However, Guinness might have miscalculated with one of the images used in the 30-second spot. At the 0:04 mark of the commercial, we see a famous Jacob Riis photo called "Bandit's Roost." I think that Guinness intended to highlight the tough living conditions the Irish experienced in the New York City tenements of the nineteenth century. However, as the photo's title suggests, many of the subjects in the image were bandits -- criminals and felons.
Anyways, as a way to praise Irish derring-do in the U.S., "Bandit's Roost" probably wasn't the best photo to use. I found one other mention of this poor advertising choice on the Internet, in a tweet by a radio personality named Phil Hendrie:
Yes, someone in the Guinness marketing department really screwed the pooch on this one. Here are a few hypothetical equivalents of the Guinness "Bandit's Roost" commercial:Guinness tv commercial praises Irish immigrants using 'Bandits Roost' photo. Like praising Italians by showing Mafia pic.twitter.com/qGRTwDhIP6— Phil Hendrie (@realphilhendrie) December 6, 2015
- Prego Pasta Sauce using a clip from The Godfather II to highlight the wonders of Little Italy in the late 1800s.
- The Outback Steakhouse employing one of Mel Gibson's infamous rants to celebrate the restaurant's blend of Australian and American culture.
- The Manischewitz Company showing a photo of Arnold Rothstein, the mobster who fixed the 1919 World Series, as a model of Jewish integrity in business.
If you want to subscribe to How Blank, just type in your email address on the right side of the page. You'll get a notification every time we post new content.
Follow Francis Tolan on Twitter @frantweet