Guinness: The Art of Deception


By Mia Wallace

May 23, 2016Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Guinness is to Ireland what Chipotle is to me…well not entirely but to say the country doesn’t love their black brew is a vicious lie. Guinness has shaped Ireland’s history and country in such a fundamental way that they both share the iconic harp symbol (only Guinness’ faces the opposite direction). After visiting the Guinness museum and learning a bit about their history, I decided to do some research of my own. What I found out was very intriguing.

Apparently, Arthur Guinness the founder of the brewery in 1759, was a known unionist and opponent of Irish nationalism. Pretty surprising for the founder of a drink that today partially represents Ireland and is a national symbol for the country. He was also accused of being a British spy. His descendants were also fervently opposed to the independence of Ireland and before the 1916 uprising, he gave what is today equivalent to nearly £1 million to the Ulster Volunteer Force. Guinness even considered changing its marketing to no longer being an Irish beer but a British beer in the 80s during The Troubles. They reopened the Dublin Guinness Storehouse as a museum in the early 2000s to promote tourism. While I love Guinness and I love what they have done for the community as a whole, I’m unamused by their aim to brand themselves as a truly Irish beer and hide their origins in what I can only assume to be an attempt to boost their profits. Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

The marketing that goes behind this — while deceiving — is ingenious, to say the least. As an advertising major, our occupation gets looked down on quite a bit for being unethical and lacking a moral code. I see some of that going on with Guinness trying to hide their true origins to boost their sales.

But while they are being purposely ambiguous about their companies origins, I really love their slogan and the message behind their brand. Their commercials tend to aim more towards the bringing together of people from different backgrounds and helping them find a common ground. Whether that be age, gender, race or nationality, the ads seem to tell the story that Guinness helps to fill in the cracks. Guinness is a company built on a colorful history with a few controversies here and there, with a bit of a disingenuous identity but to be fair what company isn’t ¯_(ツ)_/¯ 

To learn more about Arthur Guinness, click here!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. staphs says:

    Very interesting background info and commentary on brand identity.


  2. David says:

    Yes- the art if deception indeed. Except for when you have other sources of information. But hey, wouldn’t all that work get in the way of enjoying a warm pint? ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    Liked by 1 person

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