On March 17, people around the world celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day. While many are still confused about the origin of this holiday (commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland), it doesn’t stop the general public from sharing a few pints, or companies from trying to capitalize on the festivities with holiday marketing campaigns.
In fact, there were four companies this year that stood out from the rest!
So in true March Madness fashion, we decided to pit these brands against each other in a bracket (like the current NCAA Bracket) and have them battle for the title of St. Patrick’s Day Social Media Champion!
Here are the Final Four:
From the “West” (left side of the image): We have two alcohol brands that made a splash on St. Patrick’s Day with their social advertisements.
Jameson stayed on brand by putting out a new advertisement on St. Patrick’s Day. Given that the holiday is about Saint Patrick’s Irish roots, it only makes sense for an Irish whiskey to get in on the celebration.
What got Jameson into our Final Four was the fact they not only marketed this advertisement on Instagram, but also expanded it to Facebook. They took advantage of the “automatic play” on both platforms for an eye-catching video that will lure their targeted user base into picking up the (virtual) shot slid to them!
2. Bud Light
Bud Light used their newest campaign slogan, “Up for Whatever,” to promote drinking their product on St. Patrick’s Day. The image utilized four-leaf clovers and the iconic color green to help sell the connection between the holiday and Bud Light’s brand.
What got Bud Light’s tweet into our Final Four was the virality of their tweet. Within minutes there were more retweets and replies than the brand could handle. Unfortunately, they weren’t all positive.
Many tweeted out about the message “You can also pinch people who aren’t #UpForWhatever,” and how it is cause for concern in regards to assault. Since this argument was hard to ignore, Bud Light deleted the tweet after just two hours; and instead of doing an “Irish goodbye,” they issued a statement to apologize for the message.
West Winner: Jameson Irish Whiskey
While Bud Light failed to send a message that related to their audience, they did teach us the importance of apologizing for your brand and moving on. In the end, Jameson was able to send an impressive message, and impress (not offend) their audience.
From the “East” (right side of the image): We have two underdog brands that showed their creativity in making themselves relevant on St. Patrick’s Day.
To help set the mood for St. Patrick’s Day, Pandora created a playlist filled with Celtic and Irish music for users to play at their March 17th celebrations.
What got Pandora into our Final Four was their method for getting their message out: Facebook and Mobile. Not only did they share a visually stimulating image with their Facebook users, but they also reached out to their avid mobile app audience with a push notification to remind them they could dance a jig to their tailored playlist.
4. The White House
Image Source: Facebook
An unexpected player in the St. Patrick’s Day Social Media Bracket is the iconic house of the Nation’s Capital! Back in 2011, the First Lady Michelle Obama asked to turn the south lawn’s fountain green to imitate the Chicago River tradition. Since then, the fountain is dyed green every St. Patrick’s Day and has gotten the attention of people around the United States.
What got The White House into our Final Four was their attempt at humanizing a very political icon – the President. It shows that the President values tradition, is up-to-date with technology, and can also utilize tradition to bring in tourism to Washington, DC.
East Winner: Pandora, Internet Radio
Yes, The White House was very creative in their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but Pandora really optimized their use of social platforms. The use of social is notoriously more and more mobile; therefore they reached out to their audience based on where they use Pandora’s services the most.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP: Jameson vs. Pandora
The brand to win the championship comes down to one word: innovation.
Pandora was able to strategically place their ad in front of the right audience to help get many plays on their St. Patrick’s Day playlist. However, Jameson led the innovation with their Instagram ad. Video ads aren’t new on Instagram, but bringing a 3D component to the advertisement is! The same goes for their sharing on Facebook, which Jameson told AdWeek the 3-D effect was a “Facebook first.” Furthermore, they innovated the use of ad location by using locally identifiable scenery to update the bar scene based on where the ad was served (this was on Facebook only).
Do you agree with the winner? Were there other St. Patrick’s Day ads that you think could have been Sweet 16 or Elite 8 contenders?
Share with us in the comments!
About the Author: Deanna Zaucha is the Content Marketing Coordinator for Webs and Pagemodo, and also manages our social media presence. She can be found on a dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with trends in marketing and tech. Get more from Deanna on Pagemodo’s Blog and Twitter.