Guinness has long been known for its subtle and artful – and often confusing – ad campaigns. Men on surfboards surrounded by white horses, time ticking away in a bar, a wacky dance, all designed to intrigue and entertain and, of course, draw drinkers to the black stuff. But they’ve thrown all that out for their newest U.S. marketing push. The core of the campaign seems to be: you’re a man, you like sports, drink Guinness.
Diageo PLC, who owns the Guinness brand, will begin to run ads for Guinness on ESPN and other channels featuring sports figures such as retired football star Jerome Bettis. Bettis, a former Pittsburgh Steelers running back, with claim that Guinness is ‘only for the bold,’ with the campaign going by the title, ‘Fortune Favors the Bold.’
Guinness has long been a sponsor of major sporting events, such as the All-Ireland hurling championship in Ireland, or the English rugby premiership, but the advertisements for those competitions, which were heavily Guinness-branded, were separate to the stout’s main advertising thrust.
According to Patrick Hughes, the U.S. brand director for Guinness, “connecting Guinness with sports is the perfect way to bring boldness to life: It takes bold moves, bold plays."
Guinness famously spends huge amounts on marketing, but Diageo wouldn’t reveal how much it was spending on this campaign.
The ads are part of a larger marketing push behind Guinness by Diageo, which includes a planned link-up with basketball stars during college basketball’s March Madness competition to coincide with St Patrick’s Day, and the launch of a number of new products including Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and Guinness Black Lager.