Back in the 1970s, how they were getting the girls to have a drink

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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.

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