In the spring of 2014 bigO was tasked by Fáilte Ireland with creating a St Patrick’s Day video that would inject the world with a dose of shamrock spirit. And we delivered. In fact, we delivered to such a degree that the next year Fáilte Ireland’s sister agency Tourism Ireland asked us to do it all over again.
Though the audience for each video was slightly different, the ask was the same: make the people who live here feel proud to do so and make the ones that don’t wish they did.
It was a compelling challenge under the circumstances; by the time this project reached our desks, Ireland had been through its fair share of trials. The 2009 crash had left the nation reeling; four years later, we were only just beginning to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off. Released the week before St Patrick’s Day 2014, bigO created the 2014 viral hit video ‘Ireland Inspires’ to show ourselves and the world that we were on our way again.
The next year, through a mix of global landmarks that had been lit green for St Patrick’s Day, some spectacular footage and actor Liam Neeson’s brogue, we sent the message to the world that while once a year the rest of the world might dress their towns and monuments up in the greenest adornments they can find, in fact, everyday is green in Ireland. And yes, we hit leprechaun gold with The Global Greening video, too.
Within 24 hours, the video ‘Ireland Inspires’ garnered more than 300,000 hits on YouTube and was featured on all major Irish news as well as several international sites. Within a week it reached a million views on the FailteIrelandTV YouTube channel, plus an additional 140,000 views on other YouTube channels. The world posted and posted more still, and by the time St Patrick’s Day rolled around it was the most shared brand video in the world that week.
Because of the video’s popularity, the featured track, Higher Love by James Vincent McMorrow, reached number one in the Irish iTunes chart during the St Patrick’s Day Festival and #IrelandInspires trended on Twitter in Ireland for two days straight.
The Global Greening was an immediate hit, shared virally everywhere from home-grown publications to international sites such as Time Magazine, The Telegraph, The Guardian, USA Today, The Huffington Post, ABC News, BBC News and The Inspiration Room. Online publications from 57 countries, totalling 6,258 articles across 1,653 sites covered the video.
In just one short week, the video garnered more than six million combined views on YouTube and other social media sites and reached 70,836,049 accounts on Twitter with 18,589 contributors.
‘Ireland Inspires’ was a collaboration between several State agencies. With their help, bigO pulled together everything that was great and good about Ireland, from world-class goalies to first-rate food production. Bare facts, simple language, community-centric footage and an emotive soundtrack provided the perfect mix to touch hearts and Facebook feeds around the world.
Taking the statement While the world may go green for one day only, every day is green in Ireland, as our cue, we deployed user-generated footage to illustrate world-famous structures that had turned green in previous years while also interweaving the green of Ireland through a vibrant montage.
Our montage demonstrated the colour of the people, the aerial topography of the country and its stunning coastlines, as well as hyperlapses of several of our most renowned monuments. The cherry on top? We employed the smooth timbre of Liam Neeson to remind us that everyone wants to be a little bit Irish on St Patrick’s Day.