Americans enjoy a pint at the Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouse is a historical building and tourist destination on the site of the St. James' Gate Brewery, the birthplace of Guinness.

Client: Guinness Storehouse (Dublin)
Agency
: Ogilvy PR (New York)
Campaign
: The Guinness Storehouse: The Friendliest Place on Earth for St. Patrick's Day
Duration
: January - April 2012
Budget
: $80,000 - $100,000

Guinness Storehouse (GSH) is a historical building and tourist destination on the site of the St. James' Gate Brewery, the birthplace of the Guinness brand. It features a retail store, a giant pint glass atrium, brewing process tours, and a restaurant and bar.

GSH has hosted a St. Patrick's Day festival March 16 to 18 for the last six years. Ogilvy, which won AOR status last summer, helped devise a campaign to promote this year's festival and increase American visitor attendance by 5% over 2011.

“The event is a great opportunity to talk about GSH, and it gives consumers a great reason to visit Dublin,” says marketing and sales manager Lisa Fitzsimons.

Strategy
GSH was promoted across the US, with emphasis on the New York, Chicago, and Boston markets, which Fitzsimons says have easy flight access to Dublin and strong Irish-American communities.

Media relations, press trips, a paid integration on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and social media outreach positioned GSH as “the friendliest place on Earth” and the best place to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

Agency account director Bradley Matthews notes media trips were particularly important given the experiential nature of GSH. 

Tactics
Travel media, men's lifestyle, and general consumer outlets were targeted. Long-lead pitching began in September 2011. Media kits, which included Guinness-infused recipes, were distributed in early March.

Five media outlets attended the festival.

Ogilvy coordinated a partnership between GSH, Aer Lingus Vacation Store, and Tourism Ireland for the Ellen integration, which included a trip contest segment on March 15 and a March 21 segment, which was taped mostly at GSH.   

The segments were promoted on Ellen.com and on DeGeneres' personal social media pages.

Ogilvy provided GSH sample Tweets and Facebook posts. Tourism Ireland and Aer Lingus also promoted the campaign on their online properties.

Results
Results surpassed last year's campaign, which was conducted on a similar budget by a different agency. 

Fitzsimons reports a record 21,000 visitors to the St. Patrick's Day festival. American visitors increased 30% over 2011 to 5,404. The week prior, visits by Americans were up 28% over the same week in 2011. US visitors accounted for more than 21% of all visitors in March. 

Story placements were up from 10 in 2011 (6.6 million impressions) to 54 (nearly 300 million impressions) in outlets including USA Today and Huffington Post.

The Ellen segments spiked organic Twitter mentions 1,200% on March 15 compared to March 14, and 400% on March 21 compared to March 20.

Future
Ogilvy will continue to help promote GSH in the US.

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