Whether you are Irish, pretend to be, or just celebrate when there is a deal on green beer, Saint Patrick’s Day has become a global phenomenon. And like any major holiday, St. Paddy’s Day is bursting with boundless marketing opportunities for savvy communicators. PR teams and social media managers often use the joyous holiday to create special branding or marketing stunts to drive consumers to be more engaged with their product or company. Let’s take a look at some of the more successful PR stunts that happened to have the luck of the Irish.
Goodness, My Guinness!
Guinness is as Irish as apple pie is American. The decadent beer goes hand-in-hand with Saint Patrick’s Day with an estimated 13 million pints of the frothy beer being consumed on the day, an 819% increase from average. But when the pandemic started in 2020, sales slumped 15% globally. So, after two years of quarantining and social distancing, the beer brand is pushing a new message—”All Together Now.” Guinness is encouraging consumers to head back to the bar’s this St. Paddy’s Day and embrace a new normal. By emphasizing in-person gatherings at bars in its new ad, Guinness is attempting to capitalize on this renewed interest in togetherness.
The All Together Now campaign showcases the nostalgia and social interaction that people are craving. We’ve had years of disruption, now let’s get back together and look forward to a hopeful future.
Nothing brings people together like the color green…especially if it’s eco-sustainable. Chicago is notorious for dyeing the Chicago River green every season to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, a tradition that started in 1962. However, the initial days of “going green” weren’t actually so green after all. The dye that was used in the early 1960’s was an oil-based fluorescein that many environmentalists warned was actually damaging the river.
Now, more than 400,000 people gather alongside the river to watch it turn a vibrant green. Even better, the whole project is now safe for the environment. The city uses 45 pounds of environmentally-safe vegetable dye to turn the murky river into a bright, vibrant green that is noticeable throughout the city. The spectacle has positioned Chicago as a leader in St. Paddy’s Day celebrations, promising a mecca of Irish festivities and parades.
Bringing Saint Patrick’s Day Home
Since St. Paddy’s Day is an Irish celebration, it only makes sense that Ireland itself gets to party too! Tourism Ireland wanted to capitalize off of the international excitement around the holiday and encourage more travelers to pick Ireland as their holiday destination. In 2010, the tourism agency has featured landmarks displayed in a luminous green light from across the globe. What started with the Sydney Opera House and Sky Tower in Auckland has grown to 240 landmarks in 45 different countries.
The message is simple: Come celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in Ireland.
Saint Paddy’s Day isn’t the only holiday that marketers get excited about. Back in December, Stouffer’s, a frozen food favorite, expanded on its ongoing ‘Happyfull’ campaign with something a bit more…jolly. The company brought Christmas Caroling right into the frozen food aisle by rolling out special singing packaging. Yes, you read that right.
Throughout December, Stouffer’s ‘Party’ and ‘Family’-sized boxes of Lasagna with Meat & Sauce and other lasagna and mac & cheese products featured a special button that shoppers can press to hear 15 seconds of an original jingle.
No matter the holiday—be it green and filled with beer or merry and bright—communicators can benefit from thinking outside of the box to promote their products and brands.
This article was written by Kaitlynn Cooney, Account Director at Brodeur Partners and PR Club Board Member.