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Some Canadian Insight Into Our Love Affair With Beer

Beer. We love it…at least, we think we do but why do we love it so? Is it simply that tradition has led us into this affinity or would we hear this siren’s call and crash into the rocks while attempting to clutch a pint? Beer is ubiquitous and yet certain brands and flavors cross all borders. In the attempt to understand beer, we are well served to consult someone like DJ Lampitt. As brand manager in Canada for one of, if not the most, renowned names in beer…Guinness, Lampitt’s work with the iconic brand illustrates a lot about how we think about and desire this adult beverage in the modern age. Canadians tend to drink more beer per capita than most developed nations, making them not only fans but experts on the topic. With more than three hundred fifty years in existence, Guinness has established that it offers the same quality beverage all over the world. Even so, there is always progress which accompanies tradition.

Beer and education sound like a pairing that is not particularly obvious. A lineage of three and a half centuries provides a great deal of perspective and insight. While still made up of the same simple four ingredients it has always contained, Guinness has a different appeal depending on the region in which it is consumed. For Europeans and those of European descent, it means connection to heritage and is commonly ritualistic. In places like South Korea, home of the most expensive pint in the world, sixty percent of consumers are women and view Guinness as a status symbol. The country which consumes the most Guinness is not Ireland but rather Nigeria. The fact that it is consumed worldwide in many different ways by diverse people is the beginning of insight to the many facets and interpretations of beer across the planet.

With name recognition as ubiquitous as this, you have to be careful in promotion. Changing the branding of Guinness would be like changing the Nike logo. Lampitt’s work with Guinness (whose portfolio includes beer brands like Kilkenny, Smithwicks, Harp and Founders Cider; with cross promotion beverages like “crown floats”, Black and Tans, etc.) often focused on communicating that different types of people found the same enjoyment in the beverage; essentially rejecting previously held misconceptions. “Guinness Smooth” ( is a sexy streamlined ad which appeals to the status of a wise beer choice while “Here’s to Us All”( is about a sensory experience and calm intimate moments even amongst a crowd. As with the people who drink it, Guinness possesses a spectrum of emotional possibilities. DJ Lampitt oversaw the direction and creation of these campaigns to inform consumers that they need not label the product with a singular personality. His work is credited for widening the appeal to beer fans throughout North America and redefining what it means to be a fan of this drink available in more than one hundred twenty countries throughout the world.

Beer is like a friend or family member who we understand more about as our own lives evolve. For example, a pint of Guinness has less calories than a pint of skim milk. In fact, there was an erroneous preconception in some regions that because it contains iron, Guinness was beneficial for pregnant women to consume (an idea the company has worked tirelessly to contradict). Guinness has been around longer than anyone reading this and yet offers the same comfort as brands like Starbucks in that the same taste you are accustomed to can be found anywhere on the planet. As with most things that are perennial, it’s not beer that needs to change but our understanding of it.

Written by Kelly King

Some Canadian Insight Into Our Love Affair With Beer Reviewed by JaamZIN on 5:35:00 AM Rating: 5
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