Saatchi & Saatchi EMEA Celebrates 250 Years of Guinness

Dublin - On 1st July, 2009 GUINNESS, one of the world’s most iconic brands announced its first ever global advertising campaign in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the signing of the lease on St. James’s Gate Brewery.

Saatchi & Saatchi EMEA is the lead creative agency behind the world-wide GUINNESS 250 campaign centering on the visionary founder Arthur Guinness, which brings the proposition of ‘Inspiring the truly remarkable’ to life.  The GUINNESS 250 programme includes a global advertising campaign, a groundbreaking consumer promotion and ‘Arthur’s Day’ events on 24th September, 2009 being held around the world in cities including Dublin, New York, Lagos and Kuala Lumpur.

“GUINNESS is one of the world’s most iconic brands and we feel that it is a fitting tribute to use this milestone to launch our first ever global advertising campaign.  GUINNESS 250 will also be giving people around the world the opportunity to win truly extraordinary experiences and attend amazing events throughout 2009”, says Ronan Beirne, Global Marketing Manager.

The television commercial (TVC) focuses on a toast to Arthur Guinness that stretches to all four corners of the world.  It will debut from 1st July onwards and run until end September. The actual air dates will vary from market to market but never before has a GUINNESS advert been used on this global scale.

John Pallant, Regional Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi EMEA says, “The creative challenge was to develop a global idea that would appeal to and attract the next generation of GUINNESS consumers to the brand whilst ensuring we continue to excite and entertain existing drinkers. We were tasked with creating something that was flexible enough to be used by each of the GUINNESS regions and exciting enough to inspire people to join in the 250 celebrations.”

The advertisement begins in a traditional Irish pub in Dublin, when a GUINNESS drinker notices the 1759 date on his GUINNESS pint glass and raises his glass to toasts its founder, Arthur Guinness.  Nearby, another person hears the toast, likes the sentiment and also raises a pint of the black stuff to Arthur.  The toast then rings out onto the street amongst more GUINNESS drinkers – ‘To Arthur’ they all say.  Before long, the toast has spread across oceans and mountains, all around the world.

As the camera pans out, we are encouraged to ‘join the worldwide celebration of a man named Arthur and a beer named GUINNESS’.

There are two versions of the global advert.  One humorous version sees the toast ‘To Arthur’ go around the world changing and morphing as it travels from person to person becoming a toast ‘To Farmers,’ ‘To Llamas’, ‘To Parsnips’ and beyond.  This edit will air in the UK, Ireland and parts of Asia. Another version sees everyone around the globe raising a glass to Arthur, which will air in Africa and parts of Asia. The ad was directed by Antoine Bardou-Jacquet through Partizan.

The advertising campaign is a rallying cry to get people to join in the 250 celebrations which include a landmark promotion to be held in markets worldwide, with three main prizes that really do inspire the remarkable.  One winner will take off on a journey into space courtesy of Guinness and Virgin Galactic, another will enjoy a GUINNESS at a private gig with the Black Eyed Peas and a third will go deep into the ocean to drink a GUINNESS at a specially built under water bar, only accessible by submarine.

The celebrations culminate on Arthur’s Day, the 24th September, 2009, commemorating the great man himself, Arthur Guinness along with a toast to the Arthur Guinness Fund, which will honour the legacy and philanthropic heritage of the founder of GUINNESS and his descendants.

Key agencies involved in the development and activation of the global 250 programme include Saatchi & Saatchi X, Freud Communications, Taylor PR, Red Urban and JKR.


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