Guinness’s Nazi Ad Campaign

Okay, we’re in agreement: Nazis are bad. No argument. Another thing we can all agree on: Guinness is good. Great — we’re on the same page. The quintessential Irish drink is so tasty that even Nazis enjoyed savoring a pint. This isn’t a reflection on Nazis, it’s a reflection on Guinness. The bevvy, popular in British pubs, was so great that even Hitler’s followers loved it during a time when they were trying to claim world domination.

Fun fact: In the life-is-ironic department, in 1936 Guinness had an ad campaign planned that was geared towards the Third Reich, even featuring swastikas and Nazi soldiers. The campaign was planned to align with the Berlin Olympics and drawn by the classic Guinness poster artist, John Gilroy. The irony? The poster style is in the same whimsical style as their other posters — such as toucans flying with pints glasses on their beaks — except they’re surrounded by cartoony Nazis doing double-takes.

According to the Daily Mail, the poster images included:

A smiling German soldier holding a pint of stout with the slogan: “It is time — for a Guinness.” 

A Wehrmacht soldier holding a pint with the caption: “It’s time for a Guinness.” 

Toucans with pint glasses balanced on their beaks flying above the Olympic stadium — which is draped in Swastika flags.

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Surprisingly, Guinness didn’t use their traditional slogan with a Nazi twist to read: “Guinness Is Good – For The Master Race!”

Nazi Guinness campaign never got off the ground. Guinness in London wasn’t too keen with getting into the German market but in Ireland there was a somewhat ambivalent attitude towards Nazi Germany. The London and Irish offices of Guinness had differing views on the campaign.

On the other hand, Coca Cola saw no problem whatsoever to advertise Coke to the Nazis.

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Wait, there’s more to the story! The unused 1936 artworks is said to be worth roughly £1.2 million. The artwork is also featured in a new book, “Gilroy Was Good For Guinness,” written by former Guinness brewer David Hughes.

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