A Clear Message from Guinness

After catching the ending of this advertisement, I was instantly intrigued to see if this was a new product or an extremely clever PR campaign. After a quick Google, it was apparent that this was a piece of PR created by the alcoholic beverage company Guinness.

The campaign presents your typical alcoholic beverage advertisement with a bartender, men drinking in a pub and slow motion imagery of the drink in its branded glass (YouTube, 2019). However, the difference here is that it is not alcohol being promoted, but a pint of water poured into a Guinness glass to create the deception that a new Guinness product is being released. Not only was I initially deceived, but a search under the terms ‘Guinness Clear’ on Twitter brings hundreds of tweets of people wondering if the drink was real or not, highlighting the level of exposure that the Guinness Clear advert has had (Twitter, 2019).

As much as this advertisement comes across as a ‘bit of fun’, it does portray a specific message. Some people may be aware that in the beginning of 2020, the Six Nations Rugby Championship starts, which is considered to be a major event for rugby fans and Guinness are one of the main sponsors (Six Nations Rugby, 2019). Throughout the tournament, alcohol consumption is likely to increase due to the association with masculinity in the rugby sociocultural environment (Rees, 2015). Therefore, through this advertisement, Guinness are trying to persuade their consumers, or alcohol consumers in general, to take a break from the booze and have a glass of ‘the clear stuff’, which in turn, promotes safe alcohol consumption (Jones, 2019). Regardless of whether this message was clear or not, you can’t argue with the intelligence behind the creativity of this advertisement .

So if you are going to be in and out of bars for the Six Nations, do not be surprised when someone asks for Guinness Clear. Just question if they believe it is a real drink or they just don’t fancy a hangover.

Sydney Sullivan-Grey

Best Ads: Experts’ Choice. (2019) Guinness | New Guinness Clear [online], December 3rd 2019. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vVOv1uU1yc [Accessed 12th December 2019].

Jones, F, D. (2019) Guinness in surprise marketing initiative for first Six Nations activity [online], Campaign. Available from: https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/guinness-surprise-marketing-initiative-first-six-nations-activity/1524381 [Accessed 12th December 2019].

Rees, L. (2015) Rugby Culture: Alcohol consumption and its masculine value within the rugby culture of South Wales [online], Cardiff Metropolitan University. Available from: https://repository.cardiffmet.ac.uk/handle/10369/6943 [Accessed 12th December 2019].

Six Nations Rugby. (2019) Guinness [online], Six Nations Rugby. Available from: https://www.sixnationsrugby.com/partner/guinness/ [Accessed 12th December 2019].

Twitter. (2019) Guinness Clear [online]. Available from: https://twitter.com/search?q=Guinness%20clear&src=typeahead_click [Accessed 12th December 2019].

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