Monday, August 6, 2007

Vintage Guinness Advertising

Guinness is one of the most famous and widely recognised beer brands in the world. This status has been built from the develpment of their black and white branding and striking advertisements.

I have always admired the vintage Guinness adverts as they grabbed my attention from a young age. It was a few years later that I discovered that they made the foundations for creating a world-leading brand.

The most notable series of adverts were created by Benson's advertising in the 1930s and 1940s. The posters feature the distinctive artwork of John Gilroy and include slogans such as 'Lovely Day For A Guinness', 'Guinness For Strength' and 'Guinness Is Good For You'. More often than not, they would feature animals such as a kangaroo, sealion and most famously, a toucan. The toucan has become an iconic symbol for Guinness and is as recognisable as the Gunness harp logo.

What I admire about these posters is that they have stood the test of time and are occasionally still used by Guinness in their advertising, over 70 years after the first toucan appeared. In the 1930s and 40s, consumers weren't used to such colourful displays in advertising and the use of such abstract subjects such as associating animals with Guinness. The vivid colours, unusual animals and sense of madness made it memorable.

One of the first designs produced by Gilroy was the 'Guinness For Strength' advertisement, creating the manly status associated with the brand. Ever since, Guinness embraced this appeal and became a hugely popular choice amoungst 'real men'. The simple illustrations of the early advertising have tremendous character, which adds to their charm. It is a refreshing change to see the beginnings of a brand's advertising have a long lasting influence many years later.

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