Sunday 15 September 2019

WATCH: Charming Christmas ad for rural Irish pub that cost just 'two cooked chickens' to make

Move over John Lewis...

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

The owner of a rural Irish pub has enlisted the help of regulars and locals to make a charming and witty addition to the Christmas ad collection.

Ger Hough of JJ Hough's singing pub in Banagher, Co Offaly, explains that the ad features an "analogue man in a digital world who is surrounded by people suffering a kind of digital dementia."

It features Wolfgang Fischer, a Swiss man who recently moved to the town with his wife Ursula, in the lead role and shows his character becoming increasingly frustrated with everyone's obsession with technology - before eventually succumbing to it himself.

Ger describes it as a "commentary on modern society and the dangers of screen addiction", and adds that it highlights the changes in rural Ireland.

"There was a time when pubs like these formed the centerpiece to towns and villages across the country," he tells Independent.ie.  "Recently it seems that the Irish pub has been relegated to that of museum piece, mere relics of fabled Irishpubology”.

He recalls a story his father Michael told him about the old pay phone that he used to have at the bar.

"The phone would ring and all the people at the bar would yelp 'if its for me tell them I’m not here'.  Now its seems they all advertise the fact they’re there by checking in on social media. The art of conversation seems to be disappearing."

The ad is titled 'Digital De-Houghx' which is a play on the pub's name - Hough is pronounced 'Hocks'.

As well as Wolfgang, the ad also features Ger's cousin, Loughrea singer songwriter Ultan Colon, with Ger's brother John chipping in on camera work and sevearl other locals featuring, including Johnny Clancy, who plays the child who is obsessed with his phone.

"The John Lewis ad cost £10 million, while the other viral Christmas story, the one with the guy with the hipster beard and man bun listening to old tapes cost £50,.  Well mine cost the price of two cooked chickens to feed the cast," reveals Ger.

Ger is hoping that the ad will generate some custom for the pub this festive season with some Christmas party bookings.  He also says he's available for any corporate firms who need to hire a "viral ad making expert" as this is, in fact, Ger's third annual Christmas ad.

 

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