The World Goes Green

Imagine your travels taking you to historical locations like the Coliseum in Rome, Christ the Redeemer in Argentina, or even Big Ben in London. Well if you are traveling on March 17th this year these landmarks may look a little different then you might expect. For the sixth year Tourism Ireland is lighting up landmarks all over the world to promote their nation’s biggest draw for travelers—St. Patrick’s Day.

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Over 60 million landmarks will be lit up this year at a cost of around €65,000 for Tourism Ireland’s “Global Greening”. Last year the “global greening” trended on social media across the world. No matter where you travel on St. Patrick’s Day this campaign makes it feel like you are in Ireland.

“The 2015 Tourism Ireland Global Greening will again help to raise awareness of Ireland as a visitor destination in key overseas markets. The success of the Global Greening from a tourism perspective is in the volume of media coverage that is generated, with images of the greened landmarks forming part of prime-time news broadcasts on stations around the world, and images of the greened venues appearing in print and online publications and being widely shared on social media. It serves to remind people worldwide of Ireland at a time when many are planning their overseas holidays.” Says Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe.

This campaign is an innovative use of the principles of Mead (1937) Symbolic Interactionism. This theory looks at how we as a society derive meaning through interaction and culture. The idea that the color green represents Ireland is something we learn through seeing others associate the hue with the country. Whether that be through green hats on St. Patrick’s Day or seeing people wave the Irish flag with its green coloring, most everyone understands that green is a symbol of Ireland. Tourism Ireland didn’t have to say anything in their promotion, all they had to do is light monuments green on St. Patrick’s Day to put their country in your mind.

How effective do you think this simplistic yet costly marketing stunt would be if you saw it? Would you want to immediately pack your bags and head to Ireland, would you be annoyed that a historic monument was being obscured, or would you have no real response? Let us know in the comments!

– Nick Bolick, Olivia Sadler & Patrick Wagner