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7 Brands That Went All-In for St Paddy’s DayAre there any holidays that make people as boisterously happy online as St. Patrick’s Day, or St. Paddy’s Day to those true green fans? Marketing to capture any holiday audience can be tricky regardless of the energy it offers though, so let’s see how seven brands fared with their online attempts!

Everyone May Be Irish, But Doesn’t Make Them Relevant

On St. Patrick’s Day, “everybody’s Irish” and it’s sure to attract an online crowd. People love it:

But that doesn’t mean the crowd is relevant to your brand! So, before you hop on the Erin Express, you need to analyze your potential audience, to understand who they are and what they’re interested in. More specifically, you want to undercover segments that may be distinguished by demographics – like age or location – or other insight around their interests, passions, or how they see the product or service your brand represents.

So let’s assume you have something relevant to offer this rowdy audience and can create a campaign that will resonate – like these brands have:

Getting Shamrocked

Sometimes it makes perfect sense for a brand to hop on that bandwagon though, or create a bandwagon for others to hop on and join you – whatever works! The Hard Rock Café has gone this route with its annual free event, inviting participants to join them in Getting Shamrocked at their many locations across the United States.

Or maybe you prefer Guinness? “Everyone knows Guinness® is famous for its creamy head. But did you know that if you take a drink with the right technique, you can get your own #GuinnessTache? And what better way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day than by showing off your personalised Guinness Tache? Watch the video below and then share which of the six Taches would suit you best.”

It’s a clever bit of business – and a far cry from the fail they had in 2016, when they lost quite a bit of Irish credibility after seemingly not knowing the difference between a shamrock and a clover.

One brand that certainly knows the difference is Jameson Irish Whiskey. With “Irish” in its name and located IN Ireland, how could it go wrong taking advantage of celebrations happening around this friendliest of days? Well, it could, but it didn’t! They actually hit it out of the park, with a sweepstakes that would make anyone happening upon it excited – and it’s still happening right now, so enter quickly!

They’re offering a “chance to explore the neighborhood we call home! Enter before March 30, 2019 for a chance to win a 4-day, 3-night trip for four to Dublin, including airfare, hotel accommodations, and a tour of the Jameson distillery.” My goodness, that’s amazing. It’s also not easy to win – be sure to read all of the terms and conditions before entering!\

Responsible Behavior and Tasty Treats

Although alcohol is an expected offering on this of all days, it isn’t the only voice out there. There’s also a voice of reason running about, reminding everyone of the importance of having designated drivers – and that’s the folks at the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.

This year, their Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving campaign seeks to keep parade and party goers safe: “Each year, St. Patrick’s Day – March 17 – is celebrated with city parades, funny leprechaun hats, and plenty o’ green beer. Unfortunately, it often ends with risky drunk drivers taking to the streets when the parties end. Drunk driving accounts for nearly one-third of vehicle-related fatalities in the United States.”

And speaking of those uniformed folks who’d pull you over for drinking and driving – hopefully they spent more time snacking on their supposed favorite pastries than they did chasing down dangerous drivers. We know Krispy Kreme was certainly ready for them, with lots of green donuts. And, according to their entirely unscientific poll, 41% of respondents preferred “green doughnuts” over a mere 19% looking forward to “green beer.”

And McDonalds had its Shamrock Shakes available to wash those donuts down. Thankfully, they’ve obviously learned from their whacky promotion attempt of 2017, where they aired a ten-second clip to promote the ‘Shamrock Shake’ with a man “dressed in Scottish tartan with Stonehenge in England as the background. Accompanied by the bagpipes, sheep can also be seen at times.”

Knowing your audience, and the details around its ethnicity (particularly when posting about a culture-centric day) is always important. Be sure to keep that one in mind as you plan your own campaigns.

Step Outside The Norm

If you have an idea that’s potentially awesome, don’t sit on it just because other people haven’t done it yet. Take SEMrush, for example. They came at St Paddy’s Day creatively, choosing to create a challenge (a puzzle) for followers to win Irish-themed wares. It was wildly successful with its 100k followers, and is often picked up for posts going on two years now. That’s a win in any book!

It may not seem like much, but it was!

We want you to be the next wildly viral promotion people post about. Reach out for a demo and we can show you how audience understanding is key to unlocking insight that will help you create campaigns that will have your CEO dancing a jig.

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