Great ideas can go anywhere. Even Ireland!

A few years back I was part of a crack international DDB team set up to crack the advertising for UK and Ireland. I was THE IRISH GUY as far as Anheuser-Busch HQ in St. Louis were concerned. And I was! So I set about thinking how to crack a market I knew innately if not contemporaneously. I left Ireland in 1990. A long time ago.

Anyway. One idea I had was to simply export the brilliant Bud Light REAL AMERICAN HEROES radio campaign (later amended to REAL MEN OF GENIUS post 9/11) created by my good friend Bob Winter. Bob’s on wikipedia and everything!

I had the pleasure of seeing this campaign develop. And one thing that always struck me about it was that the campaign WAS Bob’s sense of humor. He’s a funny guy. That’s him I hear in all the spots. His partner Chris Roe was equally funny and sarcastic. They were a killer team with a killer idea. And one that printed ideas like money for a very long time. The campaign is still running 11 years later. And the awards haul has been truly sickening.

The reason I liked the idea of exporting the idea to Ireland was that Ireland is full of weird types unique to Ireland. So poking fun at them would be fun. I should point out though that this was not Bob’s original idea. His original idea was to celebrate unsung heroes like the poor schmo who collects the shopping carts in the supermarket parking lot. That takes a lot more thoughtfulness and skill and is a result a lot more likeable.

The lazy version of his idea is to just poke fun at stereotypes. Which is what I did. Sorry Bob!

I should point out that these ideas were generated by the folks at DDB Dublin at my suggestion. Sorry dudes, can’t remember names. You were awesome!

But I think they’re a great example of how great ideas effortlessly transcend culture and nationality. And I know it’s slack of me to just steal an idea and adapt it, but sometimes that’s the best thing to do. I think these radio spots prove that. Love to know what Irish peeps think.

4 responses to “Great ideas can go anywhere. Even Ireland!

  1. an irrelevant irish opinion

    Nice try, but yeh missed the boat there matey.

    I’m a 25 year old irish lad. The lad living at home with his Mum is kinda an old joke, but actually quite sad now because, if you haven’t heard, our banks are empty and we’re all swimming in a cess pool of debt.

    As for the American tourist, check out Conan O’Brien’s recent ‘hilarious’ foray into this old topic of ‘quarter’ Irishness.

    Finally, if i drink bud lite does that make me the Mammys boy or the tourist? I’d rather drink it to salute the Mr Bowling Shoe Giver Outter.

    Sorry. Although you asked for my opinion, and anyway I’m probably wrong altogether. The problem is you’ve taken an idea so divine that it’s hard to remould. The good news is the average Paddy from the Irish public has never heard the mellifluous American versions.
    So they’ll be loved by the public.

    But you can’t turn American ideas Irish simply by adding an idea fada. You need to dig deeper into the Irish psyche of today.

  2. far from irrelevant. and no need to be sorry at all. and i agree with you on all counts. there is something uniquely american about the idea that gets lost in translation. but i also agree that the Irish public would have found them funny. the formula was funny. and it would have been way better than the shite they were running at the time.

    and what i found funny was that i did have ideas that dug a lot deeper into the Irish psyche (i’m from Galway originally) but the Irish clients didn’t get them. they were too close to the bone i guess. relax people! it’s only beer advertising.

    thanks for the comment. i’m actually going back to galway this month. should be fun.

  3. from the irish opinion appreciation society

    that’s a shame the client couldn’t swallow and a whole different obsatcle i suppose. you shoulda given them an American lead salad. Or said the radio ads had ‘social networking’ potential, that’s all they bloody want these days. facebook ‘campaigns’ are the potato blight of advertising.

    Lucky you, I see Galway as the protector of the rugged Irish soul. Even today, when you drive into a town and wave to a stranger, they still wave back and smile – we’re all mad.

    Finally, thanks for putting Irish advertising creativity on the map, now try and gently inject it back into us : )

  4. ha. “social networking”. this business can be so gullible and faddish. video is still the best way to tell a story.

    i’ll try and beat some sense into them when i’m back in galway.

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