January 11, 2008

Great Irish Brands

Just before the end of the year, the Irish Independent published a magazine supplement on Great Irish Brands. Naturally, I was intrigued. The paper itself is one of the great Irish brands and had duly included itself in the list (I did say great rather than modest!) but, not unsurprisingly, they'd left another out: their competitor The Irish Times.

This wasn't the only great brand that was excluded. Whilst I know 'greatest-this and top-that' lists always give rise to some controversy, I was disappointed to see that their lineup was very hit and miss. For the record the list is: Avonmore, Bord Na Mona, Brown Thomas, Denny, Douglas Newman Good, Guaranteed Irish, Guinness, Homestead, Irish Independent, Jameson, Kerrygold, Lyons Tea, National Lottery, O'Briens Wines, Paddy Power, Paddy Whiskey, Powers Whiskey, Quinn Group, RDS, RTE, Tayto.

Missing in action are brands such as Bulmers, Baileys, O'Brien's Sandwich Bars, Club Orange, Abbey Theatre whilst a number of the brands included suggested that this was more of a ploy to keep advertisers or cronies happy than it was a true celebration of Irish brands.

How did Quinn Group make it in there? Can the RDS truly claim to be a great brand? The Dublin Horse Show maybe. But the venue itself hardly commands either great customer affection or loyalty (it's simply there). Finally, it's the inclusion of three whiskey brands and the exclusion of Baileys that really has this brand-builder quivering with indignation. Again, Jameson is the only one that demands to be included in such a shortlist.

Where are Louis Copeland, Elvery's, Eason's and the other great mainstays of Irish retail? Perhaps they don't advertise?

I could go on but I'd much rather throw it open to you: which do you think are the great Irish brands? Let's keep it at 22 like the Independent did (although we're not limited by page numbers as they are). Working from the shortlist of 22, which brands would you turf out and which would you include in their place?

1 comment:

Conor Horgan said...

I'd agree about Quinn Group and RDS being dubious inclusions in the list, and would add a question mark over O'Briens Wines.

Harp surely deserves its place - frying an egg on the rock or whatever the suave expat used to say ..memorable stuff...and Sally O'Brien's look - apparently these days the drinks code wouldn't allow it ...see Business Post from last year (below)

And I thought Jacobs Fig Rolls was an ever-present in such lists?

"The award-winning Ta Siad ag Teacht advertisement made by Arks agency for Guinness in 1977 would fall foul of multiple content rules if creative team proposed it today.

First, nobody was wearing lifejacket (irresponsible behaviour).

Secondly, the boats had beer in them (a health and safety issue). And the concept of heading back off to the high seas after a pint of stout would be simply unacceptable.

The same is true of other iconic beer advertisements. The Sally O’Brien - and the way she might look at you ad, made for Harp lager in the 1970s, could not appear now because it connects drink with social/sexual success.

Even the much-praised 2002 commercial for Carlsberg, which showed Jason McAteer scoring a winning goal in the World Cup final, would probably violate current rules, since it might be construed as suggesting that alcohol conveys sporting prowess."