Happy Arthur’s Day & the Discovery of Guinness’s lost Ad Campaigns

HTBS’s own Irishman, Greg Denieffe, writes,

It is not all going according to plan for this year’s Arthur’s Day which falls on 26 September. This is the fifth occasion that the day has been celebrated since been first organised in 2009 to promote the 250th anniversary of the Dublin brewing company. However, leaving aside the controversy which you can read about here, there is always something for us rowing-heads to like about the advertising campaigns run by the company over the years.

HTBS posted a few examples on 22 March, 2010, and of course Rupert Guinness crops up in articles on a regular basis.

Above is an example from the 1973 programme for Dublin Metropolitan Regatta (my first Metro). The strange thing about this is that the coxswain is not drinking a manly pint but is enjoying what in Ireland is called a ‘glass’ and in England ‘a half’ and even that appears to be in a lady’s glass.

A far rarer advertisement comes from 1950 for a campaign that was never used.

This from David Hughes, who has written a book called Gilroy was good for Guinness:

This small poster is intended as a flyer for my new book Gilroy was good for Guinness which contains hundreds of never seen before original artwork images of Guinness adverts.

Since the early 20th century, Guinness advertising has been famous around the world for its distinctive imagery, humour and impact.

For over 30 years the creative force behind many of the most iconic and beloved campaigns were the artist John Gilroy. Mysteriously, in 1971 much of his work disappeared from the archive of S H Benson’s advertising agency. Now, through his investigation on both sides of the Atlantic, former Guinness brewer David Hughes has unearthed a vast portfolio of Gilroy’s previously unseen and unpublished canvases.

Three hundred posters, many featuring classic cars, new zoo animals, American views, Russian and German that were never commercially published – have now come to light.

This book explores the disappearance and reappearance of these extraordinary canvases, presents them in full colour, and tells the story of Gilroy, the man behind the advertising legacy.

Thanks to David HTBS can celebrate Arthur’s Day in style with a poster that Tom Weil might approve of!

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