Despite there being less than 40 million Irish-Americans in the US (according to Census data), the percentage of those celebrating St. Patrick’s Day keeps climbing each year.

The some $4.7 billion spent on decorations, themed alcohol and green attire means there is a massive opportunity for increased sales through effective marketing and public relations campaigns this time of year.

Check out these brands that used the luck of the Irish to win big on St. Patrick’s Day:

An Important Correction from Dublin Airport

st. patrick's day paddy not paddy

In Ireland’s capital of Dublin, they know a thing or two about St. Patrick’s Day. The Dublin airport used the widely popular holiday to remind North America and other countries around the world about a critical mistake we’re making. With the aid of social media, they kindly yet firmly reminded celebrators of the folly in abbreviating the holiday as “St. Patty’s Day.” A common error given the full spelling; however, the rest of the world is officially on notice that the correct truncation is “St. Paddy’s Day.” The blunder has also inspired this Patty vs. Paddy page.

The Takeaway: If you’re going to piggyback off another culture’s holiday, be sure to get the specifics right.

Discover Ireland Tourism Photo Competition

st. patrick's day Irish tourism

When Irish tourism is your main goal, St. Paddy’s is the perfect backdrop for a photo contest and travel giveaway. That’s exactly what the board at Discover Ireland had in mind when they rolled out a photo and video competition soliciting the best ‘Go Green’ moments from fans on St Patrick’s Day. With a highly coveted grand prize of six tickets to Ireland for ‘The Gathering’ contestants from around the world entered with everything from green babies to bulldogs and everything in between.

The Takeaway: Contests on social media can be a great way to invite new consumers to engage with your brand. Make sure you clearly outline the contest rules for mass exposure. Specify the hashtags to be used so your message will spread, identify how many friends must be tagged in the entry, and make sure to have everyone follow your brand in order to qualify.

#IrelandInspires Fáilte Video Series

st. patrick's day Ireland tourism

To celebrate the country’s national day, the Irish tourism body created a video of moving stills that resemble post cards. Each showcases a different facet of Ireland’s unique culture and scenery. Since its release date, the YouTube video has been viewed around the world more than 1.4 million times. It’s a living love letter to the wealth and diversity of Irish arts.

The Takeaway: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, viral video is one of the most effective tools you can use to tell your brand’s story and connect emotionally with an audience. If you’re not actively utilizing YouTube channel, it’s time to start!

Food Branding Wins

Oreo rolled out a mint-flavored cookie with festive green center in time for the March holiday. The clever copy, “part Irish, part delicious”, accompanied its many Instagram posts, generating thousands of likes, comments and shares.

st. patrick's day foods

On the other side of the spectrum, green vegetables also capitalized on the day. The holiday that hinges on luck and being ‘green’ proved perfect for the jolly giant.

st. patrick's day foods vegetables

The Takeaway: Being clever with your visuals and with your copy is the cornerstone of any effective social media campaign. It can make even ordinary products (i.e.: vegetables) extraordinarily relevant when the timing and delivery is right.

Baileys’ Brings the Booze Factor

st. patrick's day baileys'

It wouldn’t be a true St. Patrick’s Day without a bit of hooch help celebrate. Enter quintessential Irish refreshment, Baileys.

They used a detail-enhanced image to catch the attention of passersby. It accompanied a recipe detailing one of the beverage’s most iconic cocktails. This simple yet successful piece of content garnered them roughly 4,000 likes and more than 1,000 shares.

The Takeaway: Instead of overtly promoting your brand, try giving something useful to consumers like a handy tip, recipe, etc., that they can share with their online community.

In the end, we hope your St. Patrick’s Day campaign is every bit as lucky as these were. Done right you’re sure to make your competition ‘green’ with envy.

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