Obama’s Visit May Have Been Worth $200 Million to Ireland

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AP Photo, Pool

U.S. President Barack Obama drinks Guinness beer at Ollie Hayes pub in Moneygall, Ireland, the ancestral homeland of his great-great-great grandfather, Monday, May 23, 2011.

Celebrities, step aside. A presidential endorsement can be the most lucrative of all.

President Obama downed a pint of black brew in four sips on Monday. Call it the luck of the Irish, but Guinness is rejoicing – and seeing green. The endorsement – dozens of photos of Obama slurping down the pint and declaring it “delicious” afterward – is the best type of advertising for the company: candid and cost-free.

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Obama’s wholehearted enjoyment has even led some marketing experts to suggest that Guinness cancel its advertising spending for the remainder of the year, noting that the single drink could be a multi-million dollar boon to the company, according to the Irish Independent. The president genuinely enjoyed all aspects of the Guinness pour, even joking with the bartender at Ollie Hayes’s pub: “You tell me when it’s properly settled, I don’t want to mess this up.”

The brewer hand-delivered a special keg of Guinness to Moneygall specifically for the First Couple’s tasting delight. And the deliveryman? Guinness’s master brewer, Fergal Murray, who ensured the pint would be pulled to perfection.

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Guinness is heartily hawking the fact that Obama swilled his pint till the last drop. That’s because former presidents who’ve visited Ireland provided nary an endorsement to the famed Irish brewhouse. Bill Clinton only got through half his pint. George W. Bush drinks exclusively non-alcoholic beer. And Ronald Reagan, he opted for Smithwick’s.

In fact, Ireland as a whole has received a windfall of publicity following the recent visits from both British and American elite. Between last week’s visit from Queen Elizabeth II and hosting the Obamas this week, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce estimates the benefit to be €150 million ($211 million) in pro-bono advertising for the nation.

There’s no telling if Obama will continue to stock his fridge with Guinness upon his return stateside or return to his old favorite of Yuengling. But whether or not Obama becomes a regular Guinness patron, it’s certain the company will continue profiting from Monday’s swig.

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