A freelance copywriter, who created a mock Guinness advert with a marketing message aimed at keeping people at home, is now celebrating the fact his poster has gone viral.

The digital poster, created by Luke O’Reilly as part of a challenge by One Minute Briefs, shows a pint of Guinness topped with a white couch, with the slogan “Stay at home” underneath the glass.

The image was shared across social media with many people mistakenly thinking the advert had been released by the Diageo-owned Guinness.

The team at Guinness decided liked the advert so much they got in touch with O’Reilly and with his permission they are now sharing it on their social media channels. 

Grainne Wafer, Global Brand Director of Guinness, told DRN: “The Stay at Home creative really drove home the message. In one simple visual it captured the seriousness of the times that we’re in, while also bringing a smile to people. We’ve been in touch with Luke – and hopefully we’ll get to meet over a pint in the not too distance future.”

Also commenting on the Guinness visual, Tom Harvey, co-founder at YesMore Beverage Marketing Agency, said brands have to be careful about their marketing messages at the best of times, but in the middle of a global pandemic they obviously have to be extra-sensitive. 

He told DRN: “Right now, brands around the world are scrambling to decide if, what and how they continue advertising in certain channels. Anything they say will be rightly scrutinised so it is of great benefit at times like these when you have a brand that’s spent years building up brand equity and iconography.

“Guinness is a great example of such a brand. And Luke O’Reilly’s interpretation of their iconic print ads showing the iconic white head of a pint of Guinness against a black backdrop is both a fitting homage, and a perfect marrying of humour and an important call to action delivered with sensitivity.”

The global population is currently being asked to stay at home and brands have a crucial role to play here, according to Harvey. 

He said: “They have the audience, the power to influence and the budget to reach them so whilst those brands work hard to figure out exactly how they do that with empathy, sensitivity and respect, it’s great to see designers and copywriters like Luke stepping up in the meantime.

“Some say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but it’s worth noting this creative is the result of many years of investment in Guinness branding, awareness and engagement. Guinness has itself led the way by using this same iconography to react to moments in sport, culture and more – so it’s rewarding to see the community picking up the baton for them in such an appropriate way.”

One Minute Briefs is a UK-based creative project aimed at encouraging aspiring and current advertising workers to send instinctive ideas and often ones promoting social responsibility.

The project O’Reilly responded to related to a virtual pub, which asked for posters to help keep people motivated to stay under quarantine.

Image credit: Luke O’Reilly (https://lukejoreilly.myportfolio.com/about)