With St Patrick’s Day already here, many celebrations are underway, and people are already in a festive mood. And while longer holiday seasons like Easter and Christmas tend to get all the focus from businesses, smaller holidays like St Patrick’s Day can also be equally engaging. The Holiday is seen as an opportunity for everyone to try an Irish life for one day, and businesses have been trying to capitalize on the Holiday by launching elaborate social media campaigns for years. 

A Little about St Patrick’s Day – How it Began

*Information from Betway blog

This popular Irish Holiday traces its origin to Saint Patrick’s death in 461 A.D, with the first St Patrick’s Day parade staged in 1601 in Florida. The Holiday’s popularity continued growing over the years, and today it’s celebrated thanks to the emigration of the Irish people to other countries globally. Unfortunately, not many brands have fully capitalized on the excitement surrounding this iconic Irish Holiday. 

Despite the challenges that some brands have faced, there are several that have approached the subject well. Here are the five best St Patrick’s Day campaigns that you might encounter on social media over the next few days. 

1. Guinness

An iconic beer brand, Guinness is the official Irish drink for St Patrick’s Day. This quintessential Irish tipple is known for putting together elaborate social media campaigns every year, even vying for the title of organizing the biggest St Patrick’s Day celebration in 2013. This campaign spanned social and online, attempting to make St Patrick’s Day the friendliest Holiday of the year while associating the brand with Conviviality instead of negative views of alcohol abuse. 

Guinness unveiled an animated interactive infographic revealing facts about St Patrick’s Day and their product to support their campaign. One such fact revealed is that Guinness has about 8740 years left on their lease of St James’ Gate Brewery based in Dublin. Even better, Guinness optimized each fact to ensure it’s shareable on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, email, and Google+.

In 2021, Guinness is raising a toast to heroes in pubs and bars, including our community of friends. The brand recognizes that St Patrick’s Day celebrations are different this year and encourages its consumers to look forward to the next one. 

2. M&M’s

M&M’s is among the top three on the list for planning and executing the Miss Green Campaign. This campaign started when M & M&M’s spoke candy launched a tour through Ireland searching for her long-lost cousins. The glamorous tour was highlighted with recognizable Irish phenomena, also featuring a trip to meet the Galway girl at the city of Tribes. 

The brand also launched a selfie campaign On Miss Green’s Facebook page, will be cousins required to post their selfies for a chance to win 5000 euros. Hilariously, would-be winners were reminded that Miss Green isn’t here as a snack but only for the craic. The campaign intelligently incorporated a popular Irish expression, striking the right comedic tone for the public. 

3. Discover Ireland

Tourism board Discover Ireland ran a video and photo competition encouraging their fans to go environmentally green on St Patrick’s Day. Entrants were rewarded with the chance to win a trip to Ireland to watch the homecoming event – The Gathering. 

While this campaign might seem unoriginal at first glance, the timing was incredible. The concept was deliberately simple, making it stimulate mass participation across various demographics.  Users only had to record their best video or photo while going green in honor of St Patrick’s Day. 

The participants had the freedom to include everything they wanted, including photoshopped images of Dublin’s most iconic building. This creative freedom further helped to emphasize the inclusiveness of the competition. 

4. Bord Bia

This Irish food board chose to go with a St Patrick’s Day competition to promote Irish beef’s positive aspects. The campaign ran for six weeks, asking fans to choose their favorite menu using the Facebook app to get served at a virtual feast. All the participants got a ticket on a free prize draws, rewarding the winner with a six people trip to Ireland alongside other daily prizes given to drive traffic. 

5. Jameson

This year, Jameson has launched an intelligently thought campaign dubbed “Whenever You Are” to drive brand awareness on social media. The campaign pays 1000 people $50 each to take time off work on St Patrick’s day, reflecting three things that often pair well – a moment worth sharing, the right people, and glass to raise. 

Jameson’s efforts are a savvy spin on recent research that found over 50% of Americans haven’t used their vacation over the last year. That allowed the Irish whisky manufacturer to encourage their consumers to take a paid day off and celebrate the Holiday with their $50 payouts. Similarly, Smirnoff Ice paid consumers to enjoy the Fourth of July in 2018.