The Guinness toucan was introduced in 1935 as an advertising motif for Guinness & Co. It appeared in advertising created by S. H. Benson, a London-based advertising agency.
Most of the Guinness toucan posters and advertisements were drawn by John Gilroy. Dorothy Sayers, another talented contributor, who later pursued a career in poetry and detective writing, contributed at least one sketch and also wrote advertising copy for the campaign.
The toucan was part of the "Zoo" series of Guinness advertisements, which also featured illustrations of a zookeeper, a sea lion, an ostrich, a kangaroo and a tortoise. The toucan motif was finally abandoned in 1982 but has occasionally been seen on limited-edition products of the company.