Big Ideas from a Small World

Happy St. Paddy’s! A Guinness Retrospective

Posted in Global Outlook by Ryan Thomas on March 17, 2009

I was 23 years old before I found out I was Irish. That’s 23 wasted years of not celebrating one of the best days on the calendar year!

In honor of Lá ’le Pádraig I will not be posting today, but instead savouring a few of Ireland’s finest pints.

Out of respect for you my fine reader I have constructed this Guinness retrospective. Let’s take a look back at a one of the strongest marketing campaigns ever and one so  synonymous with a holiday that not even all of Coke’s money can match it.

In 65 years of advertising, only 5 agencies have ever held this prestigious account – SH Benson, J Walter Thompson, Allen Brady and Marsh, Ogilvy & Mather and currently Abbott Mead Vickers

Guinness: Tipping Point (2007) AMV BBDO

Guinness: Hands (2006) AMV BBDO

Guinness: Evolution(2005) AMV BBDO

Guinness: A Story of Dark and Light (2004) AMV BBDO

Guinness: Surfer (1999) AMV BBDO

Guinness: Swimblack (1998) AMV BBDO

Guinness: Anticipation (1994) Arks Ltd. (maybe?)

Guinness: Chain (1994) Ogilvy & Mather

Guinness: Dolphin (1988) Ogilvy & Mather

Guinness: Evolution (1985) Ogilvy & Mather


Guinness: Bottle Supporters Club (1981) JWT

SH Benson Classic John M Gilroy Ads (1929 – 1960’s)

(30+  years, 100+ posters)



It has taken me over two hours to track down the names and agencies of these spots. I’m still not 100% sure on some of them. If you would like to take a moment out and add a spot to this time line, simply leave a comment below.

For further reading on the advertising history of this amazing beer check out this article from The Independent.

Oh and Happy St. Paddy’s.