Today, as internet marketers and video content producers already know, is March 17th. And, since we’re all a bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, it seems altogether fitting and proper to hoist a glass of Guinness and watch 10 social videos by one of the most successful beer brands worldwide. (Over 10 million glasses of Guinness stout are enjoyed every single day around the world, and 1,883,200,000 pints are sold every year – that’s 1.8 billion, if you are keeping count.)
Now, I must acknowledge that I was ably assisted in this endeavor by Jennifer Conway of Dotted Line Communications, who handles PR for Unruly. How she knew I was part Irish is beyond me. (It’s on my mother’s side of the family.) Maybe she guessed that I’d be interested in Guinness because I live outside Boston, which just happens to be the first parish to the west of Ireland. Anyway, she let me know that Unruly has put together a fun chart for St. Patrick’s Day looking at the top Guinness ads of all time.
At the top of this chart is the “Guinness basketball commercial.” The description says, “New Guinness TV commercial: ‘wheelchair basketball’. Dedication. Loyalty. Friendship. The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character.”
The music is by The Cinematic Orchestra — To build a home (feat. Patrick Watson). This is another element of the social video that makes it worth watching as well as worth sharing. Published on Sept. 3, 2103, on the Guinness Commercials channel, this social video currently has close to 8.4 million views and has been shared more than 700,000 times.
The description also includes a link to http://www.guinnessgivesback.com as well as the Twitter hashtag, #madeofmore. The website asks viewers (over the legal drinking age) to “join Guinness to raise $1 million for local firefighters. Guinness and the Leary Firefighters Foundation have teamed up to raise $1 million for local firefighters between now and St. Patrick’s Day. Join the effort. Purchase a commemorative Guinness firefighter t-shirt below to help departments around the country keep us all safe.” As of yesterday, $245,000 had been raised toward that goal.
The second video in the chart of top Guinness ads of all time is “Round up your mates for a GUINNESS on St Patrick's Day.” The social video’s description says, “To help friends get together, GUINNESS has trained a highly specialised sheepdog to round up mates and ensure they get to the pub on St Patrick's Day.”
Uploaded on Feb. 29, 2012, to the Guinness Great Britain channel, this social video currently has close to 3.1 million views and has been shared over 186,000 times.
The third video in the chart is entitled, “Best Beer Commercial ever.”
Uploaded on June 27, 2006, to the video.0nw.it channel, this social video currently has more than 4 million views and has been shared over 105,000 times.
The fourth video in the chart of top Guinness ads of all time is “Sapeurs – New GUINNESS Advert (2014).” The description says, “GUINNESS’ new ad features the ‘society of elegant persons of the Congo’ otherwise known as the ‘Sapeurs’, a group of everyday heroes from Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. In this ad, GUINNESS follows the Sapeurs whose way of life is a testament to the belief of putting more in, to get more out. Their life is not defined by occupation or wealth, but by respect, a moral code and an inspirational display of flair and creativity. This is demonstrated through their love of stylish dressing; but it is not the fabric or cost of the suit that counts, it is the worth of the man inside it.”
Published on Jan. 12, 2014, on the Guinness Europe channel, this social video has close to 2.7 million views and has been shared almost 82,000 times.
The fifth video in the chart is entitled, “Guinness St patricks Day ad.”
Published on Mar. 16, 2006, on the Fuzzywobs channel, this video has almost 475,000 views and been shared more than 67,000 times – despite the admonition: “This video is unlisted. Be considerate and think twice before sharing.”
The sixth video in the chart of top Guinness ads of all time is “Guinness Christmas Advert.” The description says, “Wonderful Guinness Christmas advert with scenes throughout Ireland. The music was produced specially for the commercial by composer Kevin Sargent.”
Uploaded on Dec. 18, 2006, to the Jerome Curtin channel, this social video has almost 210,000 views and over 44,000 shares.
The seventh video in the chart is “New Guinness Advert 2013 – Clock.” The description says, “The story of the clock that challenges the ordinary. ‘Clock’ is the new Guinness advert released in January 2013. 'Clock' celebrates the attitude shared by Guinness and its drinkers — that you get more out of life by putting more in. It is set in Bohemia in the 1890s and tells the story of a town’s clock that doesn’t settle for the ordinary; the clock starts to control time to enhance the townspeople’s days; accelerating time to make a task go faster, reversing time to avoid an unfortunate event and pausing time to allow a precious moment to last longer.”
Published on Jan. 18, 2013, on the Guinness Europe channel, this social video has almost 1.2 million views and more than 42,000 shares.
The eighth video in the chart of the top Guinness ads of all time is “Sapeurs – A Short Documentary by GUINNESS (2014).” The description says, “In this documentary we illustrate the brightly coloured and social affairs that bring the 'Sapeurs' together. Their bold choice to live an unexpected lifestyle is a source of celebrated originality and positivity. Their life is not defined by occupation or wealth, but by respect, a moral code and an inspirational display of flair and creativity. The Sapeurs show us that whilst in life you cannot always choose your circumstances, you can always choose who you are.”
The description also includes a link to let viewers find out more about the Sapeurs. Published on Jan. 12, 2014, on the Guinness Europe channel, this social video has more than 1.1 million views and over 41,000 shares.
The ninth video in the chart is “Guinness – Surfer (extended).” The description says, “Directed by Jonathan Glazer.”
Published on Apr. 22, 2007, on the Vilmos Toth channel, this social video has almost 527,000 views and close to 38,000 shares.
Finally, the tenth video in the chart of the top Guinness ads of all time is “The New Guinness World Ad – Bring it to Life.” The description says, “Guinness launches its most ambitious ad yet. In a parallel with the way a pint of Guinness is created, the ad shows a group of men bringing ‘a world to life.’ Taking on the extreme challenge of creating this epic ad, Director Johnny Green recruited an elite team including Oscar winning set designer Grant Major and Oscar nominated Director of Photography Wally Pfisher.”
Uploaded on Nov. 4, 2009, to the Guinness World 1759 channel, this social video has almost 852,000 views and over 34,000 shares.
After reviewing these top 10 Guinness ads of all time I’m struck by the sheer variety of the content. Perhaps that’s because Guinness beer is available in well over 100 countries worldwide and is brewed in almost 50. As of June 30, 2004, the most recent data available, the biggest-selling markets for Guinness stout were (in order): Great Britain, Ireland, Nigeria, the US, and Cameroon.
As Pixability’s 2013 Top 100 Global Brands study reported, the leading global brands tend to produce a broader range of videos than the bottom quartile of global brands. These brands understand that both short videos and long-form content perform as viewers become more familiar with and loyal to brands.
Pixability has also said, “Producing a variety of YouTube content is important, but ensure all YouTube messaging aligns with overall brand messaging.” And all 10 of these social videos by Guinness show people what the brand stands for, while giving them emotional and visual content to connect with.
Guinness also applies branding intelligently. Although utilizing too much overt branding discourages viewers from sharing content with friends via email and social media sites, branding within videos is important because many YouTube videos are shared, embedded, and viewed outside of official branded YouTube channels.
And all 10 of these social videos have a remarkable knack for telling stirring tales of inspiration, dedication, ingenuity, and effort. It also happens to be the story of how a unique Irish stout became, with a little magic and a few leaps of faith, one of the world’s best-loved beers.
It’s no wonder that people watch and share these social videos. So, hoist a glass of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day – even if you’re only a bit Irish.