Guinness Sees Silver Linings Ahead of Second St. Patrick's Day of the Pandemic
Guinness applies a glass-half-full philosophy to another pandemic St. Patrick's Day, seeking out silver linings as it celebrates the resilience of the human spirit in ads from Quaker City Mercantile and Farm League director Chris Malloy.
"Last St. Patrick's Day, the world changed up on us all," we're told in the minute-long spot below. "Parades were canceled, and pubs had to shut down for a while. But we kept the lights on, and we got to thinking: 'Well, we know a thing or two about grain, so let's bake some bread for locals having a rough go of it.' "
All-too-familiar images of deserted streets and empty bars give ways to the bustle of Guinness's Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore, which has donated "Brewers Bread" to the Maryland Food Bank since last spring. (That's 25,000 loaves so far.)
"We Irish look at the silver linings, not the clouds," the voiceover continues. "And this is the day when we all get to be Irish, that's the magic of St. Patrick's Day. Can't make it to the pub? Bring the pub home to you. Can't go out with your friends? Make it a day to connect with your family. And remember to raise a pint for our local heroes."
Over images of the Diageo brand's famous St. James Gate in Dublin, and shots of locals raising their pints, the message concludes: "As for us, we signed a 9,000-year lease in our brewery a while back, so we're not going anywhere."
The push includes newspaper, billboard and digital elements, expanding on themes Guinness explored for that most Irish of holidays in 2020. Once again, the brand holding its head high and beckons better days.
"For the past year, we've been donating to and working with organizations that support restaurants, bars, bartenders, food banks, the fight for systemic justice, and frontline organizations," says Guinness brand director Nikhil Shah. "We'll continue to have the backs of those in need."
Beyond its Baltimore bread-banking effort, Guinness has pledged $600,000 to various Covid-19 relief efforts, including those from Team Rubicon. Now, the brand invites fans to share what they're toasting—by using the #AToastTo hashtag and tagging @GuinnessUS across Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. The brewer will donate an additional $1 (up to $100,000) to its food charity partners for every post through March 21.
Also on tap:
• Bagpipers dispatched to towns and cities across the land, spreading St. Patty's Day cheer.
• Open Gate celebrations including socially distanced movie nights and live music.
• Limited-edition holiday gear from the Guinness and Carhartt. (Wonder if they've got anything in green?)
• #AToastTo animated stickers from Holler, available via messaging keyboards and on Venmo.
• Limited-edition Guinness Draught "Sláinte" in 8- and 4-packs at retail.