Creative in association withGear Seven

The Public House Campaign for The Irish Emigration Museum Visualises How the World Sees the Irish

Advertising Agency
Dublin 2, Ireland
Campaign aims to confront perceptions and visualises a person who fits 'Irish stereotypes'

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is once again challenging the negative stereotypes attached to Ireland and the Irish people, in its latest campaign, This Is Not Us.

Following research for this campaign, EPIC has uncovered predictive search data which shows that many incorrect and misleading perceptions of the Irish still prevail globally - the most common of which link the Irish to fighting, drinking, potatoes and holding grudges.

The ‘This Is Not Us’ campaign aims to confront these perceptions head on by using them to visualise what a person would look like if they were true. The resulting imaginary character, Paddy McFlaherty, shows just how misleading these stereotypes can be. Created using CGI and based entirely on perceptions, this character displays and embodies how, according to Google search trends, Irish stereotypes still exist - something which EPIC are hoping to change.

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum exists to show who the Irish really are, as told through the unforgettable stories of those who left our shores, influencing and shaping the world along the way. EPIC know that the Irish are more than just stereotypes – we are inventors, poets, designers, leaders and changemakers. Our music, literature, culture, sport, food and dance attract millions of people to our country each year.

Patrick Greene, CEO and museum director of EPIC said of the campaign, “This is not us’ is a challenge for the world to assess their assumptions about the Irish and evolve their perceptions beyond stereotypes. As an experience that prides itself on delivering an authentic and true understanding of Ireland and its people, this is what we aim to do.”

Voted Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction for the past three years, EPIC offers a fully interactive experience like no other, which brings Irish history to life and allows visitors to discover what it really means to be Irish. ‘This is not us’ is not the first time that EPIC has campaigned against stereotypical and clichéd depictions of the Irish. In 2019, the museum offered free tickets to visitors who handed in their plastic St Patrick’s Day merchandise at the door.

Dillon McKenna, associate creative director at The Public House added, “It beggars belief that in 2022, suggested search terms about the Irish still skew so negatively. We know the opposite to be true of Irish people at home and abroad. It’s our hope that this campaign creates an attitudinal shift and sheds a positive light on the image of Irishness globally.” 

“Every now and then a project comes along that allows us as a studio to push the boundaries of what’s possible in terms of realism in character development. Led by the data we embraced every negative cliché, no matter how much they offended our mostly Irish artists. Of course there was a lot of craic to be had along the way, but the serious business of imagining, designing, building, texturing and grooming Paddy meant getting forensic with every granular pore, capillary and follicle, in order to create a character that was eerily believable. The idea was to create a confrontational Madame Tussauds-esque sculpture that stopped just short of being ‘alive’, but someone or something you could reach out and touch, or even smell. Piranha Bar’s studio of artists dug deep into the toolbox of cutting edge software and 3D technology to give Paddy the clammy pale skin, scars and bruises, greasy hair, bloody bandages, sweat stained t-shirt and a never to be spilt pint of stout. Lets hope he never actually comes to life and meets us down a dark alley.” said Richard Chaney, Piranha Bar’s creative director 

“This campaign is all about a powerful idea and imagery. Our job was to make this as visible as possible and bring it to life. High impact OOH on Buses and Digital six sheets in high footfall and tourist locations were essential, large premium formats, impossible to miss. We not only wanted to target tourists, we also want to create impact with domestic audiences, get them talking, prompt them to find out more. It’s way overdue that we confront our national stereotypes.  We believe this campaign will do that.” Declan Kelly, managing partner, from MWi, part of Mediaworks UK Group.

The Public House is Ireland’s most awarded creative agency of 2022, driven by the philosophy that ‘Boring Doesn’t Sell’. Their roster of clients is made up of ambitious Irish brands including FBD Insurance, Irish Independent, Dunnes Stores, EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum and Barnardos.  

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