Cannes Lions-winning Guinness Singapore press campaign ran once in free listings magazine

Guinness Lion-winning ad as it appeared in I-S Magazine

Guinness ad as it appeared in I-S Magazine

A press campaign for Guinness in Singapore that won Lions at Cannes last month ran once in a local listings magazine, Mumbrella can reveal.

The campaign, which uses Picasso-esque illustrations to promote Guinness draught in a bottle, won three silver Lions in the press category.

It was published in a single edition of I-S Magazine.

Five executions of the campaign featured in the April 25 – May 8 2014 issue of I-S Magazine – just before the deadline for Cannes submissions. To be eligible for this year’s Lions, work had to be published between March 1 2013 and April 30.

The sales team at I-S magazine confirmed the single booking with Mumbrella today. Five quarter square ads would have cost around S$3,750 (US$3,020) in total, or S$750 each. A PDF version of the edition featuring the award-winning campaign can be viewed here.

2nd of 5 Guinness ads in I-S

Second of five Guinness fractional ads in I-S

BBDO Singapore was the creative agency behind the campaign, which picked up silver Press Lions in the alcoholic drinks, illustration and art direction subcategories.

The enquiry was triggered by comments from Mumbrella readers. One wondered why a campaign to remind Singapore’s beer drinkers about draught Guinness in a bottle required five different posters to do so, suggesting that the work had been created to win awards, not for the benefit of the brand – a practice known as “scam”.

BBDO, which confirmed the press campaign’s media run, claims that ‘Pint in a glass’ was a follow-up to the original launch of Guinness draught in a bottle in Singapore that took place in early 2013.

The marketing director for Guinness, Asia Pacific Breweries’ René de Monchy, confirmed this, telling Mumbrella: “No, this was not an agency initiative. The agency was briefed by us in the last quarter of 2013 to create a follow-up campaign to ‘GDIB [Guinness Draught in a bottle] Smoothest Launch’.”

The Cannes rules stipulate that entries must be approved and paid for by the client, and run in media space paid for by the client.

The ‘Pint in a glass’ creative performed even better in the Outdoor Lions than in press, claiming gold and silver Outdoor Lions. The campaign won gold for craft and silver in the ‘indoor posters’ category of the Outdoor Lions as an in-bar/point of sale initiative, which ran in the month of December 2013.

Guinness campaign

Guinness draught in a bottle launch campaign

The first phase of the Guinness Draught in a bottle campaign that ran in early 2013 took a very different tack, using traditional out-of-home and visibly larger spend. Billboards featured large bottles made of mock-velvet to dramatise the smoothness of Guinness draught in a bottle.

That iteration of the campaign helped BBDO gain recognition as the most effective agency in Asia at the AMEs and APAC Effies this year, with the campaign helping to reverse declining marketshare for Guinness, according to the agency’s awards submission.

The ‘Pint in a bottle’ creative executions were part of a large haul of 35 Lions across 10 categories that helped BBDO win APAC network of the year at Cannes. Chris Thomas, BBDO’s regional chairman and CEO, singled out the campaign as the “highlight” of his agency’s achievements at Cannes in an article on Adobo magazine after the festival came to a close.

Cannes Lions is now investigating the eligibility of the campaign in both the press and outdoor categories.

The news emerges the week after Mumbrella’s Australian site discovered that a campaign for Johnson & Johnson by JWT Sydney that was shortlisted at Cannes had run once in a local parenting magazine, and a Lion-winning campaign for McDonald’s by DDB Sydney ran in a single edition of an obscure local suburban newspaper on the day of the Cannes submission deadline.


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