Psyop: Guinness “Dot”


Beautiful transitions and lush compositions make this Guinness spot from Psyop worthy of repeat viewing. As with much of Psyop’s work, this spot also uses narrative—albeit in a fairly subtle manner—to move the viewer along from vignette to vignette with a sense of purpose.

NOTE: If this post looks familiar, it’s because it was live for about a day before I took it down at the agency’s request. We swapped out the old, cruddy YouTube video with this new QT directly from Psyop.

Watch “Dot” | Full credits

Thanks for the tip, Stephen!

About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



i always thought motionographer was a hopelessly biased psyop “fanboy site” but after this spot completely blew my f**cking mind i have to say they deserve every drop of praise and adulation.

i am speechless.

keep up the great work guys, you inspire everyone around you.


superlative superlative!


I know there are way too many Psyop posts on this site, but I stand by every one of them. Good work is good work. We can all learn from it, regardless of who created it.


reminds me of the chuck jones “the dot and the line” animation.

beautiful, classic psyop.


Although it’s of course valid and often most interesting to discuss the concept of a spot, please keep in mind that this is always developed together with the agency. Not always the production houses have as much influence as they’d wish. (And as would be good for the spots from time to time, I agree ;)


mate, was this spot designed with multiple designers, each taking a small section?


I watch it. I loved it. It’s jut about what I felt when I looked at it. Something like “pouhhh”… “whaaaa”… and nothing about “not so original” “not really creative” or “narrative”.. Sometimes I listen music and my hair are dressing, I don’t care about techniques and production, sometimes it’s just the opposite, rarely both. Just to say the first lecture is purely about feelings for, far before analysis.. Analysis is a second watch.
I watch it and love it. One of the best work I’ve seen for a while. Psyop or not. I have to admit I am (i used to be) a psyop addict but I get bored by some recent works. Adidas Together and Guinness is the comeback for me.
I watch a lot of various work (thanks to site like motionographer, mograph, and a lot more). For a few time, all is the same, and there are too many mograph works, each year his style (paper, ambient occlusion with flashy colors, drawings, flying arrows (who were the first ? hmmm… let me guess), Ipod style like Eminem(who were the first ? hmmm… let me guess, )…
Psyop is not always the best, like anybody, they just blow me more often than anyone else.
Good job.

Marc B.

When i saw the first post about this ad i thought stardust did it.


ah yes, the never ending struggle between concept and execution. execution on this piece? Flawless with a capital F. just mind blowing…they’re taking abstract transitions to another universe of seamless bliss.

concept? i’d have to say its lacking here…a dot? who decides to travel, makes it big, realizes it can be anything and decides to be guiness? so the concept distills down to: “the best dot who could be anything in the world wants to be guiness, cuz theres nothing better to be than guiness”
a relatively strong idea, but…what is a dot?
i would have given the dot more context…say a molecule… becuase the old adage is that you just breathed in a molecule that was once breathed by alexander the great…

ii just think the weakness in the concept’s ambiguity is exposed when the dot turns into the guiness…is it the whole glass and the beer??? who and what is this dot anyway…?
is it bigger than a breadbox?
hah, okay enough outta me already

Big City

I agree with everything sc said.
“…a dot?” Really, what does “a dot decided to become Guinness” even mean? And the pupil to fly-through at the end is really well done, but it feels gratuitous to me.
So, yeah, I agree that the premise is kinda weak, but I differ from the doctor in that I think the beautiful drawings and slick transitions do make this a good piece. Honestly, I can’t imagine a better execution. “Mediocre” just seems very harsh to me.


…… the dot….. turns into……. beer.

? :(


If you watch closely, you see that it isn’t the dot that turns into the beer, but the world. And the dot is bouncing trough that beer/world.


