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.

Andrew W.K. Enters Hour 17 Of World Record Drumming Attempt

You know, I think I have consistently underestimated Andrew W.K. I remember watching him perform “Party Hard” on Saturday Night Live, if such a thing is even possible to envision in this day and age, and thinking that for once, the music segment of that show wasn’t a train wreck. Then, years later, I saw him DJing at Santos Party House, and the place was fairly empty, but he still killed. So I have every expectation he will succeed in his effort to drum for 24 hours straight, which is entering the final act right about now.

The stunt is part of a Viacom’s O Music Awards, and W.K. has been training hard for it. He’s also, unbelievably, not using caffeine or other stimulants, which explains why he’s looking a little haggard at the moment. Only eight more hours to go, buddy! Luckily, he’s got some drummer friends—everyone from Marky Ramone to, uh, Zac Hanson—to keep the rhythm in his sloppier moments. Right now it’s a guy in a Siouxsie and the Banshees tank top and fedora. Not a good look.
 
But surely this can’t be for a Guinness-official world record, right? If it were, there would be some official Guinness guy standing over W.K., close enough to breathe down his sweaty neck, making sure he didn’t drop a single beat, or sneak off to the bathroom. And he certainly wouldn’t be allowed collaborators to streamline the whole thing. We’ll consider this a warm-up, dude, but someday we expect a 24-hour drum solo. Then make an album of that so I can drive my neighbors insane.
 

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Your St. Patrick’s Day NYC Itinerary

This year, St. Patrick’s Day arrives on a Sunday, transforming our day of rest into a day of revelry, as NYers hit the streets covered in shamrock-colored face paint and stuffed with Jameson and Guinness. And New York really makes it all too easy, as bars across Manhattan host massive parties devoted to getting you as buzzed and green-in-the-face as possible. Since navigating the subway system may overwhelm the day’s thought processes, I’ve gathered the city’s best parties into a neat, walk-able, almost-charming itinerary. So print it out, stick it on your fridge, carry it in your pocket, and fuel up for a day of nonstop mischief.

First stop: sideBAR for an all-green breakfast.
Our favorite Seuss book comes to life at upscale sportsbar sideBAR, where green eggs, pancakes, bagels, and Lucky Charms are the requisite, pre-drinking morning fuel. Alas, the breakfast is called “Kegs & Eggs,” which means this event gets dynamic quick, offering up to eight green Bud Light drafts, and getting you buzzed by noon. Starts 9am, $24. Info here.

Second stop: Bounce Sporting Club for their themed Sunday Funday party.
Green sparklers & bottle service, rotating DJs,  and an all Jameson whiskey-infused menu kick off your official St. Patrick’s celebration with class and crazy at Bounce’s weekly “Sunday Funday” party. Pick up the banana Jameson shots, Just the Tip cocktail with peach puree, and – if you already need some reviving – the Slumpbuster cocktail with Jameson, Bailey’s, Kaluha, and restorative espresso. Starts noon. Info here.

Third Stop: The Windsor for pastrami spring rolls, corned beef, & Guinness cupcakes.
Snack time. Head to the West Village or Gansevoort Park locations of upscale sportsbar The Windsor for their special pastrami spring rolls, corned beef, and Guinness chocolate cupcake with Bailey’s buttercream, served in a jar. All day till 4am. Info here.

Fourth Stop: Fiddlesticks for the casual, pub experience.
Ireland’s best NY bar, this pub holds all the Irish charm you envision for the big day: outdoor tables, a packed bar full of loud Irishmen, Gelic lettering and décor, filthy bathrooms. Fiddlesticks is king. Till 2am. Info here.

Fifth Stop: Lavo for a wild dance party.
You’ll need a cab to this Midtown East club, but it’s worth it: do the Irish jig with sexy dancers on top of your table – Lavo style – at the themed Riviera Sundays weekly party. DJ Yacine spins, while your world starts to also.

Sixth Stop: Your bed.
Well done. Now go to sleep – or get lucky. It’s the Irish way.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here

Anthony Bourdain, Pixelated Guinness, and the Real Definition of Responsible Drinking

I’ve long enjoyed chef, author, and television personality Anthony Bourdain’s irreverent take on the various cities he visits in his Travel Channel shows, particularly his latest series, The Layover. Unlike some of the chirpier hosts the network employs, he takes a warts-and-all approach to his destinations, heaping praise upon the great and worthy aspects of a city while being refreshingly candid about the stuff that sucks. His loyalty lies with the viewer over the sponsor, as it should. But his recent episode on Dublin got me thinking about all the behind-the-scenes considerations that go with the various brands and businesses that make it into the show. In the case of Dublin, there appears to have been much hand-wringing over the ubiquitous presence of the city’s most iconic product: Guinness. [Update: Scroll down for Bourdain’s response.]

