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  • Dalia Rubinowicz

Guinness Campaigns: St. Patrick's Day Edition

St. Patrick’s Day is best known for three things and three things only- Ireland, the color green, and copious amounts of beer. This being said, companies that fall under these categories view St. Patrick’s Day as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, pun intended. As this holiday is their time to shine, they focus their best marketing campaigns around this time of year.

Back to one of the biggest beneficiaries of this holiday - beer companies - Guinness, a renowned Irish beer brand has a long-standing reputation for their one of a kind marketing efforts. Over the years, their campaigns have remained so memorable to consumers that when this time of year rolls around, consumers are always waiting to see what new surprise

Guinness has in store for the public. In order to commemorate this upcoming holiday, let’s travel back in time to some of the most successful campaigns that Guinness has created.

Starting all the way back in 2012, Guinness planned and threw, as they called it, the “Largest St. Patrick’s Day Party So Far”. This included -to my surprise- enough beer to intoxicate the whole nation. Sign ups were available to anyone 21 and over who wished to attend through the official Guinness website. Living up to, and even surpassing expectations for this party, it broke the Guinness World Record for the largest celebration of St. Patrick’s Day with 361,077 attendees worldwide. This party had multiple international venues, all united under one purpose on this holiday: to drink some beer. This, however, was not all that Guinness had in store for the festive day. They aimed to rebrand it as “The Friendliest Day of the Year”, spreading a positive message along with their avid promotion of this day.

The next iconic Guinness St. Patrick’s Day campaign, #StacheForCharity, incorporated corporate social responsibility in their marketing plans for the year of 2018. This silly and lighthearted approach to marketing actually helped Guinness to be able to give back to their community. Consumers were to post a photo of them with a beer foam mustache from their next cold pint of Guinness, and $1 would be generated for charity each time. All of this money would go to the Guinness Gives Back Fund, which would be allocated to American nonprofit organizations.

When 2020 came around, as the pandemic had just started to hit, Nick Offerman was called upon to lighten the mood and provide the public with some comedic relief. He shared everything from food pairings, to trivia, to tips on pouring a pint. This year also brought the 2020 Guinness X Carhartt collaboration to life in honor of the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local Union 130 that dyes the Chicago River green every year to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Both brands came together to design a clothing line with t-shirts, hoodies, and hats that had their brand names and the phrase “Work for the Better”. This, in total, raised about $50,000 through all of their combined sales.

In 2021, the #AToastTo campaign was an attempt to commemorate and give back to all of the front-line workers that have been so brave throughout the pandemic. Their commercial was intended to cheer up the public during such a pressing time. This campaign also featured live bagpipes concerts, limited-edition merchandise, and social media posts that attempted to spread positivity, in which audiences posted what they were toasting to with the hashtag #AToastTo. However, the campaign did not end here. Guinness also donated $600,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts centered on food scarcity to remind the community that they have their best interests at heart.

Bringing it back to the present day, in 2022 Guinness released a very heartwarming cover of the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli. This video is entitled “All Together with Guinness this St. Patrick’s Day”. The video pictures everyone dancing and singing said song at a bar while enjoying pints of Guinness. This video shows a strong sense of community, a value that is essential to the Guinness brand. This shows that Guinness is more than just a beer company, and that St. Patrick’s Day is more than just any other holiday. It’s friendship.

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