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The #TasteofBlack Campaign is Changing Perceptions of Guinness in South Korea

Guinness, undoubtedly defined by its unmistakable colour and taste, is attempting to gain a stronger customer base in South Korea with a new digital marketing campaign.

It seems that introducing a distinctive stout such as Guinness is not an easy feat in a country with a traditional, local beer market. An acquired taste for sure, the brand is utilising its product specifics head-on to change consumer perception that the beer is of an "overly strong or challenging taste". In a country that welcomes delicacies such as fried chicken feet or the dreaded 'bosintang' (AKA dog stew), you would think bringing in a little bit of Irish dry would be a walk in the park.

But why South Korea? Guinness producer Diageo says that this participant-led campaign is the "next step in the journey" after successful 'seeding' of the brand at the top end of the beer market there. In a press release the company continued that the new campaign is the catalyst for a "step-change in the way we communicate about and activate Guinness".

With this in mind, what characteristics does Guinness believe defines itself as a stand-out beverage? The answer is smooth, deep, creamy, bold, rich and, well, amazing.The highly stylised and iconographic TV spot video kick-starting the campaign focuses on these features, giving the drink a glamorous and high-end appeal. Check it out:

Surprisingly, the ad is pretty female-centric and appears to be targeting women just as much as men. As reported by campaignlive.com, this makes sense in the context of a report from The Korea Times in 2011 that stated the drink was particularly popular with female consumers due to its "low calories, flavoured taste and beautiful colour." CampaignAsia applauded the video for its focus on aesthetics and style as opposed to culture and heritage that is so ingrained in Western marketing for the brand. To compare, have a look at one of the most recent UK adverts:

Alternatively, the social-media driven campaign encourages first-time trial of the beer, with users sharing their experiences.This is promoted by three popular South Korean YouTube influencers and content creators trialling it for themselves. The following video features 'Bannz' (밴쯔) and is shared through his own channel.

The social media campaign will also implement opportunities to win limited edition Guinness merchandise to further push the brand away from the periphery and into the centre of Korea's consciousness.

This is not the only time Guinness has stood out for a daring campaign. Last year, the brand unveiled their '#madeofblack' campaign in Africa that included similar digital marketing. The global brand director of Guinness described the campaign as "a celebration of an attitude that epitomises individuals who aren’t afraid to truly express themselves".

If the hype of these campaigns is anything to go by, the age-old Irish beer is still standing the test of time by captivating new, younger audiences.

SMF rookie, fresh out of academia, looking forward to more creative ventures. With a love of current affairs, green tea and an ever insatiable wanderlust, Katie is ready to have her voice heard. Follow her @KatieAtSMF

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The #TasteofBlack Campaign is Changing Perceptions of Guinness in South Korea Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 Rating: 5

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