The Power of Branding: How Guinness Consistently Dominates The Marketing Scene

Arguably one of the most iconic brands on the planet, there is a reason Guinness has reached the heights that it has today. Join us as we take a look at how Guinness has put itself into that position.
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When you think of brands that are powerhouses in the marketing scene, Guinness is a name that’s near the top of every list.

Since their inception in 1759, Guinness has become one of the world’s most recognisable brands, with their marketing campaigns playing a huge role in its success, alongside the delicious taste, of course.

They have cleverly used advertising to create a powerful image to promote their products to consumers. The brand’s advertising has ranged from humorous to heartfelt, and its marketing campaigns have become a widely recognised part of popular culture.

Our Digital Marketing Executive, Reece, had the pleasure of visiting the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin recently and found that aside from the pint in The Gravity Bar, the marketing exhibition was the most exciting part.

One of the most famous advertising campaigns for Guinness is the “Guinness is Good For You” campaign, which ran from the 1920s to the 1960s. The campaign featured advertisements with slogans like “My Goodness, My Guinness” and “Guinness for Strength,” and was designed to emphasise the beer’s supposed health benefits.

(Left) Image from the Storehouse showing the first advertisement ever issued in a national paper to advertise Guinness.
(Right) Reece at the gates of the Storehouse in St. James Gate, Dublin.

The “Guinness is Good For You” campaign was hugely successful, and it helped to establish Guinness as one of the most popular stouts in the world. However, the campaign also drew criticism from health experts, who argued that promoting alcohol as a health product was dangerous and irresponsible.

Beyond the fantastic posters, the most recognisable and popular advert is the “Surfer” advert which features a group of surfers waiting for the perfect wave.


The ad was groundbreaking at the time, using a combination of computer-generated imagery and live-action footage to create a visually stunning piece. The ad also featured a memorable soundtrack, with the song “Dreams” by the Cranberries playing in the background.

In recent years, Guinness has continued to innovate with its advertising campaigns, using social media and experiential marketing to reach new audiences. We recommend taking a look at their Instagram page, where they consistently find creative ways to promote the brand.

A recent favourite came just after the lockdown when pubs started to reopen. Guinness launched a new campaign featuring the song “Always on My Mind”, where they celebrated the much anticipated moment that pubs and bars across the country reopened their doors after months of waiting. The clever use of everyday objects with a black body and white top portrayed pints of Guinness in different environments. The inspiration behind the “Looks Like a Guinness” campaign was that all too common experience of us seeing something we missed during the pandemic.

A lot of Guinness advertising comes organically through social media users in 2023, which is often what happens when a company creates strong branding and a loyal customer base.

The new Guinness NITROSURGE device which allows consumers to pour the perfect pint of the black stuff has gone viral on TikTok recently. Whilst Guinness has advertised this themselves, word has spread mostly through user reviews and videos on social media.

Overall, Guinness’s marketing campaigns have played a significant role in the brand’s success. From the “Guinness is Good For You” campaign of the 1920s to the new social media age of today, Guinness has always been at the forefront of marketing innovation. Their ads have become a part of popular culture, and their brand has become synonymous with quality, taste, and Irish heritage.