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A brand story
“Top of mind” brand associations of St. Patrick’s Day seem to revolve around drinking and at least in Chicago, a dyed river green.
As lovers of brand stories at Boxer, St. Patrick’s Day, as a brand, gave us pause to really consider St. Patrick’s Day outside of the confines of green beer and intoxication – what amounts to a Jester brand story, with perhaps a little Outlaw depending on the level of the inebriate. Even some Irish brand icons, like the leprechaun, fit this playful spirit.
But for a holiday named after a saint, Jester really didn’t seem to capture it all. Wasn’t there more brand story to tell?
We started with the name. Patrick was an Englishman named Maewyn, a name we can be thankful fell out of favor between his birth circa 380 and 2015. As the story goes, as a youth he was kidnapped, and sent to Ireland as a slave herding sheep. He escaped back to England, became a priest and returned to Ireland. He was named Patricius upon ordination which, translated from Latin, is our familiar Patrick.
The Irish are known for their gifts of storytelling and that’s apparent in many of the legends of St. Patrick, like his driving all snakes out of Ireland by beating a drum (either a response to St. Patrick’s poor percussion talents, or I would guess they left due to lack of food, like many of the those who emigrated to America when my relatives did). Legend also has it that that sun did not set for twelve days and nights after Patrick died on March 17.
Blarney or not, these legends certainly cast St. Patrick, and the day that honors him, as part of a larger brand story–an Explorer conquering new lands with the derring-do of a Hero rescuing the Irish people from snakes and the temptations they likely represented.
And of course, like most of you, my part-Irish roots will beckon on March 17th with a nip of Jameson. After all, St. Patrick’s Day, will always mostly be, a Jester brand. But don’t forget to toast the real brand story of this holiday–the Hero St. Patrick really was. Sláinte!