Thursday, July 19, 2012

Memorabilia as Advertising

This past weekend, I visited the Guinness Factory in Dublin, and made sure to stop by the second floor which featured the company's past advertising. Print ads were hung up throughout the section, along with various campaigns they've done. An interesting case displayed Guinness cans that incorporated the color pink during a campaign trying to attract female consumers.

Something that stuck out to me was a common yet outdated (I think so, anyway) advertising tactic of creating memorabilia to spread the name and sometimes logo while making extra money. Most of the collectable items were created with the purpose of advertising Guinness from behind pubs, like these:

It got me thinking if companies still really do things like this. Often when we hear "advertising," our minds immediately jump to print and billboard ads, or maybe commercials. I wonder how consumers would respond if companies went back to releasing memorabilia as part of their ad campaigns.


  1. It's hard to define "memorabilia" because it covers such a wide variety of objects. I collect thimbles whenever I go to a cool place or museum, and it's my way of remembering the experience. But all my thimbles end up in a glass case in my room, so I'm not advertising the places I went.

    That being said, isn't the Guinness Storehouse gift shop selling memorabilia advertising? Did we not buy t-shirts and key chains there with the Guinness logo? To us it was a way of remembering our experience, but when we hand off the t-shirts and key chains to the friends and family we bought them for, and they wear the memorabilia out in public, they are spreading the Guinness name. When someone stops my brother on the street with his Guinness shirt on and asks him where he got it, he'll tell them his sister bought it for him in Dublin. He's spreading both the Guinness brand and the idea of traveling to Ireland to visit the storehouse.

    It's gift shops full of travel gifts that allow companies to persuade consumers to buy products with their logo and pass around the company name. They promise a memory of their experience with every logo-stamped object you buy.

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  3. Combining what both of you said, I think that memorabilia may seem a little antiquated, but it is a good move fiscally on the company's part. I went to the Jameson Factory this weekend in Dublin and it seemed for every whiskey product there were at least 5 other non-beverage items in the gift shop. Since all of the smaller items are at a much lower price point, people are more inclined to buy those items and maybe just one of the higher end whiskeys. Over time, the exposure of the Jameson brand via non-alcoholic memorabilia does the brand a great service by making their name reliable and thus worthy of purchase. The same goes for high end clothing brands. Although companies like Dolce and Gabbana and Marc Jacobs are known for their flashy, slick ad campaigns and runway shows, the true money makers for the companies lie with their more affordable accessories and scents. So though it seems to dampen the quality or seem a little outdated, these companies will continue on with it for sake of generating easy money.