Guinness debuted a new campaign that pits NFL stars Joe Burrow and Joe Montana against each other in an effort to promote Guinness 0, a non-alcoholic alternative to the marketer’s classic draught, according to information shared with Marketing Dive. The effort raises awareness for the Joe Burrow Foundation, a nonprofit focused on food insecurity.
In a 15-second video now live on Guinness’ U.S. social channels, Pro Bowl quarterback Burrow can be seen sporting a Guinness jersey with the number zero on it. Montana walks into the locker room, remarking that he might start to wear the number himself, setting off a terse but playful back-and-forth between the two QBs who have earned the nickname “Joe Cool” for their on-field play. The ad is just the first part of a push that will run throughout the NFL season, the announcement said.
Replicas of the jersey worn by Burrow in the video are available for purchase through a web store, with all proceeds benefiting the athlete’s namesake foundation as part of the Guinness Gives Back initiative. Those who follow Guinness on social media have the chance to win a signed jersey in the coming days.
Creative nods to the fact NFL players can wear the number zero on their jerseys for the first time beginning with the 2023-24 season. Guinness is also leaning into a cross-generational appeal, having young Bengals star Burrow go head-to-head with NFL Hall of Famer Montana.
Focusing on social content shows how marketers like Diageo-owned Guinness can push their products around pro football despite rival Anheuser-Busch owning an official relationship with the NFL. The strategy also speaks to the growing importance of non-alcoholic beverages for the category. Guinness introduced its 0 concept in 2020 and has expanded its availability since then.
Competitors including Heineken and Anheuser-Busch parent AB InBev have ramped up consumer-facing marketing around their zero-alcohol bets as the segment becomes a bigger growth driver with young consumers who have embraced concepts like “Dry January.” Heineken last spring used the rollout of the Marvel Studios blockbuster “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” to hype its Heineken 0.0 brew.
Other brands are similarly embracing the novelty of zero being added to NFL jerseys. Pepsi Zero Sugar, an official league sponsor, recently partnered with Philadelphia Eagles running back D’Andre Swift to give away 100 #0 NFL team jerseys.