On September 24th, people around the globe raised a glass to Sir Arthur Guinness in celebration of 250 years of a brand that has truly captured many of us and withstood the test of time. In 1759 Arthur Guiness signed a 9,000 year brewery lease for an annual rent of only 45 pounds.
Since then Guinness has become one of the most recognized brands in the history of advertising. It’s clever use of humor fits the roots of it’s Irish brethren and the passionate following and promise of a drink that has been adored globally for 250 years.
The Art of Guinness
Over the years Guinness commissioned the work of many artists to deliver some of the most unique consumer advertising seen in modern times, artists such as H.M. Bateman and Edward Ardizzone.
Credit the boys at S.H Benson. In 1928 the advertising agency S. H. Benson won the Guinness advertising account. And soon to be famous Artisit John Gilroy had his opportunity to produce some of his most memorable work. Gilroy’s first known Guinness poster was produced in 1930. And with all great ads … don’t forget to give credit to the copywriters … like Ronald Barton and Robert Bevan.
The Genius of John Gilroy
But it’s the true genius of John Gilroy with his famous illustrations of zoo animals that has entertained us all and has become the memorable face for many on his famed Guinness posters.
His use of bright, lively colors blending perfectly with Guinness’ tasty palette (in more ways than one) of browns and tans gave both the everyday man and sophisticated clientelle a clean, consice message and recognition that screamed Guinness.
Clean composition and fun exploding type took you on a virtual warner brothers like experience in each and every poster. Gilroy produced more than 100 press advertisements and nearly 50 poster designs for Guinness over 35 years. His illustrantions, including a lion, toucan, gnu and kangaroo, appeared, with their long-suffering zookeeper and the famous iron worker.
So to you Mr. Gilroy … let us raise our glass …’Thank you Guinness for continually being bold, brave and lively in your campaigns. As they say in Ireland…Slainte
Exhibiting the Brand
If you have an opportunity you should attend the exibit at ‘The Museum of Brands‘ in Notting Hill London, England before October 25th. The very best of Guinness advertising from posters to TV commercials to drink trays and beer mats are being featured.