In the post-pandemic advertising world, brands that embrace heritage, authenticity and their Irishness should triumph.
The iconic Queens pub in Dalkey is to close for good.
Another viral middle-class tragedy in itself, but as I walked past it last week, with my over ear headphones I remembered the last time I was there. The innocent days of watching that really funny comedian, Barry Murphy. Or so he says.
Now I did a little work for ‘Après Match’ programmes gathering old TV commercials, which the boys would funnily re-voice. You know the ones – Lyons Black & White minstrels, 50:50 cashback, taking the horse to France, like you see too, on ‘Reeling in the Years’.
But it was a popular spot in ‘Après Match’ as everyone went “Ahhh, do you remember that!”
Because it was a bit of home.
A bit of the good old days, pre-pandemics, like the long hot summers of our youth (which never actually happened, but it is how we like to remember them).
Home. The place you went at 47 during your “messy divorce”. Or when you were just stuck for a few bob. And the comfort of that bedroom you grew up in.
With that went the brands of home. Packets of Barry’s Tea in a pot of leaves, Olde time Irish chunky cut marmalade on the heel of fresh Brennan’s Bread, Marietta biscuits with real foil kerrygold butter. Mince from the butchers, bones for the dog.
I think that’s what’s going to happen now. The brands that will resurge first, are the brands of our past that we trusted. And with them, should be some of those old commercials. “I’d like to teach the world to sing” is awaiting resurrection. So too Guinness ‘Ta Siad ag teacht’ or Joe McKinney’s dance.
The Covid survivors will turn to trusted, (and Irish) brands, for past comforts as well as a sense of duty, as they’ll see it. They’ll support Irish brands to support themselves. Buy Irish and local is already making a comeback with the Champion Green campaign which was launched this week.
The old commercials, revitalised, will bring back those better memories of better days and with added low production costs, immediate affection and awareness. Or the new ones should now reflect on that simple messaging. What the brand does and how you get your hands on it. Do not over egg the advertising pudding.
Old reminiscent packaging, will sell. Vegetable markets with people in aprons will thrive (or faux retailers who re-imagine) bringing comfort and value. Letter writing and cards will make a comeback, so too stamps, walking to the shops will even be fashionable.
Books, real books and vinyl records. Camping, home cooking, garden living and public hug greetings.
Authentic pubs, wholesome restaurants, driven by nice welcoming owners and no longer, by pretentious Influencers. That game is over since we’ve had a taste of the real world and the new work/life balances.
No flashy advertising either, tell it like it is with evocative emotion. The simple things of early marketing will return.
I tell brands that – go back to heritage, beliefs and history. Re-imagine your past. Because that’s what people will want now (they’re not consumers anymore), as the light slowly re-emerges. A taste of home, a taste of the olden days, trust and reassurance. A pint of plain.
The future of advertising and brands now, is hidden in the past.
And we’ll even look for a joke from the great king of comedy, Barry Murphy.
(If of course, he still has one).
Stuart Fogarty is founder of Steamabout and Admatic. He is a former President and Fellow of The Advertising Institute (IAPI) and former CEO of AFA O’Meara and McConnells.