Guinness and the Art of Consumerism by John Charron



Guinness includes life size statues of their ads in their tour

It’s intriguing that something can become synonymous with products.  How does something really ingrain itself into the veins of a culture?  Do advertising and media really play a vital role in establishing a philosophy of consumerism based on civil standards?

Guinness is everywhere in Dublin, and Ireland for that matter.  If any Irish drinker is going to name drop an alcoholic beverage, it will most likely be the Guinness stout.  Every pub I have stepped into has had the dark creamy drink on tap, and a fair share of patrons enjoying it.  Old advertisements align every pub’s wall with pictures of happy drinkers and tall glasses.

Ireland’s oldest pub, The Brazen Head, advertises the popular drink

The entire showcase of the tour of the Guinness factory existed to almost document the standardization of the beverage with Irish cultural principles.  Behind display cases lay exhibits on the history of Guinness’s advertisements throughout the ages.  Commercials blared on screens, exemplifying the unique Irish humor that Guinness entails along with its product.  An animatronic fish rides a bike in motion next to a whistling giant oyster; an ode to the rich mascots of Guinness that are instantly recognizable.  The colorful cartoons among the posters and glasses instantly grab your attention.  The sheer number of the people on the tour is ample credibility to the success Guinness has not just in an Irish market, but a global one.  I heard many different languages indicating that this tour was one of high priority with Dublin tourism.

A robotic fish riding a bicycle, part of an advertising campaign through Guinness

Although my major isn’t in advertising, I still am very interested in what is successful and what is not within the world of advertising.  I would say that Guinness has capitalized on its own long history of Irish heritage and the global interest in Irish culture.  This dangerous combination allows for the company to hold on to local roots and gain new followers.

Evolution of Guinness Advertising

Cartoonish Ads


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