We are the dot, and we’re playing, diving, walking, making friends and stuff on this globe.. with beer


Like Mate said, it seems like the biggest problem is the core concept of the spot, and what most people dont realize (and maybe its because of their lack of real experience in the industry) is that this is something that is usually the charge of the agency and not the production company. This job was given to Psyop with a treatment from the agency that described a dot that creates all these different worlds and in the end decides to become a guinness. Yeah, sort of odd, but Psyop took that and made something visually beautiful with it.
The thought that each part being a different style was due to different designers working on it is absolutely absurd. The intent of the styles is to show the evolution of the worlds the dot creates, going from a simple line to an entire fully rendered planet. There are many, many people in charge of these projects. Its not as though a designer works on a section alone and passes it on to a single animator that does it and then they are lumped together into one. come on

Joe Clay

Jsaunders has it correct, although sometimes production houses get a little more creative freedom. I work in a studio and sometimes an agency comes to us with a vague concept and asks us to bid on it. We must then come up with most of it ourselves. It is only once that is done that the agency fiddles with it. That happens a lot with big projects.

Now, this applies mostly to the visual design. But sometimes it extends into the actual concept. That said, this looks like a failing of the agency. In the end, almost all concept and copy come from the agency.

If they had use this when they were trying to push that Guinness rocket thing, it would have made more sense. Maybe the dot could have invited some friends and become the head of the beer. Who knows. As it is, it’s beautiful, but it doesn’t make much sense in the end. As a story, it could be really interesting. It reminded me of Chuck Jones’ cartoon about the dot and the line as well.


im not sure why i upset you. i was asking a pretty honest question, not trying to create an argument. i asked this, because the pioneer spot that fad produced, worked in that manner, where different artists created different scenes and they were all equally composited together.

i was just curious if it had worked that way for you guys and what you thought of that experience, but i was wrong… relax man.

i actually really enjoyed the spot, it was executed very well and have respect.

Marc B.

It’s all justin cones’ fault. He just can’t resist to blog about every single psyop ad outthere. Not even the crappy navigon ad is missing on here. I think he’s hoping for an internship there by doing so. :D


Marc Brown, I know someone who doesn’t have a chance with an internship anywhere..hows Lehigh University treating you by the way?


go psyop go! ehhhh :)


People, please, like Jsaunders says – come on. I mean, COME ON! Now, seriously:

With bigger projects it’s just too much work to be done by only one Designer. If the project demands a unified style it needs to be art directed that way. If every section is different, like here, it makes sense that different designers pick up different sections.

@Joe Clay
In my experience there’s always a lot of exchange of ideas between the agency and the production house. That makes the spots usually always better than the script seemed at the beginning. But this goes to a certain level, and of course you’re not going to change the whole concept. Maybe happens as well, but seems unlikely.

@Marc B
I’m always tempted to write some stupid answer to your stupid posts, but, ah, whatever… Dang, couldn’t resist again…



Lets all stay cool :-)

The reason this place exists is for us to share not just praise but also discuss faults and opinions. As long as its constructive criticism, I don’t think any of us should react negatively.

On the subject of the recent Guiness concepts, I felt this spot and the “music machine” spot, although visually and technically complex and appealing, have poor concepts. The subject matter had little to nothing to do with the actual product. And I do understand that a post-house has to work with their clients concepts.

In terms of this particular spot, I too felt that the styles, although looking great on their own(loved the watercolor the most), did not mesh together well.
Thus I can see where rothermel was coming from with his question.

Simon Robson

@ Marc B.
Thank God for Marc B, if it wasn’t for him then these discussions would be so cultural and cerebral. Long live the wild-card. If he were a tennis player he’d be Ilie Năstase. Now I’m really showing my age. Now, where’s Bicycle Man to darken things up?…
Great work BTW

Marc B.

Come on Simon, brighten up. :D
I wasn’t even serious.


Using that ELO song = fail!

I was good in the awesome 2002 Mike Mills VW commercial, I’d never heard it then. Then the same year they tried to graft that whimsy to the ‘Adaptation’ movie commercials. Then that begat usage in the Eternal Sunshine commercials, and then later “Little Miss Sunshine.” By 2007 it had trickled down into Sears commercials. I can’t believe agencies are still humping this pavlovian trope. It’s worse than The Matrix soundtrack.

Nice animation though. The different styles don’t bother me. The copy does.


Agreed on the copy. A bit weak. And the music choice was a huge missed opportunity.


What is a “dot”?
Anything a dot wants to be!

So is art anything an ARTIST want it to be!

This is great!
But not the best I saw here.


