Doggone it, Guinness gets marketing right with these CNY T-shirts

World-leading Irish stout brand Guinness collaborates with three local artists to create a series of dog-inspired T-shirts in time for Year of the Dog this Chinese New Year.

It was bound to happen of course; one would totally expect Guinness – with its distinctive brand visual and iconic moniker of the “ang ji gao”, or red-tongued dog that encapsulated the brand for generations in Singapore – to totally market itself during this coming Lunar New Year, which so happens to be the Year of the Dog. But for a brand that’s stuck to traditional old-school marketing targeted at coffee shop uncles – bottle cap trade-ins, anyone? – this year Guiness has totally outdone itself. This year Guinness is collaborating with three talented local artists to come up with three unique, limited-edition festive T-shirt designs featuring the “ang ji gao”.

The artists – illustrator Rachele Ho, award-winning designer Larry Peh, and Meyyen from doodling community Band of Doodlers – will each put their own creative spin on a T-shirt to produce a three-design series that will be available exclusively online with RedMart. Fans of Guinness – or art, or dogs, or nicely designed T-shirts – can purchase the special “Guinness CNY Bundle” of a 24-can pack of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and a limited edition Guinness Red Tongue Dog T-shirt at S$85.40 per bundle. The designs launched in sequence from 5 January 2018 while stocks last, starting with the design by Rachele Ho.

Even better, Guinness will be donating the full price of each T-shirt (S$14.80) to animal welfare group Exclusively Mongrels for every bundle sold. If you want to get the T-shirts without resorting to drink 24 cans of export stout, you can also purchase them directly from Exclusively Mongrels at their adoption drives.

“As we enter the Year of the Dog, we believe it is a special time for us to marry our iconic symbol, the Red Tongue Dog, with a worthy cause that’s close to Singaporeans’ heart. By partnering Exclusively Mongrels, we want to encourage everyone to contribute towards this special cause or go one step further to give a mongrel a new home by adopting their very own Ang Ji Gao,” says Venus Teoh, Marketing Director, Asia Pacific Breweries (Singapore).

“We’re beyond ecstatic that Guinness has chosen to shine light on an animal welfare group to increase awareness on the current situation of homeless mongrels on such a scale. It’s the first time a global brand has adopted us and we hope that through this, more Singaporeans will get attuned to our cause,” shares Kevin Neo, Director of Exclusively Mongrels.

Donating to a good cause? Check.

Collaborations with cutting-edge artists? Check.

Brand relevance? Check.

A good reason to celebrate Chinese New Year with a pint of Guinness? Absolutely check.

In this case marketing has gone to the dogs, and that’s a good thing.