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When a brand like Guinness is so fundamentally part of the fabric of a country, how does it react when that country’s people are trying to redefine their identity?
This was the challenge Guinness faced in 2013. The events of recent years had left people questioning what it really meant to be Irish.
Many things in Ireland were changing but one truth remained – culture and creativity is part of the Irish DNA. We took the time to understand that Irish people needed help getting their ideas off the ground. And that the role Guinness played could define it for a generation.
“Many things in Ireland were changing but one truth remained – culture and creativity is part of the Irish DNA”
It became clear that Guinness’ role was to support these people – the artists, creators, poets, foodies and sportsmen – the doers. This was the chance for Guinness to champion the next generation of Irish talent and creativity.
The core of the idea was simple – to provide everything necessary to help them turn their ideas into reality. So we created a platform for people to showcase their ideas to the rest of the country and generate the support and publicity they needed to make them happen.
So through the fields of Food, Sports, Music and the Arts, Arthur Guinness Projects was born.
From the creative for the billboards to the expert panel of judges to the press ads that told the story of the project owners; Arthur Guinness Projects was about giving voice to those who were writing Ireland’s next chapter.
And because we knew that for it to work, it had to be something Irish people took on for themselves in their own communities, we listened to what people were saying on social and in mainstream media and responded with daily and weekly content around the projects that were trending and topics people were talking about.
What this resulted in was project owners and their supporters passionately campaigning for votes through their social channels, local press and radio, and even on the streets. And they didn’t just campaign for their ideas to win – they wanted people to support the ideas they knew could make a difference – this wasn’t a competition. It was a movement.
The billboards went up all over Ireland highlighting the four areas of music, food, sport and (in this case) the arts.
“People didn’t just campaign for their ideas to win – they wanted to support the ideas they knew could make a difference. this wasn’t a competition – It was a movement”
The programme ran for 8 weeks and the results far surpassed our original projections. Throughout the summer there was overwhelmingly positive conversation and chatter across all channels – Irish people supported each other to begin creating the kind of country they wanted. A nation started to believe once more, and Guinness showed yet again that it was a global brand with an Irish heart.
The site generated almost 900,000 visits. 5% of Ireland’s web users joined the movement. The launch video alone surpassed 250,000 views.
In 2014, Arthur Guinness Projects took home a Gold at the 2014 DMA’s and the An Post Smart Marketing Awards, picked up a bronze at the ADFX and was shortlisted for various other awards. But above all, it inspired a nation.