There seems to be a specific subgenre of Irish ad that goes for the insufferably pompous approach. I am a little wary of giving these brands more exposure via this forum, as it may thereby prove that these ads work in some way. Personally, the kind of approach here puts me right off what the advertiser is trying to get across.
The archetypal pompous ad is the 2010 effort promoting Terminal 2 in Dublin Airport. Unfortunately, the timing of this with the recession/bailout era made it seem like an ad for emigration. Also, from the opening line (“Ireland is a small island in a big ocean”) we hit the motherlode of the humblebrag approach of Irish advertising – we may be only wee, but we did invent the Beaufort Scale and Yeats;
Dante unaccountably left out the makers of Irish banking ads from his Inferno. Personally, I find it hard to discern which circle of the inferno they would be consigned to. With the perpetrators of “simple” fraud? With the barrators? With the counsellors of fraud? Perhaps Dante’s system would explode with the many many options.
I am unsure which is worse – the pseudo-witty bank ad or the pompous, earnest bank ad about how totally serious and amazing they are. AIB’s “We’re Backing…” campaign, as well as hitting all the pomp buttons, managed to irritate me even more by misusing adjectives as nouns (see also Aer Lingus’ irritating rather than pompous “Smart” campaign)
This post was provoked by coming across this instant classic of the pomp genre from Enterprise Ireland. One of the recurrent themes of the pomp ad is how like utterly hard everyone is like working with their like meals from a plastic tray and so on. Amazingly this has nearly a million views:
The pompous GAA ad is a whole other subgenre of the pompous Irish ad subgenre. And here again A I f***ing B take the biscuit with their attempt to butter up the Irish public after, you know, crashing the economy (not alone of course) by linking themselves with the epitome of all things Real and Authentic in Ireland, the GAA:
I feel a whole post decrying pompous GAA based ads coming on… another fertile source of pomp ads is telecommunications. Eir have especial form in this. I sorta almost like the way the stirring sounds of Fionnghuala are set to stirring scenes of how amazing Eir’s products are (incidentally, here’s a story headed “Just when you thought Eir’s customer service couldn’t get any worse) when of course the self-same internet encapsulates the forces wiping out the culture that created Fionnghuala (if you see what I mean)
Sadly, I am unable to track down the ultimate pomp ad – one for Centra, whose slogan “For The Way We Live Today” was conveyed in an inexpressibly awful pomp-rock musical setting, to accompany vignettes of couples arguing in sign language, a conductor looking sweaty, and various other entirely emotionally false scenes of supposedly modern Ireland.
I couldn’t find that ad on YouTube, so here’s a pleasingly unpompous 90s Centra ad … with satisfyingly naff music, and an overall message not of saving the world or reflecting the stirring diversity of modern Ireland, or hard work being like so totally awesome, but of being about buying stuff in a shop: