Joe Montana Explores What it Means to Be the GOAT in Guinness’ Regional Super Bowl Ad

The 30-second spot will run in select markets during the Big Game

What does it mean to be the greatest of all time?

In preparation for an unprecedented Super Bowl, football Hall of Famer Joe Montana and Guinness teamed up with the goal of answering that question—while also inspiring viewers to stay resilient, remain hopeful and find their inner greatness.

The result is Guinness’ regional Super Bowl ad, which will run in-game on the CBS broadcast in Chicago, Orlando and San Francisco, and pre- and postgame in three additional markets.

Filmed over three days across two socially-distanced shoots, the ad opens with Montana stepping onto the field at a California football stadium. As he walks down the field, Montana meditates on the meaning of greatness in a speech he scripted himself intercut with B-roll of his greatest plays.

“Being the greatest of all time … it’s about more than the numbers,” Montana says in the spot. “It’s about how you come back—from a bad play or the hardest year ever.”

The 60-second version of the ad also weaves in shots of the staff at Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the brewery has been baking bread to donate to local communities in need.

The spot ends with a toast from Montana: “Here’s to the greatest player we don’t know yet, the greatest play we haven’t seen, the greatest beer you maybe haven’t tried and the greatest year that’s still ahead of us.” A shortened, 30-second version will run during the game.

Montana’s authentic connection to the brand

Montana fell in love with Guinness in Dublin over a decade ago, he said, and has felt connected to the brand and its messaging ever since. Now that he has the chance to work with the brand, last year through a partnership with Notre Dame and now for the Super Bowl spot, he’s enjoyed the creative freedom the team has offered him.

“Joe always sort of writes these ads for us,” Jay Sethi, CMO at Guinness parent company Diageo Beer, told Adweek. “Every time we wrote something for him, he’d write ‘GOAT’ in the comments, and so we began to think, ‘What does it mean to be the greatest of all time?’”

Montana’s comments and suggestions set the tone for a spot that reflects what he cares most about right now.

“It’s an honor to work with a brand with a similar mindset as yours. The commercial may be about selling beer, but it’s not about selling beer. We’re also trying to help people,” Montana told Adweek. “If we can find ways to keep people working and moving safely right now, it’ll encourage great people to do great things for others.”

He believes the Super Bowl provides the perfect opportunity to show fans that the same excellence they see in their favorite quarterbacks can be found within themselves.

“What do Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes bring to the table? Not only are they great players, but they make everyone around them better,” Montana said.

Guinness’ first regional Super Bowl ad in over a decade

Since the onset of the pandemic, Guinness has centered its messaging on hope and optimism, assuring fans that while things would be shut down for a while, the world will persevere and come back stronger. This regional Big Game ad from Guinness, the latest installation of the brand’s “Made of More” campaign, continues the same line of pandemic-related messaging.

“Our ads have really reflected who we are as a brand. We’ve been around for 260 years and, frankly, you don’t stay alive that long without resilience and optimism,” Sethi said.

While many brands have chosen to sit out the Big Game this year, Guinness is running its first regional Super Bowl ad in over a decade. Sethi said the decision was a result of both the brand’s partnership with Montana and the opportunity to inspire viewers to remain responsible on a celebratory day.

While Anheuser-Busch has had exclusive rights to alcohol advertising in the Super Bowl’s national broadcast since 1975, brands like Guinness work around that agreement through regional and digital ads to.

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