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Brand Ireland brushes up its image again as it rises from the ashes of the Tiger bust

One of the talking points in adland in recent days has been the Marketing Institute national conference. Were you there? And how was it for you?

The day was all about Brand Ireland, and while a few speakers used the event to simply promote their own brand, others served up food for thought.

UCD Business School marketing professor Mary Lambkin always talks sense. She spoke about closing the gap between what a country wants to say in terms of image and what the wider world thinks of it. Ireland punches above its weight. But a nation normally thinks well of itself and feels the rest of the world gets it wrong. Ireland got too cocky during the Celtic Tiger years and believed its own propaganda. Pride comes before a fall -- and fall we did.

After the economic crash in 2006, 'disaster tourist' Michael Lewis wrote his When Irish Eyes Are Crying article for Vanity Fair. The line, "in 2000, the Irish bought their country -- from one another", said it all. While Lambkin insisted she was not political, she had high praise for Taoiseach Enda Kenny's efforts in telling the world Ireland is open for business.

Google's vice-president global marketing, Lorraine Twohill (pictured), spoke about the internet giant's doodle team. The doodlers come up with ideas for Google's home page. Twohill helps with the Paddy's Day home page, but she treads cautiously. With 100 billion searches a month, the former Tourism Ireland marketer doesn't want to be the person who "screws up" the Google brand.


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