… is that even possible?
Can an essay become interesting? Can it be something that you become fond of? Can it be something where you actual enjoy researching and writing it? I never thought I would see the day, but I have, it has happened to me and I will tell you all about it.
For my module Media Planning for Advertising we were allowed to do an essay between 2,500 and 6000 words on anything that you want. It would literally be in anything to do with marketing and advertising. The individual had to decide on:
- Essay question
- Case study option
- Primary research option
I’ve never had to do something that was so open, and I was worried, really wasn’t.. My first idea was titled ‘How does the absence of a voice-overs affect the way in which an audience react to a company?‘. I knew what I was going to do, had my thesis ready and was ready to start my research but them all the students left so I wasn’t able to do any focus groups. I started to lose interest in the subject and decided on changing my question and using this as a dissertation idea (yes, I’m thinking about my dissertation already).
I had a think about what advertisements had recently caught my eye and the one that stood out the most was ‘Friendship’ by Guinness. I remembered one lecturer mentioning how Guinness advertisements always relate to consumers at that time so I thought it would be perfect. I started my research on the Guinness history and discussing advertisements from when the first UK Guinness advertisement appeared in 1794, a whole 63 years after Guinness was founded. After a while I realised that Guinness doesn’t always use it’s advertising to relate to consumer tastes at the time but one thing is for sure… Guinness advertisements are innovative and creative allowing the company to stay ahead of competition.
Something I found interest was the Guinness trademark label was introduced to establish brand identity and quality control. It included a harp, Arthur Guinness’ signature and the word Guinness (obviously). Each element of trademark had been changed numerous times since 1862 and the final version was only fixed in the early 20th century (2005 to be precise). In addition Guinness put a trademark on its label which has meant that the Irish government had to change its own harp by making the straight edge appear to the right instead of the left.
I really started getting into my essay and enjoying the research when I came across the first ‘Bottle Drop’ promotion that Guinness did in 1954. Guinness Exports Ltd dropped 50,000 brown half pint bottles across the world’s oceans with each having a personalised message and asked the finder to tear-off part of the message and send it back to Guinness Exports Ltd explaining where it was found and what date. This shows that innovation and early stages of promotional advertising which will always keep a business ahead of its competition. The best part came from an article by The Guinness Collectors Club where it mentioned how a team of people came across some of these bottles in 2002 and took images of the bottles (seen below). I thought it was remarkable and a true insight into Guinness history
I still haven’t finished my assignment, I’m only 2,300 words in and I have only written half of it. I’m looking forward to the rest and writing about some great advertisements including ‘Fish on a Bicycle,’ ‘Surfer,’ ‘Tipping Point’ and ‘Friendship.’ Guinness is definitely a company that I admire for its advertising (I don’t actually drink beer) and all the advertising agencies that have worked on the brand go above and beyond consumers expectations.
Until next time,