The synergies are obvious, so why not make the most of them?
Ireland’s oldest licensed distillery, Bushmills Irish Whiskey, is situated in County Antrim, where St. Patrick lived, so what more reason did the firm’s marketing team need to honour the “ancient ritual” of a toast, the firm’s first official toast in its 400-year history, no less, in advance of St Patrick’s day which takes place today.
The Bushmill’s toast gives people the world over an opportunity to celebrate the legend of the Irish Saint, but is also, Bushmill’s say, a celebration of modern Ireland, courtesy of a specially released YouTube video voiced by Irish singer songwriter Ciaran Lavery – another County Antrim native.
Lavery, who has racked up more than 65 million plays on Spotify and is set to tour Europe, the UK, US, Ireland and Canada later this year, provides the voiceover to what is described as “a frenetic montage of bold imagery contextualising modern Ireland.”
“It’s a real honour to provide the voice for the first official toast in the history of Bushmills Irish Whiskey. I’ve been fortunate enough to have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in many countries whilst touring, but time and time again it’s all about Irish folklore and the colour green, rather than St. Patrick the man.”
Colum Egan, the Master distiller at Bushmills, says of the toast: “we pride ourselves on our unwavering character – doing what’s right rather than what’s popular and the new ‘Bushmills toast’ captures our ethos by creating a moment to celebrate the true spirit of St. Patrick.”
The video begins with a montage of different profiles of Lavery, shots of barrels of whisky, and a sunrise in silhouette, accompanying Lavery’s voiceover:
“This is a toast to those who aren’t afraid to stay the same amongst the face of change”.
“When everyone else strays one way, they stray against the grain”, the voiceover continues, before merging technical distilling terms with wry observations, as images of whisky being brewed and enjoyed by Bushmills tasters, and sensational shots of Irish coastline flicker across the screen.
“A different kind of Irish, who live by less is more”, the voiceover continues, before the toast, to the “wild and the free”, and “you and me”.
“Here’s to those who quietly do – this Bushmills moment goes to you”, it concludes, with a soft focus shot of a man taking a gulp of the whiskey, and the hashtag #answerthecall.
So far, the video has racked up more than 60k views; although the distiller will have a job on its hands supplanting Guinness as the tipple of choice on March 17th – the video is not upbeat in the way that most modern St Patrick’s celebrations across the world tend to be – the toast is dramatic, emotive, and strangely uplifting.
If St Patrick had been around today, he doubtless would have approved of the capacity of social media to reach audiences around the world, and surely raised a glass to his own worldwide fame.
It may not have been what he expected, but 400 years of fame is worth toasting – of that there is little doubt! Eat your heart out, Westlife.