St.Patrick’s Special – The best Guinness ads of all time!

We love Guinness here in the Active office, so we thought we’d continue the celebrations by taking a look at some of their best marketing moments over the years.


1. Guinness basketball commercial 

This minute-long clip explores men’s relationships with each other and how they extend further than just the pub. It’s clocked up over eight million views on youtube so far and it’s strong emotional reaction pulled at the heart-strings of many allowing millions to connect to the brand in new ways.


2. Round-up your mates

This hilarious advert depicts men’s sheep-like similarities and how Guinness brings men together. Created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, highly trained sheepdogs round up a group of men and deliver them to a bar.


3. Banned: Men and women shouldn’t live together

Sadly, due to controversy, this ad was banned after showing the trials of a couple living together.


4. The surfer

Some say this is Guinness’ best ad, launched in 1999 it depicts men’s patience and determination in the face of adversity…for a pint.


5. The festivity of St. Patrick’s Day 

Waking up on Paddy’s day is much like Christmas to many across the globe.


Many thanks to .rising that compiled the original list here:

Active Case Study: Creating Extra Value for Ice Watch


Ice case

Active International works with some of the world’s top brands and retailers – take a look at this example and get a full spectrum view of how we have worked together with our partners and Ice Watch on generating them Extra Value with Barter.

In the famous words of Hot Chocolate, ‘Everyone’s a winner baby…’

View the full PDF Ice Watch Case Study

Corporate Barter for Disruptive Companies

Corporate Trade or Barter is usually discussed in the context of a financial solution for well-established companies that have an issue with an excess or under-performing asset. These companies have a history of media buys, a product distribution pipeline, and other normal and predictable systems. For these companies, corporate trade is used to get more value from the asset while optimizing their media presence , increasing  marketplace awareness through events or retail marketing activities.

slider_financial_senseHowever, disruptive companies, the ones that appear out of nowhere with a new product, can also use barter to their advantage.  These disruptive companies are competing with established companies, their own competitors, or both. As such, they have a wide variety of challenges:

  • Limited, if any, history of financial success or profitability
  • Need to determine priorities – constant pressure to determine if funds should go towards
    1. R&D
    2. marketing education
    3. manufacturing
    4. distribution
    5. consumer engagement
    6. lowering margin to increase exposure
  • Competition from “gorillas” in their related fields that can out-spend and out-wait them
  • Possible reactive legislation or negative response from various groups or associations

Many of these disruptive companies may not be familiar with the capabilities and advantages of partnering with a corporate trade company. Or they may think they’re not big enough.  However, using product to offset the cost of media is a savvy move, and one that would give them a competitive advantage. In addition, barter companies that offer other services such as experiential, provide a unique opportunity for creating consumer relationships while maintaining a cost advantage.

Disruptive companies have a small window to make big gains. Corporate Trade offers a financial solution that can help them get ahead of the competition – give us a call now to find out more.


First published on, January 8th.

An Active Christmas

In a wild rush through Paddington, Team Active headed to Lemore Manor in Herefordshire for our company Christmas party.

Wrapped up in layers upon layers – facing rain, hail and high winds, we stampeded onto the grounds to play space hopper 5 aside football, sumo penalties, whiskey sniffing and log throwing.


Deciding to have a break from the norm, the party was strictly Christmas fancy dress – Morph suited Santas’, Christmas trees, turkeys, penguins, elves and angels partook and danced till dawn. We are sad you couldn’t join us, but we wish you all the best for the New Year.

photo7 photo2



Lots of love

Team Active

Are you feeling festive this year?

We barely blinked and Christmas time was here again.
Many people define the start of the Christmas season with the first showing of the Coca-Cola truck, switching on of the Oxford Street lights or even the Harrods Christmas Parade.
If you aren’t quite there yet, one of these videos will surely do the trick. Everyone loves carols, Miley Cyrus parodies and gifts from the REAL SANTA!


The most UPBEAT caroling you will EVER hear:


Real-time giving from Santa:


I really want to Deck The Halls…


Stay tuned for photos of this year’s fancy dress Active Christmas Party….

MovActive does Movember’13

MOVACTIVE raised a brilliant £395 trying to grow enormous tashes to raise awareness, change the face of mens health and help fund research to prevent and cure prostate cancer.

Our Mo-growers were hard to miss walking around the city and did a great job. Thanks to the team for all your effort, and thanks to all for your kind donations.

Who was your favorite Mo Bro?


If you would still like to donate to MovActive, please donate here:

Awe Inspiring Ads

Ads are created to make you buy – buy a product, buy into a concept, buy into a lifestyle. The ads that really stick are the ads that go a step further, often in a more abstract way than some good angles of the product at its shiniest.

Ads, like stories, if told well can inspire you to change – your lifestyle, your hobbies, your mind-set.

Here is a collection that not only struck a serious chord with me, but also with millions of others around the world.


Van Damme has inspired me to take up gymnastics and work on my fitness. I’ve just renewed my subscription to the gym – and I plan to start using it!


How we see ourselves, and how others see us. Dove proved how harshly we women judge ourselves – and why we shouldn’t.


My personal favorite, having inspired me to give many olive branches – Foot Locker’s ‘Week of Greatness’. If Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield can hug it out and make up, anyone can.

Active Sponsors the PPA Ad Awards

Active International was proud to sponsor the Professional Publishers Association for this years PPA Ad awards. Held at Paramount in Centre Point (also housing Active’s UK HQ), we saw some of the brightest stars in the industry commended for some brilliant work.


Award winners included our partners O2 and Zenith on ‘Collaboration of the Year’ and ‘Innovative Campaign of the Year’ for their ‘Go Think Big’ campaign.Stacey and Laura

Always keen to support the PPA and Advertising industry, Active was very glad to be a sponsor of the event. We even had an appearance from one of our founders, Arthur Wagner, who flew over from the USA especially.

Dean and Art

We hear the Active Branded cakepops were very popular too…yum!

Cake pops

Barter Is Smarter

Barter is a way of using your products, services and assets to boost your media spend.

We asked our agency and media partners to tell us why they thought Barter Is Smarter – and what it means for them. Here is a selection of the brilliant (and sometimes hilarious) tweets we had in response….enjoy! #BarterIsSmarter

Our favourite meme from Justin Cafferty:

If you used barter - justin

Our favourite Vines from Richard Haywood and Sam Fowler:

Our favourite theme tune from Robbie Ashcoft:


And the best all round tweets:

Barter is smarter best responses - long

Thanks for all the responses, we’re glad we can help!

Think outside of the poster box…

To tickle your creative taste buds, check out some of the most creative outdoor ad’s we’ve seen.


Anando’s milk advertisement. This would definitely encourage kids to drink more milk – even Popeye’s spinach wouldn’t do that! Pass me the cereal!


Havaianas’, colouring NYC’s down town. A great opportunity to do play with some really funky designs!


Nike did a great ad of a football smashing into a building to promote the World Cup. If Godzilla had a football…


Get some serious strength with Powerhouse Gym, Hercules style.

If you come across any other great ads that really struck you – send them over. Ads are all about impact – and these ones will really stick. Get creative and get noticed.

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