The limited-edition cans are now available in Ireland, illustrated with two of his iconic designs – the lobster and the smiling pint.
The artist behind Guinness’ eye-catching campaigns spanning 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 John Gilroy’s work, the 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.
“Gilroy’s iconic Guinness campaigns are recognised around the world,” commented Guinness Brand Manager Nin Taank.
One of the longest-running global campaigns in history, ‘My Goodness, My Guinness!’ features a hapless zoo keeper character – a caricature of Gilroy himself. But the two designs featured on the limited-edition cans are 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 his 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 as the “anthropomorphic glass”. The other 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.
“Not only was John Gilroy a gifted artist, he was an advertising revolutionary and ahead of his time,” explained Jim Gilroy of the Gilroy Estate, “We’re very proud that his work is being commemorated in this way – how fitting that his lobster and sun designs should now feature on the Guinness can itself.”
These cans are now available in multi-pack format, the Gilroy smiling pint can is available exclusively from Musgraves.