Guinness gets anniversary buzz

Irish eyes have reasons to smile as famous stout brand celebrates 250 years of brewing success.

St Patrick's Day and the Irish rugby team's impressive performance in this year's Six Nations tournament have given Guinness a strong start to the brand's 250th anniversary year.

Guinness' most recent ad campaign - Pint of Precision Percussion - features a percussion arrangement that denotes what happens inside a pint of Guinness.

First aired on 26 February, the ad is an update of the campaign that launched in September 2008.

This year's ads aimed to build awareness of the 250th anniversary of the Guinness brand in the run-up to St Patrick's Day on 17 March.

The accompanying BrandIndex chart suggests the 250th anniversary message has been well received, although the marketing drive got off to a slow start.

For example, when the anniversary ad first aired, there was no immediate shift in Guinness' scores.Buzz and general impression ratings for the brand remaining fairly constant following the launch of the ad.

To make matters worse, the launch coincided with an announcement from Guinness owner Diageo that it had cut its revenue forecasts for the next year owing to expected difficulties in this trading period.

As a result, scores for the brand remained flat.

However, as the ad aired more frequently in the week leading up to St Patrick's Day, each of the brand's ratings started to improve.

From 11 March to 16 March, the general impression, recommend and buzz scores for the brand improved by five points, four points and two points respectively, and the brand's current buzz rating of 7% is now level with its scores in January this year.

While the economic climate appears to be playing on Diageo's mind, the robustness and heritage that the Guinness brand represents should stand it in good stead.

The next 12 months should indeed be a year to celebrate at Guinness.

METHODOLOGY: YouGov interviews 2,000 people each weekday to form its BrandIndex, a daily measure of public perception of more than 1,100 consumer brands across 32 sectors. It is measured on a seven-point profile:
1 Buzz
2 General impression
3 Quality
4 Value
5 Satisfaction
6 Recommend
7 Corporate reputation.
In addition, we supply an index score.

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