A Saint Patrick’s day plea to US marketers from an Irish ad guy.

Saint Patrick is famous for using the three leaves of the shamrock plant to illustrate the concept of the holy trinity to Irish pagan Celts back in the fifth century AD.

An analogy that we swallowed hook line and sinker. Apparently.

The key number here is 3. Three leaves. That’s what a shamrock is. A three leaved plant.

Not a four leaved plant. That’s a different thing entirely. It’s called a clover.

A plant that is associated with good luck.

In the US, for some reason that has no basis in history, Irish people are also associated with luck.

There’s a leprechaun fronted breakfast cereal called LUCKY CHARMS, for example.

Anyway, somewhere along the line the two got conflated. And the clover is frequently mistaken for the shamrock in Paddy’s day promotional materials.

No big deal, right?


This is our big day. Get the f**king vegetation right!

Three leaves good. Four leaves bad.


5 responses to “A Saint Patrick’s day plea to US marketers from an Irish ad guy.

  1. See, now, I’ve always heard it like this: “Leaves of three, let it be; leaves of four, eat some more.” And now you’re telling me the exact opposite.

    Mind. Blown.

  2. Ciaran MCCabe

    Thank you Vinny, been meaning to write that ever since I came here. Gura mile mait agat. And you’re right, they can go f**k themselves.

  3. BEST TO wait for Saint Joseph’s day on March 19th. Zeppole named for San Giuseppe.

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