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New York’s Opperman Weiss agency creates the most authentic and beautiful Irish booze ad yet

Even sea­soned busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers would be hard-pressed to guess the true source of the haunt­ing new ad for Tul­lam­ore Dew Irish Whiskey. An ad that looks so, well, Irish, just had to have been con­ceived on the Emer­ald Isle itself, right? Wrong. It was filmed there, true, in Coun­ty Wick­low to be pre­cise. But every line of dia­logue, every nuance of the sto­ry, every fea­ture of the ad, was craft­ed in New York’s ris­ing bou­tique agency, Opper­man Weiss (or OW).

Melan­choly joy

Depict­ing four young men walk­ing through the rain in the bleak­ly beau­ti­ful Wick­low land­scape, it tells the sto­ry of an impend­ing farewell, where one of them will leave the group for­ev­er. The poignan­cy of youth­ful friend­ships com­ing to an end will bring a tear to the eye of even the most hard-boiled busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ag­er. But then the emo­tions morph into melan­choly-tinged joy – sit­ting on a stone wall out­side an ancient church shar­ing a part­ing shot of whiskey, it tran­spires that one of them is actu­al­ly about to mar­ry his beau­ti­ful young fiancée.

So how did a New York agency cre­ate such an authen­ti­cal­ly Irish ad, right down to the poet­i­cal­ly haunt­ing folk song sung by the four young men as they await the loos­en­ing of the bonds of friend­ship between them? As most busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers might observe, Chi­na­town and Wick­low aren’t an obvi­ous match.

In an inter­view with Fast Com­pa­ny, OW’s co-founder and cre­ative direc­tor, Paul Opper­man (who launched the agency in 2012 with his col­league Jeff Weiss) explains that the ad, enti­tled “A Part­ing Glass”, was the shop’s sec­ond for Tul­lam­ore Dew’s “Irish True” campaign.

Authen­tic­i­ty from afar

He and Weiss both made it their mis­sion to gen up on every­thing Irish, from James Joyce to rur­al Irish pubs. Opper­man says, “For us to be able to do this work prop­er­ly, we have to know more than any­body about Irish culture.”

He adds, “We want­ed it to be so infal­li­bly ‘Irish True’ that there was no pos­si­ble way to ques­tion it. We want­ed the Irish news­pa­pers to write edi­to­ri­als about it, so it had to be filled with what you see, which is the spir­it of what Ire­land real­ly is.”

And they’ve suc­ceed­ed. A Part­ing Glass is prob­a­bly the most beau­ti­ful and mem­o­rable booze ad you’ll see this year.

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