For a country of just over 6.5 million people, Ireland undoubtedly punches well above its weight in the global cultural arena. That land of Joyce, St. Patrick's Day, Guinness, and Bono has spawned cultural exports that are known in every corner of the globe.
When one goes further and looks at the countless tributes to Irish culture and people in Hollywood, literature, and the global music industry, it's clear that Ireland is a cultural superpower with a global brand appeal.
It is therefore unsurprising that there is no shortage of large, globally-recognised brands that make use of Irish cultural themes to promote their products around the world. Let's take a look at some of the most well-known Irish-themed brands that aren't actually Irish.
Perhaps the most obvious contender for best non-Irish Irish product is Lucky Charms cereal, owned by the American conglomerate General Mills and one of the best-selling breakfast products in the US. Originally released in 1964, Lucky Charms draped itself in Irish cultural touchstones as part of its brand identity. The logo is a leprechaun draped in four-leaf clover regalia, while some of the marshmallow 'bits' in the cereal consist of icons such as clovers, horseshoes, and leprechaun hats.
The actual mascot of the cereal, Lucky the Leprechaun, was originally voiced by a famous radio celebrity by the name of Arthur Anderson, an American born and raised in New York. While the Irish accent of Lucky the Leprechaun was and remains rather questionable, it has undoubtedly helped sell countless millions of boxes of Lucky Charms cereal.
Another brand that makes use of some themes that are reminiscent of Irish culture, such as the clover-green colour, pots of gold, and leprechaun motifs, just so happens to be one of the world's largest online casinos. Founded in Sweden in 2007 by three tech entrepreneurs, Mr Green now offers online poker, slots, blackjack, roulette, and live casino games to players in a dozen countries, including Ireland, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Denmark.
The casino portal Irishluck.ie has reviewed Mr Green, and has described it as one of the most popular online casinos in Europe, as well as one of the most awarded which you can read more about here. Unsurprisingly, Mr Green's brand trades heavily on the supposed casino luck that its branding can inspire. Users can play online slot games such as Larry the Leprechaun, while the casino itself sometimes runs an offer called 'Leprechaun Hills', in which free slot spins are awarded to lucky leprechaun hunters. Whatever the case, it has certainly helped it become a hugely successful global brand.
The global market for Irish whiskey growing fast and estimated to be worth around $1.4 billion by 2022. Therefore, it is not surprising that overseas brands have attempted to capitalise on this popularity by attempting to produce authentic-tasting Irish whiskey on their home turf. One of these is Emerald 1865, which FoodRepublic.com describes as the most authentic Irish whiskey made in America.
The whiskey is made in Oregon at a distillery founded by a group of friends who are mad about Irish whiskey and had previously taken several trips to the Emerald Isle to learn how to create it themselves. Today it is hugely popular among whiskey enthusiasts, although you might have a difficult time getting ahold of a bottle in Cork.
These are just some of the major global brands that capitalize on Irish cultural themes, highlighting the immense cultural impact of Ireland on the world today.