Yer the concept is pretty weak, very subtle and streched out idea of the dot relating to Guinness. Most of the spots for “Its Alive inside” seem to have a weak concepts too, for eg the “Music Machine”(not what its called but..). Seems to me the most recent Guinness commercials including this one are visually exciting and superbly executed but lame concepts. They will be forgotton quickly i think. No comparision to older Guinness advertising which is concept strong and well executed eg Surfers. Design is all about concept as well as look! Seems to be a lot of these WOW ads right now, good looking but no intelligence.


Not ground breakingly different in terms of design or animation, but still a pretty piece. Like add said it will be forgotten quickly, but it feels like a nice small step of Psyop’s back towards something more ‘classically Psyop.’ The latest that have been posted up here on mograph seem very subpar to me. This was a bit closer to what we should expect from Psyop.

As for the concept, to which I doubt anyone who wasn’t really a part of the client and agency sessions can accurately break down for us, I don’t see what’s so wrong with relating Guiness (or rather the bottom of the glass to a dot). Visually I took from it that you can find the shape of a dot in anything in the world. Having that kind of visual storytelling is nice especially in a commercial world that is aimed at just selling a product. These are commercials not shorts. Realistically, artists don’t get to do what they want a majority of the time.

Anyways. Hey mograph! No more posting mediocre work! More posting of work like this but better!


I wish Motionographer would take a more critical approach to editing and selecting content for viewing. Go beyond just the usual “it looks amazing” writing. Yes, most mograph executions do look great, visually they are exciting, sometimes even more so than great cinematography for live action, but unless the core ideas and concepts are equally compelling, and also critiqued and wrote about, you are just posting about moving wallpaper/eye candy. Followed by the usual “kewl!!” rad!!! responses from 14 year olds.


I’m not 14. This is cool.
I loved this joint and then the pong transition to the 3D tech shit… yeeeahhh


That transition is super hot


well, well, what do we have here?
i see Marc B is trying to fill the great shoes of THA_DON in trying to bring critical conversation to the fanboy playground…

well, the piece i would have to say is classic Psyop. starts out sparse, broad flowing camera moves to start with. then lines bring up shapes, and you begin to recognize landscape forms and icons, growing foliage sprouts up in a nice fell swoop with elegance, and then ink washy bullshit coats the screen as we follow its “organic flow.” we then resurface for a smooth transition or two, some light effects and overlays, a live action asset, and a long pullback. one final rotational move to reveal some logo of some sort.
classic psyop, debate over.
tnx. missed you guys too.


note to everyone:
stop travelling in/out of an eye, goddammit.

this age-old “idea” has pissed me off so many times i even decided to register and write this crappy comment.

Marc B.

Psyop is now officially a big corporate swine :)


I hope everyone who works at Psyop reads that article and understands what that whole agreement means for that company’s financial and creative future.

Corporate pigs.

Sell outs.

This must explain the the lack of creativity and quality of their recent string of spots, why Psyop has lost their touch.


I hope they never screw over their hard working artists. Then again, suits went to college to learn how to screw over artists and now suits are running Psyop.


I hope everyone stops reading your comments RaptorRed. For every word read a Brain cell dies when it comes to your opinion. To use words like sell outs and corporate pigs to describe a company that does “commercials” shows that you are most likely a college student who hasn’t worked a day in this industry. For those of us who do work in the industry we have already sold out to some degree, because we do commercials or network brands, ids and show opens, all for corporate interest.


Raptor, your ignorance and stupidity never seizes to amaze me. Your comments seized being comments a long time ago and now are finally showing your immaturity and lack of experience in this industry you so easily bash. Grow up, get a job and prosper in it without selling yourself out a single time and then come back to us and enlighten us with your wisdom. Until then, do us all a favor and put an end to your childish rants.


I must apologize, if is your website, I can now understand your frustation with those talented artist at psyop


notyrmamasan, your sentence “Raptor, your ignorance and stupidity never seizes to amaze me.” will have even more punch if you spell it correctly.


Morpho, I’m sorry if my English skills aren’t up to par with yours, but I worry that if I was to write it out in my native tongue, the likes of you would not understand it.


yes, notyrmamasan, I agree with your logic. If one would write a norwegian message on a Bulgarian thread, there is a danger that the vast majority might not be able to understand it.


