Galway hookers

Taking up the local-story baton from Charli, I went home to Ireland recently. Passing through the nearby town of Naas, I was greeted with the sign ‘Naas: A nice place to shop’. As a tagline, it’s not quite up there with ‘Las Vegas: What happens here stays here’, but that’s what’s so quietly appealing about it.

I have quite a fondness for local advertising, it’s a nice change from the mindlessly generic (McDonald’s ‘I’m lovin it’ – that’s probably because you’re drunk) and the remorselessly hyperbolic (Peugeot ‘The drive of your life’ – actually the drive of my life was a coast to coast US road trip and it had nothing to do with the car I was in).

From Flannery O’Connor to William Faulkner, great writers have always understood that the universal is rooted in the local.  As Patrick Kavanagh, the Irish poet, said:  “All great civilisations are based on the parish.

And there are companies who use their locality as a real strength. Robinsons and Pimm's do a good job of savouring an English summer evening. Marmite have been targeting their advertising to a local audience, and building from there.

But my favourite example comes from a relatively new company in Galway.

A quick nautical lesson: a Galway hooker is a traditional type of sailboat that was mostly used to bring supplies from Galway to the surrounding islands on the Irish west coast.

So, recently a local brewery has named their beer after it. They’ve called it The Galway Hooker.

Their tagline? ‘Nothing goes down like a Galway Hooker’.


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