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Guinness’ Kinetic Tile Installation Invites St. Patrick’s Day Revelers to Move for a Cause

Guinness_St.PatsDay 2023_Dyeing River

Guinness returned as official sponsor of the Chicago River dyeing and St. Patrick’s Day parade.

St. Patrick’s Day revelers basked in the full-fledged return of holiday shenanigans last month as events and parades—and the sponsor activations that come with them—returned to their pre-pandemic glory. Per usual, Guinness was at the forefront of brand festivities in multiple U.S. cities, but the Irish brewer took a decidedly purpose-led approach to its “Surging Together” experiential strategy this year. With a kinetic tile installation set up along parade routes, Guinness harnessed consumers’ pent-up energy as a means of giving back to local communities.

The goal was to elevate the brand’s long-running St. Patrick’s Day festivities by producing experiences that met at the intersection of celebration and cause. So in high-traffic areas at official parades in Chicago and Baltimore, Guinness invited attendees to interact with its kinetic tiles, and converted the power generated from their steps or dance moves into hours in support of its Guinness Gives Back million hours pledge. The initiative encourages consumers to pledge 10 or more hours of community service by January 2024 on a dedicated microsite. By participating in the activation, paradegoers contributed toward the effort.

heineken_coachella-2016_teaser.More Ways to Leverage Kinetic Energy:

“As we looked at the opportunity this year, it was how do we actually start to harness the power of a record number of people coming back out, as we encouraged people to ‘surge together’ again, and utilize that energy for good,” says Mark Phillips, head of beer and hard seltzer at Diageo North America. “It was more of an active pledge that consumers were taking versus pledging those hours on our website. So it gave them a great alternative for how to do that. And if we can harness the power of people doing something that they love, it’s a great way to utilize that energy.”

In addition to the kinetic tile installations, Guinness returned as the official sponsor of the Chicago River dyeing and parade, and some of the country’s other well-known parades, including Boston, New York and, for the first time, Savannah. And at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore, festivities took place throughout the month of March, including limited-edition beer releases, merch sales, live music and an Irish village experience on the lawn.

Across its St. Patrick’s Day events, the brand heavily promoted its non-alcoholic offering, Guinness 0, joining the growing number of companies creating beverages for those exploring the sober-curious movement.

“What products like Guinness 0 are able to do is give people that choice where they are able to moderate, but they don’t feel like they’re missing out,” says Phillips. “So when we talk about Guinness 0, we talk about it as ‘zero chance of missing out.’ And that’s the amazing thing—it doesn’t have to be exclusively one thing or the other.”

To round out this year’s St. Paddy’s campaign, Guinness offered $10,000 in cash prizes to 100-plus winners nationally—more than $1 million total in rewards—through its St. Patrick’s Day Toast contest. Consumers over 21 could visit a microsite and upload a 30-second video toast celebrating friends and family, and embodying the spirit of the holiday, for a chance to win. Sláinte! Agencies: Taylor Strategy; MKTG; Collins + Co.; Starpower L.L.C.

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Guinness’ outdoor footprint included the energy-harvesting kinetic tile installation and a live dj to get revelers moving.

Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor, digital content. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music.
View all articles by Kait Shea →

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