. Guinness Advertising

Guinness Advertising

Guinness Advertising

has adorned posters and promotional products ever since the 1930s. Not only does it have a strong period look; it is colourful, clever, humorous, and
has adorned posters and promotional products ever since the 1930s. Not only does it have a strong period look; it is colourful, clever, humorous, and

Guinness Advertising

Long regarded as witty and stylish, Guinness advertising has become an enormously popular collecting area.

Although the company was founded in Dublin as early as 1759, its first advertisements did not appear until the late 1920s. These were in national newspapers and were text-based, with a small picture of a pint of Guinness. 

The advertising agency S.H. Benson took over in 1929. launching the brand with amusing, colourful advertisements that often played on the drink's claimed health benefits. S.H. Benson designed so many Guinness advertisements and promotional products that plenty remain on the market today, from posters to ceramic figurines, beer mats, and trays. Prices range from £3—5 for a 1930s beer mat to £500- 700 or more for a poster from the same decade.

Poster power

The designer John Gilroy was responsible for most of the images and themes associated with early Guinness
Guinness Advertising
advertising. Many were first used on posters, by then a booming form of advertising. Some of the best-known 1930s posters promoted Guinness's supposed ability to build strength.

 A 1934 poster shows a man walking along effortlessly carrying an iron girder - hinting, perhaps, at the beneficial levels of iron the drink was said to contain.

 By this time, the poster format had been established - a plain white background with a striking slogan in simple lettering. Slogans included 'Guinness is Good for You' and 'Guinness for Strength'.

Examples of these now celebrated posters can often be found for between £100 and £700

From A to zoo

In 1935 a visit to London Zoo inspired Gilroy to develop a new range of posters. These legendary designs featured a befuddled zoo keeper with different animals, each of which makes off with his pint of Guinness.

The first, released in late 1935, shows him chasing a jolly sea lion, with a pint of Guinness balanced on its nose. 

Guinness Advertising

Today, these posters can fetch around £100-700 or more, depending on their condition and size. Perhaps the best- known Guinness animal was the toucan, which was reused for a short period in the late 1960s and 70s. Posters featuring the toucan are often the most popular.

During the 1940s, Guinness posters continued to emphasise strength: one poster showed a Guinness man moving huge bombs onto a trolley. In the 1950s and 60s, new artists were employed, such as Abram Games and Tom Eckersley. Abram Games' posters show ingenious designs and typography, and witty images. Gilroy's animal posters and posters from the 1950s and 60s usually fetch between £150 and £700.

Ceramics and more

Gilroy's animal campaign was not restricted to posters. From the 1930s to 50s, Carlton Ware made small ceramic figurines of the Guinness animals.

Most of these cost from £150—350; but popular animals such as the toucan or penguin can fetch up to £300-400. Lamp bases and pull- along toys were also produced, but perhaps the best known are the set of three wall-mounted flying toucans; an original, mint set can fetch around £300-500.

Guinness Advertising

Other promotional objects are less expensive. These include a 1940s plate based on the Chinese 'Willow' pattern, a 1950s wooden clothes brush in the shape of a Guinness bottle, and ceramic cruet sets, often decorated with animals and slogans.

 Prices range from £30-80. Look for paper objects, such as menus, calendars, and beer mats, using the artwork styles, slogans,

period. These often cost under <£10-20. A huge number were made, but many were thrown away, so they are probably rarer than they should be. Another of the most common promotional objects is a set of six Guinness buttons, which can fetch around .£50-80 for a complete set. It's worth buying an incomplete set, provided it is priced accordingly, then building up a set gradually.

Guinness Advertising
Drink to the future

Guinness has continued its strong advertising campaigns, using well-known agencies such as Ogilvy S: Mather and J. Walter Thompson. Pieces related to campaigns from the 1980s and 90s currently fetch lower values, usually under £-30-50, ' but if interest in memorabilia i associated with the brand continues, they may well make a good investment.


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