Brands turn green on St Patrick’s Day 2015
This week St Patrick’s Day content flooded down the walls of our social media networks. It appears ‘Green Halloween’ has become the primary export of Ireland, embraced as a reason to party all over the world and celebrated by more non-Irish than those with even a genuine connection to the celtic roots of this annual event. Perhaps if St George, St David or St Andrew were such renowned drinkers, they too might enjoy worldwide celebration. Despite the popularity of this national saints day, brands should be careful before jumping on the bandwagon, unless there exists a genuine relevance.
Here are my picks of ‘2 Good, 2 Bad’ brands who embraced St Patrick’s Day in 2015:
35k followers (With additional accounts for each territory)
This campaign saw 150 iconic international monuments turned green for the day with uplighting and other illuminating visual effects. The conversation via social media was organised by Tourism Ireland via the not-so-catchy #gogreen4patricksday. The locations included iconic sites such as The Taj Mahal, The Sphinx and Sydney Opera House. This was an enormous project and an impressive initiative by Tourism Ireland, now an annual event, working to promote both Global Greening and driving tourism to the homeland.
St Patrick’s Day is absolutely the right time of year for these passionate Irish brands to be in the spotlight. Both these brands have used pioneering 3D video in their social feeds this year, an investment reflected in the social media success they enjoy from a clearly engaged and sizable following.
Guinness created a video simply as a rewarding piece of content for its audience, Jameson took it one step further and created a campaign around #LongLiveTheShot, encouraging UGC (user generated content) and social sharing, thus extending the reach of this seasonal campaign.
Social activity from these outwardly Irish brands on St Patrick’s Day benefits from the obvious relevance in that the content is expected by the audience, so it does not feel forced and uncomfortable.
The cosmetic brand chose a cartoon featuring leprechauns to promote their eyeshadow on St Patrick’s Day. Although their ‘Pot o’ Gold’ product takes its name from Irish folklore, modern day perception of the leprechaun is somewhat derogatory and potentially negative.
I find this shoehorning of the makeup promotion very clunky and the choice of image is most certainly questionable in taste. For a quality, retail brand like Benefit, we expect better. Special mention must be given to the awful copy in the e-mail subject: Want the luck of the EYE-rish?
Currently promoting the #UpForWhatever campaign, the team at Bud Light took the opportunity to jump on the St Patrick’s Day wagon to further promote their beer. A mis-judged tweet, ended them in hot water via social networks as they found themselves amid suggestions of encouraging sexual assault.
The tweet was eventually deleted and a statement released by the brand apologising for any misunderstanding of their playful intentions. In hindsight Bud Light, a proudly patriotic American pale lager, probably wish they left the St Patrick’s Day activity to the far more relevant Irish brands.
Did you receive any St Patrick’s Day promotion from a brand on your social feed? Tweet us the best and worst examples @G&I