Matthew Miller
Oct 8, 2015

Guinness to Koreans: Don't be afraid of the dark

SEOUL - Looking to expand its relatively modest market penetration in Korea, Guinness has launched a campaign that seeks to encourage trial by making the imposingly dark, thick brew more inviting.

Client: Guinness (Diageo)

Agency: Iris Worldwide

Market: Korea

Name of campaign: #TasteofBlack

Campaign scope: TVC, digital, social media including participation by three YouTube influencers, point-of-sale materials and consumer/trade promotion


Diageo knows that people can be put off from trying Guinness due to its colour and "the perception of an overly strong or challenging taste". This integrated, participation-led campaign confronts that barrier.

While the TVC focuses on the sensual experience of six specific product characteristics, the social campaign encourages first-time trial and asks people to share their experience (with prize incentives). Three popular content creators appear in the ad and will be sharing their own experiences through their channels: Korean Englishman – 영국남), Banzz (밴) (see example video below), and Daedoseogwan (대도서).

Press release quote:

Diageo Korea has done a great job of ‘seeding’ the Guinness brand at the top end of the beer market in Korea.... Our challenge from this point, is to kick-off the next step of the journey. To do this we needed to make a step-change in the way we communicate about and activate Guinness.

Campaign Asia Pacific's comments: It's nice to see a campaign that's smartly designed to address a market impediment head-on. The film is full of arresting and suggestive visuals, and it will be interesting to see how the three YouTube creators work the stout into their streams. We like the brand's willingness to make a different case for the dark brew—one focused on aesthetics. In a market generally unfamiliar with stouts, Diageo has decided to make Guinness about style instead of taste and heritage. And although we're not young Koreans, we are certainly craving a certain dark beverage right about now. 


Shaun Mcilrath: Global Creative Director
Nina Taylor: Creative Director
Laura Stageman: TV Producer
Paul Gage: Strategic Planning Lead
Ross Henderson: Account Director
Mimi Lee: Account Manager

TV Production:
Director: John S. Park
Production Company: The Sweet Shop
Executive Producer: Spencer Dodd
Producer: Jason Lee
DP: Sung Ho Jeoun
Editor: Se Jin Yoo
Service Production: Addict Films (Seoul, Korea)

Simon Way

Keanu Nahm: Beer, RTD & Vodka Category Marketing Manager – (Diageo Korea)
MJ Cho: Senior Brand Manager, Guinness, (Diageo Korea)

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