Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
Synonymous with Saint Patrick’s Day is Guinness. Guinness has set the standard for advertising with witty, engaging ads that helped create arguably the best-known beer worldwide. People can still quote its first tagline, “Guinness is good for you", even though it is 83 years old. More recently, the brewer campaigned on Facebook to set a record for the largest Saint Patrick's Day party.
Some of the most notable things about Guinness advertising are:
- The harp logo that was adopted in 1862
- The link to medicinal properties throughout the 20th Century advertising with the “Guinness is good for you” tagline until the advertising environment became a little more regulated.
- The toucan was first featured in a 1935 ad and is almost as synonymous with the Guinness brand as the harp.
- The Guinness Book of Records came as a result of the MD getting into an argument over whether the koshin golden plover or the grouse was the fastest game bird in Europe. Realising that this was impossible to confirm in reference books, he decided to publish a book that could end such disputes. In 1954, Guinness gave away 1,000 copies of their Book of Records as a marketing ploy. Today the Guinness Book of World Records holds its own record as the best-selling copyrighted book series of all time.
- In the eighties, a non-Irish man, Rutger Hauer, gained a cult following in the edgy "Pure Genius" campaign.
- The nineties saw the clever campaign aiming to flatter the intelligence of drinkers by using thought-provoking quotations and statistics with the tagline "Not Everything in Black & White Makes Sense."
- The highly artistic TV “Surfer” ad, influenced by Walter Crane's painting "Neptune's Horses”, received a Cannes Gold Lion.
- In 2007, the most expensive ad on record was the release of energy from a Guinness can starts a toppling sequence starting with dominoes, that progresses to fridges, televisions, mattresses and cars.
Guinness operates in a highly regulated environment and there are standards set for advertising to avoid claims being damaging or misleading. Despite this, Guinness focusses on aspirational and positive messages. I would love to see pensions have a PR makeover by those people responsible for advertising Guinness. Just look at how the strap lines convert
- A pension contribution a day is good for you
- Pensions for financial strength
- My goodness My pensions
- Lovely day for a pension
- Pensions tax relief, pure genius
And of course “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait”