"If he can say as you can
Guinness is good for you,
How grand to be a Toucan,
Just think what Toucan do."
So yesterday my friend calls and asks me "What is the origin of the Guinness toucan?".
Well here it is folks:
the advertising agency John Gilroy worked for won the Guinness advertising
The Toucan first appeared as a Guinness character in 1935. The truth be told however he really started out as a pelican. The ad went something like this:
"A wonderful bird is the pelican,
Its bill can hold more than its belly can.
It can hold in its beak
Enough for a week
I simply don't know how the hell he can."
The writer Dorothy L Sayers who worked for the same advertising agency as John Gilroy was asked to come up with something less offensive. Hence the Toucan saying. So goes the origin of the Toucan. In 1982, Guinness changed advertising agencies and the Toucan was officially retired. He lives on however on many a pub wall. (and some living room walls too!)
Would you like to know more about John Gilroy? Check out the Guinness® Collectors Club