If you plan to sip a Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day, you have content marketing to thank.
The iconic black beer from Ireland is popular throughout the world because of a lucky stroke of genius—an idea that foreshadowed the rise of branded content.
In the 1950s, Sir Hugh Beaver, managing director of Guinness Brewery, was at a shooting party in County Wexford when he hatched an idea for a reference book that aimed to settle pub arguments throughout the world, according to the brand. He and his companions couldn’t agree on the fastest game bird in Europe. What the world needed, he realized, was an authoritative source of facts and figures: The Guinness Book of Records.
Like a good content marketer, Sir Hugh knew his audience, saw a problem, and sought to fix it with valuable, original content. His simple but revolutionary idea grew to become a household name, and the global phenomenon of Guinness continues today. Thirty-three million pints of Guinness will be consumed worldwide this St. Patrick’s Day. The beer is brewed in 49 countries and sold in over 150 countries. And of all the places tourists to Ireland could visit, the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin trumps them all as Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction.
Despite the global recognition, the brand has still had to contend with the challenges of social media and digital marketing in an ever-noisier environment. Today, the brand continues to evolve its brand story, with new forays into experiential marketing and digital storytelling.