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They Said It Couldn’t Be Done

Since it’s St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow and for most people that means Guinness, here’s a little reminder of something in Guinness’ recent past that I imagine they’d rather remained buried. But it’s just too funny not to share. In 1979, Guinness released a low-calorie beer they called “Guinness Light.” According to Ireland Fun Facts, “people here still talk about the advertising campaign, which used the tagline ‘they said it couldn’t be done.’ Apparently it couldn’t. Guinness Light flopped so sensationally it earned the title ‘The HMS Titanic of stout products’ from The Irish Times.”

It’s not hard to see why. I can scarcely imagine something more oxymoronic than Guinness Light. But for true liquid-shooting-out-your-nose laughs, watch the uber-bombastic television commercial that attempts to equate the beer with man landing on the moon. With bonus points for using the sunrise fanfare from “Thus Spake Zarathustra” by Richard Strauss (trust me, you’ll know it when you hear it), I love the editing of the people turning their heads quickly toward the camera and the faux echo chamber voice over. Just hilarious. But put your drink down first. Enjoy.

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