- Guinness, the Irish stout brand owned by Diageo, started the countdown to St. Patrick's Day with a multichannel campaign starring "Parks and Recreation" actor Nick Offerman. The brand is inviting Instagram users over age 21 to follow its @GuinnessUS account to see Offerman provide tips, tricks, trivia, food pairings and suggestions on how to pour a pint of Guinness and to give "an authentic Irish toast," per an announcement.
- The brand will donate $1 — up to $100,000 — to the Guinness Gives Back Fund for every Instagram post by customers who take selfies of the foamy "mustache" they get while drinking Guinness until March 31. To enter, the post must tag @GuinnessUS and have the hashtag #StacheForCharity.
- Guinness also collaborated with workwear maker Carhartt on a clothing collection that includes T-shirts, hoodies, hats and other items for sale a limited time at a microsite. Until March 1, customers over age 21 can enter for a chance to win a trip to visit the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. The brand also will host celebrations at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore with an "Irish Village experience" on March 14-15, per the announcement.
Guinness is getting a jump start on St. Patrick's Day promotions with its multichannel campaign that includes social media, experiential elements and a sweepstakes promotion. Combining these alternative channels to traditional media outlets could help to improve their overall effectiveness in reaching an audience of tech-savvy young adults who tend to be heavy users of smartphones.
By urging people to share selfies with their Guinness mustaches, the campaign has a higher likelihood of going viral, as seen with the organic meme inspired by actor Jack Black who posted a picture of himself drinking Guinness. Utilizing Nick Offerman, best known as the mustachioed Ron Swanson on "Parks and Recreation," helps Guinness double down on the meme and tap into nostalgia for the NBC sitcom, which aired from 2009 to 2015.
Guinness typically sees a jump in consumption on St. Patrick's Day, which ranks as the third-most popular drinking holiday after New Year's Eve and Mardi Gras. Guinness consumption is 819% greater than usual on St. Patrick's Day, with an estimated 13 million pints imbibed worldwide, per information compiled by WalletHub. More than half (55%) of Americans planned to celebrate St. Patrick's Day last year, spending an average of about $40 each on partying, the data shows.
While Generation Z consumes less alcohol than older generations, there are signs that millennials have boosted their consumption as they face greater stresses of parenthood. Constellation Brands, whose products include Corona beer, Svedka vodka and Kim Crawford wine, found in a study that alcohol consumption among millennials had climbed to 29 drinks a month last year from 24 drinks a month in 2013, CNBC reported. More than three fourths (77%) of U.S. millennials consume alcohol, the company said.
Guinness is among the alcohol brands that have turned to social media to reach younger adults with their campaigns. As part of its massive Super Bowl promotions, Anheuser-Busch InBev's Budweiser debuted specialized labeling for social sharing. The SelfieBud special-edition label was printed backward to appear normal in selfies on social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat. AB InBev's Natural Light this year began offering free beer to anyone who turned 21 by rebating their purchase. People who caption their pictures with the #NattyBDay hashtag and the @naturallightbeer account on Instagram, or @naturallight on Twitter, have a chance to see their pictures reposted on Natural Light's accounts.