Guinness serves up comradery in new St. Patrick’s Day ad

Linda J. Dodson

Table of Contents

Dive Brief:

  • Guinness is encouraging consumers to head back into bars this St. Patrick’s Day with a new national broadcast TV campaign, according to information shared with Marketing Dive. “All Together Now” will run from Feb. 16 through March.
  • The campaign by the Diageo-owned brand emphasizes in-person gatherings, which are again beginning to restart after two years of social distancing measures. In the minute-long spot, a diverse group of bar patrons celebrate as they sing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
  • The brand is reminding consumers of the comradery they can find in pubs at a time when many are ready to get back out into the world. It also hopes to jumpstart brand sales, which slumped 15% globally during 2020 as much of the brand’s business is done onsite in bars.

Dive Insight:

Despite the real threat COVID-19 still poses, many consumers are looking to move beyond the pandemic and embrace a new normal. As pandemic fatigue continues to grow, some consumers are looking to enjoy an evening out, or spend holidays with friends. By emphasizing in-person gatherings at bars in its new ad, Guinness is attempting to capitalize on this renewed interest in togetherness.

Nostalgia was a big theme for the ads during this year’s Super Bowl game as marketers become adept at leveraging broadly recognized movies, songs and celebrities in a way that reflects their brand values. This approach is evident in the new ad from Guinness, which uses a classic song to highlight the fun of an old-school pub gathering. By showcasing a crowd that is diverse in age and race, the brand can appeal to a broad group of consumers with a message that shows hope for the future, another theme that has emerged in ads this year.

For brands that do a significant portion of their business onsite, the pandemic brought a drop in sales. Guinness began to recover in the last six months of 2021, as sales surged 30% in Ireland and Great Britain as pubs and bars began to reopen.

The new campaign looks to support that rebound into 2022. An estimated 13 million pints of the frothy beer are consumed every Saint Patrick’s Day, an 819% increase from average. Overall, beer sales rise 150% on the holiday, with Guinness comprising a significant part of that. The “All Together Now” campaign leans heavily into the holiday, with bar patrons dressed in green and orange, the colors of the Irish flag, as pints of Guinness (and water in Guinness glasses) are passed out.

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