Kahlúa Shakes Up Guinness in St. Patrick's Day Campaign

Kahlúa Shakes Up Guinness in St. Patrick's Day Campaign
Published: March 14, 2024

Kahlúa, the global leader in coffee liqueur brands, isn't letting the stout tradition hold St. Patrick's Day hostage this year.

Its new campaign, "St. Patrick's Day called, it's bored of stout," playfully challenges the usual Guinness dominance — the most popular stout — on the Irish holiday with a focus on their espresso martini as a more exciting alternative.

While acknowledging the enduring popularity of Guinness, with a staggering 13 million pints consumed globally on March 17, Kahlúa highlights its own survey results suggesting a consumer shift.

According to the survey, “60% of Brits would rather drink an espresso martini over a stout to celebrate the emerald isle,” while 22% are ready to make the switch from stout to a coffee-based cocktail.

“The people have spoken, and we’ve listened. It’s time to stir up St. Patrick’s Day and have everyone enjoying their drinks — and what better way than with a Kahlúa Espresso Martini,” Kahlúa Global VP of Marketing Craig van Niekerk said in a press release.

A Playful Challenge to Guinness

The Mexican brand kickstarted the campaign with the release of a 30-second spot that features social media influencers Derry and Tadhg Fleming, an Irish father-and-son celebrity duo.

The ad opens with Derry going to the bar and ordering “a glass of the usual” from Tadgh, who is working as a bartender.

The sound of the Kahlúa espresso martini being poured captures the bar’s attention, as the violinist quits playing and conversations abruptly stop.

Beautiful Pints Founder Ian Ryan, who wrote a book about “one man’s search for the perfect pint of Guinness,” then makes an appearance as the only one who continues drinking a glass of, what else, stout.

Derry then turns around to face the bar patrons.

“What’s wrong with ye? Ye’ve never seen a lad sip an espresso martini on St. Patrick’s Day?”

The customers then laugh it out, as the merrymaking and drinking continue.

Breaking Gender Stereotypes

The Kahlúa study also revealed that many men (42%), even former rugby players, feel pressured to order a stout over a cocktail on St. Patrick's Day.

Kahlúa's campaign aims to break this social pressure and gender stereotype, encouraging men to embrace their drink preferences without judgment.

“As an ex-professional rugby player, there’s a particular pint I’ve always been associated with, and whenever I go to the bar, people assume they know what I want to drink,” Rory Best revealed.

“I’m proud to stir things up with Kahlúa this St. Patrick’s Day, challenging traditional stereotypes and encouraging everyone to celebrate in their own way, whatever they want to drink,” he added.

Starting at 1 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, Kahlúa will serve 100 complimentary black and creamy Espresso Martinis at the iconic Dublin pub Hogans on Fade Street in Ireland.

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