Fifteen Logo

Guinness’s Top Advertising Campaigns & How They’re So Successful

March 17, 2017

As it’s St Patrick’s day, Guinness is a must. Guinness has been around since 1759 – over 250 years – and is not only famous for its exceptional beer, but also for their advertising campaigns.

A few of us at the Fifteen offices have had the opportunity to go to the Guinness factory in Dublin and have experienced the wonders of their advertising campaigns there. With life-sized statues of the characters featured within some of their adverts, and a huge screen room with the adverts on repeat.

I’m going to be going through some of the top Guinness advertising campaigns and how they became such successful and award winning.

The Surfer

This advert has a become a moment in Guinness advertising history. If you don’t know it already, it was launched back in 1998 and featured a clash between a surfer, water and horses. It had absolutely nothing to do with the actual product, it was all purely done on the power, the cinematography and an emotional feeling of achievement.

The advert wasn’t smooth sailing in its production. There were many crew members thrown overboard and a lot of waiting for the perfect wave to come along to be captured. However, there were no actual horses used within the waves, these came along later in post-production. Can you even imagine trying to organise horses in the sea?

With the pounding beat playing during the advert, it became so popular in the fact that it wasn’t plain up marketing a product. The advert was memorable and different to what was already out there. It was all about a real man finding the perfect wave, with the campaign ending with the slogan ‘Good things come to those who wait.’.

The Sapeurs

In 2014, they ran a campaign that focused around the Sapeurs, also known as the Society of Elegant Persons of Congo. They’re super stylish, dapper and vibrant icons in Congo.

In the advert, you see men go through their working day and then end the day by dressing up at attending a Sapeurs event. Here they dance and enjoy drinks as a society. The advert is basically promoting the fact that these men are more than they may be seen in the day and the advert ends with the quote, ‘Made of More.’

This advert did so well as it was lighthearted and didn’t make the advert feel pitiful towards those in Africa like many often do. Again like in the surfer campaign, the product came at the end of the advert.

Made Of Black

This is one of my personal favourites. This campaign was set up to promote Guinness’s lesser known Black Lager and was done so through this advert. It’s a standard 30-second advert, so shorter than the previous two campaigns, but still very impactful. Short and snappy clips of Martians, quotes, Guinness branding, a battle scene and more are perfectly switched to the beat of Kanye West’s song, BLKKK SKKKN HEAD. This campaign also used the hashtag #MadeOfBlack across social media to build up a buzz about the campaign.




Stay on top of your digital game with our blog updates.

More posts