Time out, Guinness. While I come down on the side of liking the brewer's new cinematic, Peter Thwaites-directed "Clock" spot, I'm fearful that the brand's countdown to self-parody has begun. The gorgeously photographed black-and-white clip from London agency AMV BBDO is the latest entry in the "Made of more" campaign. It focuses on a tower clock that speeds up people's dull days, slows down precious moments so they can be savored, and reverses the temporal flow to avert disasters. "Clock" is extremely well made, and I can understand why it's gotten mainly positive reviews. It's gloriously high-concept, a world away from timeworn, by-the-numbers beer advertising. Even so, it feels a tad too similar to Guinness's "Cloud" spot from last year in theme and approach. In both, the central sentient object snuffs out a fire, and that particular good deed seems more appropriate for a cloud laden with rain than a clock. (At least this is a benevolent timepiece, not like those evil Diesel wristwatches giddily ticking down the seconds to their wearers' demise.) One worry is where Guinness goes from here. Do we get a wishing well that make everyone's dreams come true as it provides water to fight fires? Also, I dislike that the clock narrates its own story. It's a goofy idea to start with, and veers perilously close to spoofery with each heartfelt, over-annunciated line. The cloud had the good sense to keep its fluffy trap shut.
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