As a recent creative advertising graduate, it only made sense that I was curious about the media in Ireland, specifically advertising. The copy of the ads, the layout of the ads, the design of the ads, and most importantly, the idea behind them. Some of the questions that pondered my mind were “are they similar as the ads in the U.S.?”, “are they corny?”, “more print vs. digital?”. I didn’t really know what to expect.
When I first arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland, I walked the streets and paid close attention to any advertisements that I observed. To be honest, nothing caught my eye like I thought it would. I saw a lot of print ads inside of stores and on windows of businesses, but they looked similar to those in the U.S. The ads that I saw were your typical ads – a woman with her makeup done nicely and fashionably dressed, or a man in a fitted suit casually showing off his watch (clearly an ad for a watch company). They were nice ads to look at don’t get me wrong, just not any different than what i’ve already seen in the United States.
It wasn’t until I was in Dublin, The Republic of Ireland, that I saw something that caught my eye. A few of us ventured off to the Jameson factory, which had a wall full of Jameson advertisements (mostly older). The ads were well put together; excitement filled my body while looking at them. The Jameson factory wasn’t the only place where the advertisements caught my eye though. A stop at another brewery peaked my interest.
I was excited to visit the Guinness factory in Dublin, but I didn’t even think about the advertising there. It turned out that there was a whole floor dedicated to the advertising; I felt like a little kid in a candy store! I spent a lot of time on this floor, making sure I watched the television ads that they had on rotation. I watched ads from 1932 all the way to 2016. I wanted to compare how far Guinness had come in their advertising, both print and digital, and they have definitely come a long way. The ad from 1932 was in black and white, was short in time, and was extremely corny. The 2016 ad told more of a story for Guinness, and was longer in time, which I personally loved. There was also a room with approximately twelve projectors (that I could see) that played newer digital advertisements from Guinness. One ad that left a mark on me and one that I won’t forget was an ad that had so much diversity and color. A good advertisement makes you feel something, it leaves a mark; this ad made me feel happy and hopeful. I don’t think I was the only person that it left a mark on because I heard many people talking about the ad once it was finished playing.
Other than looking at the digital advertising, I looked at the print ads too. The print ads from the early 1900’s were colorful and fun. Many of them included some sort of animal or cartoon along with a slogan. A few of the famous slogans I read were “My goodness my Guinness”, “Guinness is good for you”, and “Lovely day for a Guinness”. When comparing them to newer ads, I noticed a huge difference. The print ads at Guinness today are bolder, darker and more adventurous.
The T.V. advertisements/commercials in Ireland are definitely different than those in the United States. As I was watching the television in the hotels, I noticed how the commercials were kind of tacky. For example, there was a yogurt commercial that included a random naked man (he was covered), which left me confused at the end of it. How does a naked man relate to yogurt? In the U.S., most yogurt commercials include females rather than males. The quality of the television commercials are not as good of quality as the United States. I also noted that the news channel in Ireland compared to the U.S. had many differences. In the U.S., the news anchors have more conversation when they are presenting the news, and have more personality when they are speaking. The news anchors in Ireland were more straight to the point, and had no personality. The way that they talked was more of a monotone sound. The camera quality of the news was also less than it is in the United States.
In the United States, you see billboards everywhere – especially on the freeway. While being in Ireland, I didn’t see many billboards at all, and none on the freeway. Billboard advertising is a big form of advertising in the U.S. but in Ireland, i’ve noticed that they advertise more on the television through commercials.
In the advertising world, the image of your advertisement is crucial. You want to stay up to date with the type of platform that is being used. While print was popular at one point, and there is still print advertisements out there, the Digital world is taking over. In the U.S., there is digital advertising everywhere. You can see it through any social media platform from a specific business/brand, or on the television. Ireland was mainly digital advertising and commercials. I actually read that Ireland will be spending more money on their digital advertising, which is a great thing for them to do as it’s the most popular platform for advertising right now.
The advertising and media in Ireland wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but nonetheless the advertisements were still good. I learned that some places have better advertising and media than other places, but it’s also like that back in the United States. Going to Guinness and Jameson and seeing the advertisements that they had, both digital and print, made me excited for my future career in creative advertising. My goal is to become a creative director one day, and any opportunity I can get to look at ads and media in new places is one I will take advantage of. Watching and comparing the old vs. new ads was awesome and one of my favorite things to do during the tours. To see where a brand started with their advertising and where they are now intrigued my interest. It’s amazing how far along digital and print media have come in the advertising world. Mass media in general has come along way around the world, and I look forward to seeing how it advances throughout the future.