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‘Guinness For Strength’ Advertising

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Excerpt from Victoria and Albert Museum

Advertising of Guinness began on a national scale in 1929, through the advertising agency S. H. Benson. The collaboration between the copy-writer R. A. Bevan (son of the painter Robert Bevan), the art director Dicky Richards, and the artist John Gilroy, resulted in some of the most memorable posters ever produced. During Gilroy’s long association with Arthur Guinness Son & Co. Ltd., he invented the famous Guinness menagerie of toucans, seals, ostriches, camels, giraffes, etc. – based on studies he made at the zoo.

The campaigns also sought to associate Guinness with strength, so many of Gilroy’s designs – like this one of a man carrying a girder single-handed – show prodigious feats of strength. Humour, too, played an important part. Slogans like ‘Guinness is Good for You’ and ‘My Goodness My Guinness’ became popular catchphrases.