Guinness has launched a series of collectible cans to celebrate the 120th anniversary of John Gilroy’s birth – the artist behind the iconic Guinness advertisements that date back to the 1930s and 1960s.
The limited-edition cans will be available in Ireland from 16th October, illustrated with two of Gilroy’s iconic designs – the lobster and the smiling pint.
Gilroy, the artist behind Guinness’ eye-catching campaigns spanning across four decades (1930-1961), is renowned for his vibrant, humorous and unforgettable designs, which not only put Guinness on the map as an iconic brand advertiser but also revolutionised the global face of advertising as a whole.
In keeping with the style of Gilroy’s work, the vibrant illustrations are set against a white background – this time the canvas is the can – a striking contrast to the “black” or Ruby red beer inside.
Nin Taank, Guinness Brand Manager, said: “Gilroy’s iconic Guinness campaigns are recognised around the world and we are thrilled to be celebrating the 120th anniversary of his birth with the launch these limited-edition cans.”
“My Goodness, MY GUINNESS!” – one of the world’s longest running campaigns in history, features a hapless zoo keeper character – a caricature of Gilroy himself. Two of Gilroy’s other iconic designs feature on these limited-edition cans; the smiling pint and the lobster.
Self-described as ‘a fairly jolly man’ Gilroy is most recognised for the dash of humour he brought to every piece of work. When tasked with depicting a pint of Guinness, Gilroy responded in his signature style by inserting a smiling face into the foam.
Collectors often refer to this charming drawing, that you can see on one of the limited-edition cans, as the “anthropomorphic glass.” The other limited-edition can features one of Gilroy’s lobster illustrations. From the early 1930s Guinness and food was a popular advertising theme with the association of lobster and Guinness stretching back to the early 1900s – the dry roasted, slightly bitter taste of Guinness is said to be the perfect seafood pairing.