MINT Museum of Toys Retraces Decades of Guinness Advertising

The Mint Museum of Toys is currently presenting a small exhibition, “GUINNESS by the Decades,” that features advertising paraphernalia, from porcelain Alsatian coin banks and miniature beer bottles to ceramic ashtrays, jugs, and even a plastic pencil case. All of them feature various logos of the well-known Irish beer brand adapted for the Asian market.

In Singapore, Guinness used an Alsatian dog logo (sometimes referred to as a wolf’s head) with a red tongue that would appeal to Chinese consumers, while in Malaysia it was using the head of a Bulldog and in Indonesia a seated cat, most likely for religious considerations as dogs are considered unclean in Islam.

Though the exhibition is rather small, it presents an interesting series of small metal signs that showcase the “menagerie” designs that John Gilroy created in the 1940 for a series of advertising posters aiming to demonstrate the supposed benefits of the beer. Using a cartoon child-like approach that featured exotic animals and extolling health benefits would be seen as inappropriate today for an alcohol brand, the advertisements used catch phrases like “Guinness is good for you,” “My Goodness, My Guinness,” and Guinness for Strength.”

‘Guinness by the Decades’ Exhibition runs until September 31 at the MINT Museum of Toys in Singapore.

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