Liam Neeson, St Patrick and the Northern Ireland identity headache…

Ballymena’s finest Liam Neeson it seems is the official voice of Ireland. Here is is narrating the official St Patricks Day video:


He is also the voice for Discover Northern Ireland. Here is the ad Liam narrated for Discover Northern Ireland:

YouTube video

You got to hand it to him, he is great at the aul voice overs. Watching these ads you can really imagine the headache Discover Northern Ireland have in trying to market brand NI.

Is it Ulster? the North of Ireland? the six counties? Northern Ireland? The accepted term seems to be Northern Ireland but it is not a great sign when the Deputy First Minister can not bear to utter the name of the place he governs.

Then there is the huge issue of what you put in the ads. Watching the Discover NI ad it is indistinguishable from brand Ireland. It is all traditional Irish sessions, pubs and greens fields. There is not much that represents the ‘British’ identity in any of Discover NI videos.

So the question is can you market the British identity of NI? Does it just confuse the message?

What exactly is the NI brand? We are Irish but er… different??

Local companies have decided the smart business option seems to be go with brand Ireland. What is your view?