No visit to Dublin is complete without a few pints of the black stuff, and Bourdain certainly indulged, but I quickly noticed while watching that whenever he referred to Guinness, he used precisely that metaphor, "the black stuff," or something similar. The Guinness logo on pint glasses and tap handles was pixelated as well.

In the case of most shows that feature a particular product, that probably means that the company was contacted and asked to pay a fee to be included in the show, since its association with it and its stars can be seen as an endorsement, making it more effective than an advertisement. When the companies balk at paying, the show’s producers blur out the logo.

But watching The Layover, I began to think that the pixelation of the Guinness logo was Guinness’s choice, not the Travel Channel’s. After all, Bourdain was drinking multiple pints of the stuff and wound up somewhat drunk, and admitted it. It’s likely that the makers of Guinness felt that this didn’t quite represent "responsible drinking" and decided they’d better not be associated with Bourdain, even though they secretly think he’s great.

I get that. There are lawyers involved, brand image to consider, and booze and TV laws and standards to follow. But yet, was his consumption of Guinness in Dublin really irresponsible?

Not at all. Bourdain had a driver to ferry him to his various destinations, or he traveled on foot. In my view, the true definition of irresponsible drinking is driving drunk, or even buzzed. (Being violent, of course, is also irresponsible, but violent drunks tend to be violent people in general.) But having a few pints in a pub and then going to a chipper? That’s what people do. That’s not abuse of alcohol, it’s use of alcohol. Responsible drinking simply means not being an asshole. 

Of course getting drunk all the time is bad for you, wreaks havoc on your health, and can cost you your job and family, but that’s nothing you can see happening in two nights of drinking on a one-hour TV show. Anthony Bourdain getting mildly drunk in Dublin? There’s not a thing wrong with it. The idea that people never have more than one drink in a sitting is simply a fantasy.

And I have the feeling that Bourdain himself chafed at the restriction. In two instances I did hear him murmer the word Guinness, and the logo (but not the entire logo) is available in the screencap above. Perhaps there’s enough editorial justification for him to say what he was drinking, because it’s simply reporting the facts. Perhaps he was allowed two instances to say the word, and he reached his limit.

Despite its ridiculousness, The Layover and shows like it will continue to dance around issues like this, using euphemisms and dippy metaphors for what they really mean. In this case, the fact that Bourdain was drinking Guinness couldn’t have been more obvious, so not mentioning the name is skating by on a technicality.

That’s probably good enough for Guinness, and I guess it’s good enough for me too. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to sharing a bottle of Dogfish Head Theobroma beer with my wife for Valentine’s Day tomorrow night, possibly followed by a Stoli martini. Don’t pixelate me.

UPDATE: Anthony Bourdain informs me via Twitter that it was the network’s decision not to identify Guinness by name. Thanks!

Bourdain Tweet

‘Saw’ Franchise Enters Guinness Book of Records

I think I’ve seen roughly ten minutes of the first Saw film. I remember Cary Elwes screaming a lot and then thinking to myself, “Wow! His career has really gone off the rails if he’s been reduced to this sort of bunk.” Well, bunk though it might have been, they’ve since made six more of them, and a fuck-ton of money to boot. How much? Enough to earn them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records is how much.

Reuters reports that the Saw franchise won this mighty distinction for being the most financially successful horror series of all time. “I’m still in shock,” said Mark Burg, one of the film’s producers. “The fact that we beat out Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a testament to our cast, crew, and our partners at Lionsgate.”

What a bunch of happy horse shit. Then he went home and took a money bath. The Saw films have made 730 million so far. Saw 3D (a.k.a. Saw VII) hits theaters October 29th.

Guinness Uses Sex to Sell

imageThis Guinness ad has been deemed “racy” and “controversial” by the online consortium. I started watching it, and thought, no big deal. A bottle of beer balances on a girl’s back whilst having sex. Then at about the 38-second mark, it all became clear. Then at the 49-second mark, it became clear again. Enjoy.

whoop! Sadly, the ad has been yanked from Youtube, though you can still watch it here. And turns out it was not a real ad at all, but a viral jokey thing created by Youtube user DESchatz. Guinness had Youtube yank the clip (and the associated comments), but you can read a summary here.