing story.

Visit our new guide to online video advertising!

Yoav Tourel

Yoav Tourel

Yoav is Head of Sales, APAC at Outbrain. He joined Outbrain in 2012 as the Head of Account Strategy in Australia & New Zealand. Before that, he was born and bred as a media planner and for more than 13 years he worked in advertising, media and research roles, mostly in the agency land. He's also, a proud father of 3 girls (girls rock!), married to a vet (vets rock!). Oh, and some would say that he looks like Andre Agassi and sounds like Borat. Anyway, just call him "Joe" (or "Yoey").