Guinness has sometimes got into trouble for its advertising. It can no longer use the slogan “Guinness is good for you” because, well, alcohol is a toxin (ask any of your body filters) and there are better ways to supplement iron in your diet. Similarly it has now abandoned “Arthurs Day” after 5 years which was widely criticised as a cynical Boozefest. Guinness has not been Irish for many years, it moved to England in the 1930’s to list on the Stock Exchange and these days is part of the London based multi-national Diageo. This has led to some self conscious advertising in Ireland such as when they hired a Brit advertising agency to tell us “It’s your Beer!” Eh, thanks Brits, we kinda knew that!
It has enjoyed more success in the States with its somewhat schmaltzy “Made of More” ads which however do equate drinking its product with heroism, a thesis normally disproven in Central Dublin and Kilburn High Road every Saturday night. As part of their acclaimed “Made of More” series, Guinness has released a new ad celebrating heroes, their communities, and their great strength of character. The very moving TV spot, “Empty Chair,” centres 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 acclaimed “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 instalment, released in February 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.
For more on the Guinness’s and their affinity with Dublin see;
The Lady Miranda: http://www.skibbereeneagle.ie/?p=279