The Nazi Guinness Posters They Don’t Want You to See


With today being St Patrick’s day, there’s about a 90% chance that someone reading this is either holding a Guinness or has one resting precariously over a baby’s crib or something. So we figured we’d share a lesser known fact about the Guinness brand, that they were honestly toying with the idea of advertising in Nazi Germany. 

For anyone currently finding themselves unable to drag their gaze away from the Guinness carrying toucans flying in perfect battle formation in front of a big-ass Nazi flag, here’s another image from the collection showing those big-beaked assholes seemingly escorting a giant Nazi airship.

Flying assholes

What makes this image even more hilarious is that it is literally one of the earliest appearances of the Guinness toucan which went on to become one of the most iconic symbols of the brand and the best part is, when the artist reused the design for later, less Nazi-ish posters, he didn’t even bother changing the look of the toucan at all. So when you now look at later posters the toucan looks like it is about to commence a fucking bombing run on whatever country it’s flying over.

Actual poster people had on their walls.
Actual poster people had on their walls.

Seriously, look at that second photo, save for the fact that the toucans are now flying in the opposite direction and they no longer appears to be escorting a giant swastika clad airship, their design is exactly the same. It doesn’t help things that the other adverts Guinness envisioned appearing in Nazi Germany also happened to rehash what ended up becoming some of Guinness’ most iconic posters. For example, here is one a poster from one of Guinness’ most popular campaigns which advertised the health properties of drinking a beer that looks like the fluid that leaks from a plague victims sores.

"Nothing makes you better at operating heavy machinery than beer" -Guinness
“Nothing makes you better at operating heavy machinery than beer” -Guinness

And here is one of the planned posters they wanted to hang in German bars.

MEin Guinness Nein

Then you have the poster at the top of this page, the one of the iconic Guinness toucan flying majestically in front of a Swastica covered flag, surely they didn’t reuse that design, right? What country would possibly put up with a company literally reusing the same basic image they planned on using in fucking Nazi Germany. Oh …

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 12.21.18

Yep, Guinness literally used almost the exact same imagery to launch in the States as they did when they were planning on advertising to Nazis.

So what the hell possess Guinness to commission these posters you ask? Well, they were originally planned to be part of a larger advertising campaign during the 1936 Olympics, which as we all know, was held in Nazi Germany under the direct supervision of Hitler himself. Guinness’ Dublin office were in talks with officials in Berlin about importing the beer and then advertising it to the German populace with some of the posters pictured above.

However, they were stopped at the last second when Guinness’ London brewery (yes, the drink everyone associates with Ireland is sometimes brewed in England) stepped in and put a stop to it because they were uncomfortable with entering the German market because of all the Nazis.

Pictured: Hitler's car being endorsed by Guinness.
Pictured: Hitler’s car with endorsement from Guinness.

But that’s not all, according to leaked memos, the Dublin Guinness office was well aware that people in its own company were against the idea of advertising their drink to fucking Nazis and they commissioned these posters anyway, because they were still open to the idea because hey, Nazi’s had money too.

In the end, the deal never came to fruition and the posters themselves ended up being put into storage. But if you’re one of the millions of people enjoying a Guinness today, just remember that at one point in history, the company that makes it once spent actual money and resources trying to to figure out how to best appeal to Nazis and this is what they came up with.