On March 16 Jameson tried to get consumers around the world and embrace their Irish spirit with its unofficial sponsorship of St Patrick’s Day.
The famous Irish whiskey brand activated its unsanctioned sponsorship with an integrated campaign that spanned PR, parties and some innovative online activity.
At the forefront of the work were a global series of sponsored parties, a new St Pat’ bottle design and a celebratory Facebook app.
Perhaps the biggest of the events was the Dublin St Patrick’s Day Global Party, where indie rock band Razorlight headlined. But other cities around the world, from Dubai to Sofia, and Mumbai to Prague – also hosted parties backed by the spirit.
One interesting piece of connectivity saw all these parties across the world linked up with each other in real time to try and unify the spirit through one giant global party.
Jameson also posted videos about and of the Global Party programme on YouTube.
On its Faceboom page, Jameson also created a ‘Slainte-O-Meter’ app. This simple device enables Facebook users to write their own individual St Patrick’s Day Toast and then enables them to share with friends by simply clicking ‘Slainte’ on the onscreen barrel. The device then tallies the toasts/clicks.
Slainte means ‘health’ in Gaelic and is a common Irish toast.
Also on the Facebook page, as well as on Jameson’s website, was a Jameson Party Kit which could be downloaded to help everyone make the most of their own St Patrick’s Day celebrations. The kit, in pdf format, included cocktails recipes (made with Jameson of course), cut-out-and-keep decorations and party hats (with Jameson logos).
The kit also includes a guide to Irish slang and trivia game cards where players quiz one another with statements such as ‘One traditional Irish cure for a hangover is to be buried up to the neck in moist river sand’ is fact or folklore?
(Oddly enough, the answer is, this is a ‘fact’.)
The brand again hosted its annual Jameson Global Broadcast on St Patrick’s Day. This initiative sees Jameson invite radio stations from all across the globe to broadcast shows live from the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin.
The brand offers up its own master distillers and senior employees, as well as a set of Irish musicians and comedians, for radio interviews and performances.
This year more than 35 stations signed up and the Global Broadcast and the combined reach of the initiative was more than 50 million listeners.
The brand also celebrated Ireland’s national saint’s day with a new limited edition bottle design by Irish designer and sculptor Paul Daly. The work was inspired by Celtic illustrations.
Not a true sponsorship in the traditional sense, but then again, who owns the rights to a saint’s day?
If the objective was principally to spread Paddy’s Day spirit globally then elements of the campaign such as the linked sponsored parties and the global broadcast certainly succeeded.
Both great ideas, offering something useful and something fun to Irish and non-Irish around the world.
However, why anyone would want to wear a cut out paper hat with a Jameson logo is beyond us.
The Global Party certainly bears some similarities with Smirnoff’s groundbreaking ‘Nightlife Exchange Project’