As we reach the end of the year, there are many people worldwide who are thinking of another year starting without the company of a loved one, in particular, those families who have sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, or friends serving overseas.
Some time ago, as part of their acclaimed “Made of More” series, Guinness released an ad celebrating these heroes, their communities, and their great strength of character.
The very moving TV spot, “Empty Chair,” centers on a local bar where the owner and her patrons hold a special vigil as they wait for one of their own.
No shamrocks and shillelagh numbers here, instead a paean to the spirit of service that has made America great.
The “Made of More” series began in 2013, with an ad featuring a group of wheelchair basketball players and an unexpected twist at the end. It instantly went viral online, with 3.5 million views before its official release date, and was hailed as leagues above other beer ads.
The second installment, released in February 2014 just before the advertising black-out period of the Winter Olympics, told the amazing story of twin bi-athletes Tracy and Lanny Barnes, one of whom gave up her spot in the Sochi Olympics so that her sister could compete.
It is these small but extraordinary acts of heroism that Guinness celebrates, sharing their stories with the world.
* Originally published in 2014.