Courage – Pure Genius, or was that Guinness?

by mnkcopyblog

Whenever anyone says that the Guinness ads of the late 90s are the finest ever made for a beer I always think of the black and white Courage Best ads made by Boase Massimi Pollitt.

They’re just as good and original, even if they don’t have the same epic feel as the Guinness ads.

Courage Best has been one of the best-selling pints in the UK for decades, made originally in London and then Reading. So far as I can tell the ads were made for the Courage heartland in the South.

Dave Trott came across Chas and Dave and thought they’d be a good fit to use on a beer commercial.

He wrote the scripts that took Chas and Dave songs and turned them into hymns to the virtues of Courage Best, whilst John Webster brought the idea of using old pub photos and scenes. The first ads were shown in 1980, I think.

Remember a pint of Best? Courage do.

Black and white. Chas and Dave. Old pubs. Proper beer. Unpretentious, good old-fashioned real beer with a real history and pedigree behind it.

This is the classic formula for advertising ale. It’s repeated in the John Smith’s ‘No Nonsense’ campaign, and you can see it too in the Boddingtons ads.

The Courage ads had people like Hugh Hudson directing them, and Robert Krasker of El Cid and The Third Man fame doing the cinematography.

In all I can find five versions, all of them on YouTube: Gertcha, Rabbit, Down to Margate, Beats All the Rest, and Cinema…