With the festive season upon us, 3.3 million Brits have already booked a reservation at a pub or restaurant over the Christmas period¹. To ensure these festive celebrations could take place at local pubs – the heart of our communities – GUINNESS has donated £30million towards keeping pubs, bars and restaurants open in 2021.
To celebrate the return of Christmas fun and the people at the heart of pub culture, GUINNESS will be lighting up locals up and down the country with a dazzling Christmas light display, celebrating each pub’s role in bringing local communities together. 22 pubs nationwide have been selected as part of the display including The Lock Tavern in Camden, The Queen’s Vaults in Cardiff and The Pickled Sprout in Harrogate.
Created in partnership with AMV BBDO, the activation will also see ‘The GUINNESS Pub Choir’ who are starring in the GUINNESS advert this Christmas and making their debut, performing a specially composed performance of the classic ‘Always on my Mind’. The choir will feature 30 publicans and bar staff with the new rendition of the heartfelt Elvis Presley ballad, in celebration of the role local pubs play in bringing communities together and helping friends and families connect in the run up to Christmas. The track will be available to stream on Spotify, for those wanting to enjoy it throughout the festive period. The choir recording replaces the original soundtrack in the ‘Welcome Back’ spot, which is running on TV and radio to support the initiative. Digital OOH will take over train stations across the UK to generate excitement and drive footfall.
Patrick Frawley, pub landlord for The Lock Tavern pub, said “It’s been a difficult time for us due to Covid limiting people coming through our doors and ordering pints. We feel so lucky to have been chosen by GUINNESS to have our pub lit up with these fantastic displays and we’re hopeful our unique GUINNESS Christmas lights will encourage our community to visit us over the festive season. All are welcome!”
Neil Shah, Head of GUINNESS GB, said, “The past 18 months has been incredibly tough for the hospitality industry, so we want to do all that we can to make sure GUINNESS supports locals. Our “Light Up the Local” Christmas campaign is about celebrating pubs as the beating heart of our communities where people can come together with their mates over a pint of Guinness in the run up to Christmas. We will be underpinning this with our GUINNESS Raising the Bar programme, which has already helped a huge number of establishments during the pandemic – we will continue to support the industry through the fund and other means.”
Nicholas Hulley and Nadja Lossgott, Executive Creative Directors at AMV BBDO, said, “Everyone has missed getting together in the pub to have a pint of Guinness with their mates at Christmas. So, we wanted to make well-loved locals across the whole country festive homing beacons to give people a special place to enjoy those reunions”.
The GUINNESS Raising the Bar programme has supported over 30,000 publicans and the 500,000 bar staff throughout the UK to weather the impact of the pandemic. The fund has provided financial support, social distancing equipment, PPE and pub necessities, as well as one-on-one training sessions with the staff who play a pivotal role in bringing people together this Christmas, ensuring pubs are safe environments for communities to be in. GUINNESS continues to support the hospitality industry with further investment in the fund in 2022.
GUINNESS is asking the public to follow the latest Government guidelines when enjoying a pint of the black stuff in pubs and bars this Christmas.
Campaign title: Light Up Your Local
Client name: Ros Healy, Anna MacDonald, Neil Shah, Linda Bradley and Helen Carswell
Creative Agency: AMV BBDO
CCO: Alex Grieve
ECDs: Nadja Lossgott and Nicholas Hulley
Creative Director: Nadja Lossgott and Nicholas Hulley
Creative Team: Andy Varsey and Dan Warner (lights up activation); Josie Finlay and Charles Olafare (choir)
Agency planner: Matt Hardisty
Agency account team: Michael Pring, Nick Andrew, Alexandra Sandford Smith and Aneesha Ghatthaora
Agency producer (activation): Tom Saunders
Production Company: Verve
Media agency: PHD
Social media agency: Born Social
PR Agency: Hope & Glory