To stay on topic, I enjoy few gorgeous shots on this spot but as a whole it’s awful. The end is an infuriating anticlimax. I love the earlier works of Psyop but lately their spots have become mediocre. Orangina is hideous and ripping off their first legendary Coke Happiness Factory. Second Happiness Factory is a waste of money and time. It’s longer and uglier than the original and does nothing better. Copypasta. The new Infiniti compared to the original ones is ugly. The finesse isn’t there anymore.

Anyhoo, this is just my personal opinion. I wish the new Israeli Psyop good luck and I hope they will be able to double their revenue in next two years and get the extra $13.75 million.


Wow how sad it is that motionographer can’t be a site where we criticize art and the companies that employ us in an objective manner without people resorting to silly, baseless judgements and insults. I never said that about anyone here, this is supposed to be platform of free speech and inspiration.

Afterall isn’t this the kind of stuff that’s supposed to keep all of us on our toes and keep creating better and better things?

I didn’t call anyone stupid or immature or bascially a screw up at life here and I’m not about to start no matter what.

I mean no disrespect to the artists at Psyop, but as those of us all know who work in this industry, there is a big difference between the individuals who work at a company and the heart of the company itself. I am not frustrated with the artists there, it’s not their fault that the company (judging from what I see being created today as opposed to what looked like Psyop’s glory days) has allowed for a decline in quality. I am talking about an entity, not the collection of freelance and staff artists there.

As artists we sell ourselves out in the commercial industry to make a buck. That’s fine. I’m not intending to starve just to make work no one will buy. Of course we sell ourselves out to a certain degree, that wasn’t the point and it shouldn’t be used as a scapegoat to disregard my comments.

My point was that the company seems to have sold out. What happened to persuade, influence and change? They’ve changed to me as evidenced by the body of work they have posted on their site. But I guess that they’ve persuaded the world to accept that anything they make is golden.

If I told you that the same company made Ratatouille and then went on to make Hoodwinked wouldn’t you be upset? You can’t just wantonly make CG pieces with CG ‘elements of cool’ and say that they are of the same quality because they were conceived of the same brand name. That to me has been a problem the CG industry altogether has been facing.

To the owner of that raptor red site, I’m sorry that it was found and judged since that site has nothing to do with me. This screen name was taken from a character in a book that we’ve apparently both read.

It was about dinosaurs.

To the artists at Psyop, my frustrations weren’t directed at you.

To stay on topic I really do think this is a pretty piece, but I guess that bit of my post was lost when my comments CEASED to be comments.

If you’ll excuse me, this is just my personal opinion and I’m going to go grow up, get a job and prosper without selling out. It’s really too bad that my childish rants couldn’t spur more stimulating debate about the quality of commercial work.

I criticised something without name calling or crude language or even making really simple degenerate comments about people I’ve never met before. Too bad that means I should be told to shut up.


raptor, there´s nothing constructive or stimulating¨in comments such as:
“Corporate pigs.

Sell outs.

This must explain the the lack of creativity and quality of their recent string of spots, why Psyop has lost their touch.


I hope they never screw over their hard working artists. Then again, suits went to college to learn how to screw over artists and now suits are running Psyop.

That to me is making really simple degenerate comments about people you’ve never met before and there stems the problem. You jump to conclusions and make uninformed, emotional comments and that´s why I told you to shut up. Wording like :”My point was that the company seems to have sold out” perfectly illustrate my point. This industry, regardless of who you are is a business and to thrive in it requires working capital. I don´t see you criticizing the fine people and artist at Pixar who back in ’06 sold themselves to Disney to the tune of $7.4 billion or the fine people at Blue Sky who sold themselves to FOX back in ´97 or The Mill and so on and so on. These companies have all put out groundbreaking work long after being acquired; if anything a fresh injection of capital have allowed them to do bigger and better things and why should things be any different for those people at Psyop.
So yes Raptor just follow your advice and grow up, get a job and prosper. When you´re ready to commence informed and stimulating debates do come back; I´ll be looking forward to it. I wish you the best of luck!!


My favorite part of this spot is the first 3.5 seconds. :)

Steyn Viljoen

Brilliantly done and very inspiring! I just did a blog post on it…

If I were a dot, I would have been a building crane…-)

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