Wednesday 17 October 2018

Force is with us as Star Wars fronts 'out of this world' new ad campaign

Earth’s first interstellar tourism campaign has taken off as Tourism Ireland celebrated the imminent release of ‘The Last Jedi’ starring Mark Hamill by sending a poster into space
Earth’s first interstellar tourism campaign has taken off as Tourism Ireland celebrated the imminent release of ‘The Last Jedi’ starring Mark Hamill by sending a poster into space
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

Space - the final frontier for advertisers. Tourism Ireland's new ad campaign for the country is literally out of this world as the Wild Atlantic Way campaign aims to cash in on the decision to film 'Star Wars' here.

As part of its €500,000 campaign, which runs until the middle of January, tourism chiefs yesterday launched the world's first 'interstellar billboard'.

The billboard, featuring an image of Co Kerry's Skellig Michael with the message 'visit Earth's Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland', was sent more than 33,390 metres - almost 21 miles - into the stratosphere aboard a weather balloon.

There, a camera captured the image before it came back down to earth.

The floating image - which measures only the size of an A4 sheet of paper, but appears billboard size in space - went too high to be seen by any passing airline passengers.

But a spokeswoman for Tourism Ireland joked it was not ruling out aliens catching sight of it - which could tap into a new tourism market.

"Our space tourism publicity stunt is a bit of fun, designed to create some excitement as Star Wars fans everywhere get ready for the release of 'The Last Jedi'," added Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland.

"The fact that another Star Wars film was shot on location along the Wild Atlantic Way is truly a fantastic coup for Irish tourism. It presents Tourism Ireland with a superb opportunity to highlight the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland in 2018."

While extraterrestrial travellers may be thin on the ground, the "fun publicity stunt" is aimed at attracting 'Star Wars' fans around the world eagerly awaiting the release of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi', which features the iconic Kerry landmark, as well as other locations in counties Cork, Kerry, Clare and Donegal.

The latest 'Star Wars' movie starring Mark Hamill will open in Ireland on December 13.

Tourism Ireland will share the photo and film with its 20,000 international media contacts; via social media - with its four million Facebook fans and 451,000 followers on Twitter around the world.

The force is strong with this particular advertising campaign.

Irish Independent

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