The Public House has rolled out a new campaign for EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum that challenges the negative stereotypes attached to Ireland and the Irish people.
Called This Is Not Us, the campaign follows on from research into how predictive search data 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 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 is hoping to change.
According to Patrick Greene, CEO and museum director of EPIC: “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.
“This campaign highlights that there are still many misleading perceptions about Ireland and the Irish people. We would like to invite people to come to EPIC for themselves and help us to set the record straight. Come and learn more about Ireland’s history, the Irish people who left this island and the true impact that they had, and continue to have, on the world,” says Aileesh Carew, director of sales and marketing
Dillon McKenna, associate creative director, The Public House adds: “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,” says Richard Chaney, creative director, Piranha Bar.
“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 6 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.
Executive Creative Director: Colin Hart
Creative Director: Jarrod Banadyga
Associate Creative Director/Art Director:Dillon McKenna
Senior Copywriter: Mikey Curran
Junior Copywriter: Patrick Dunne
Strategy Director: Sarah Walsh
Strategist: Aine O’Boyle
Managing Director: Catriona Campbell
Group Account Director:Mariana Nevado
Account Director: Terri Turner
Senior Designer: Trevor Nolan
Designer/Editor: Cian Booth
Producer: Steve Battle & James McColgan
Director | Creative Director: Richard Chaney
Producer: Aileen Heavey
Design: Shaun Kelly
Modelling & Textures: Flauberth Carvalho
Grooming & Wardrobe: Ciaran Talbot
Lighting & Rendering: Sam Boyd
Grade: Arron Inglis
PR AGENCY CREDITS
Vroom Digital: Niamh Walters, head of PR
MEDIA AGENCY CREDITS
MWi, part of Mediaworks UK Group
Managing Partner: Declan Kelly
Account Manager: Jane Daly
Founder: Neville Isdell
CEO and Museum Director: Patrick Greene
Director of Sales and Marketing: Aileesh Carew
Head of Exhibitions and Programming: Nathan Mannion
Marketing Executive: James Kielty
Social Media Lead: Becca Humphrey
Digital Marketing Assistant: Lindsay Leach