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How Three's salute to the Green Army went from idea to TV advert

EVER wonder how a television ad is made?

Take Three mobile's Ode to Fans (pictured). The ad salutes Ireland's Green Army. It kicked off in December with Ireland's shirt sponsor briefing agencies for a new business pitch.

After seeing presentations, Three's marketing executives Elaine Carey and Sinead Spillane appointed the Boys and Girls agency.

Creative duo Rory Hamilton and Jonny Cullen were asked to devise a poetic tribute to Ireland's diehard fans, widely regarded as some of the best supporters in the world. Even when Ireland were losing 4-0 to Spain in last year's Euro finals in Poland, they joyously sang the Fields of Athenry.



Casting for Ode to Fans had to be authentic. Instead of using actors, agency producer Paul Ellis held auditions with members of the You Boys In Green fan club.

Hamilton wrote the words and Cullen created the images. Photographer Liam Murphy shot the video stills. Bruce Emmet, an American illustrator living in Paris, sketched the Roy of the Rovers comic. Claymation effects were used for Packie Bonner's penalty save. Dublin actor Emmet Kirwan voiced the ad, not Westlife's Nicky Byrne as some people imagined.

Boys and Girls discovered Kirwan in the Just Saying short film about emigration on YouTube.

Ode to Fans was directed by Blinder's Zak Emerson of Heineken and Digicel ads fame.

It was shot during "a long day" at Bray's Ardmore Studios.

Lee Hickey at Windmill Lane later weaved his editing magic. Locky Butler was the sound man.

The ad made its TV debut in time for Ireland's World Cup qualifier away to Sweden.