Irish tourism targets harried Londoners during Olympics

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The Offer: Tourism Ireland encouraged Londoners to pack a bag this summer and head over to Ireland to “Escape the Madness” wrought on the city by the Olympics. A humorous video voiced by The IT Crowd and Bridesmaids actor Chris O'Dowd pits two buddies against each other to prove it'll be easier to fly to Ireland for a pint of Guinness than to get across town in London traffic and drink a latte at the office this summer. At the end of the video, viewers were given two options on which to click: to “embrace” or “escape” the madness. Escapees were whisked to another video with embedded links to information on travel deals and how to win a free trip to Ireland; embracers could enter to snag free VIP access to the Irish Olympic House in London or a £200 bar tab.

The Data: The video garnered nearly 170,000 YouTube hits in just over one week.

The Channel: On top of PR, outdoor, and a dedicated Twitter hashtag (#escapethemadness), Publicis London used online video to drive traffic to the campaign microsite.

The Creative: In addition to battling hellish London traffic, the hapless, hassled office worker in the video is forced to endure annoying tourists and a smelly armpit in his face on a packed Tube train. O'Dowd was reportedly chosen after tweeting that he wanted to be the “voice” of Ireland.

The Verdict:

Stewart Krull is EVP and executive creative director at Atmosphere Proximity, where, since joining in 2007, he has led creative work across the agency's accounts, including Citigroup and Bud Light. Krull was a student at New York's School of Visual Arts during the birth of the graphic novel. Read our Q&A with Stewart for more.

Seems like the effort could benefit from more robust social components to make the message both more viral and more participatory, but it's a message that likely left many a Londoner contemplating greener pastures this summer.

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