HAVE A DRINK OF GUINNESS
Back in the 1970s, how they were getting the girls to have a drink
The 1970s is regarded as a particularly creative and groundbreaking decade of British advertising.
It was also a time of increased regulation, consumer awareness and changing attitudes within many areas of life.
After a run of 40 years, responsibility for Guinness advertising moved from S H Benson to the J Walter Thompson (JWT) agency in 1969 and the time was ripe for a new look to the famous beverage’s advertising.
A series of campaigns were subsequently developed throughout the following decade which combined eye-catching photography and arresting slogans.
The stylish ads featured here are from “A woman’s natural drink” campaign of 1976-77, orchestrated by JWT art director and designer Ann Leworthy. They were designed to demonstrate that Guinness had found a new way of talking to modern independent female consumers whilst still focussing on the brand’s core characteristics, namely uniqueness, quality and a strong personality. It clearly challenges the traditional image of Guinness as primarily a strong, nourishing drink for tough, rugged men and references the contemporary movement for women’s liberation by suggesting that a sophisticated and sassy professional woman should feel perfectly comfortable going into a pub and ordering a pint for herself.
Ironically, although this series of ads had a strong initial impact it was not considered to be a long-term success in attracting female drinkers to the brand.
However, it was undoubtedly a very popular campaign as men appreciated the attractive models featured in the advertisements!
The ads were shot by some of Britain’s finest fashion photographers, including Barry Lategan, best known for his discovery of and work with Twiggy and Harry Peccinotti who created ground breaking imagery for Pirelli in the late 1960s.
The JWT London Archive is deposited at HAT and includes more than 600 guard books of press advertising proofs, client planning files and corporate records.