Pub locals make ad about throwing away phones to rekindle Irish bar atmosphere…magic!

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JJ Houghs' Christmas advert

A rural Irish pub is competing with the big boys as it releases a Christmas advert that is charming, funny and packs a huge emotional punch.

Every year the top retail chains in the country put out an advert ahead of Christmas and try to pull on our heartstrings.


Now JJ Hough’s singing pub in Banagher, Co Offaly has decided to get in on the act.

JJ Houghs' Christmas advert

While the high street stores spend millions on their annual ads, JJ Hough’s made their video for a far lower cost – two chickens to be precise.

Pub owner Ger Hough said that his advert is about the danger of becoming too reliant on electronic devices.

He said it features an ‘analogue man in a digital world who is surrounded by people suffering a kind of digital dementia’.

Wolfgang Fischer, who recently moved to Banagher from Switzerland with his wife Ursula is the star of the ad.

His character is upset that everybody is so obsessed with the latest technology – but he eventually becomes addicted himself.

Ger explained that the advert highlights the changes in rural Ireland.

He told the Irish Independent: “There was a time when pubs like these formed the centerpiece to towns and villages across the country.

“Recently it seems that the Irish pub has been relegated to that of museum piece, mere relics of fabled Irishpubology.”

Ger said that people’s relationship with technology had changed over the years and made an amusing comparison between the pub’s old payphone and modern smartphones.

He said: “The phone would ring and all the people at the bar would yelp ‘if its for me tell them I’m not here’. Now its seems they all advertise the fact they’re there by checking in on social media. The art of conversation seems to be disappearing.”

JJ Houghs’ ad is called ‘Digital De-Houghx’ and features Wolfgang, Ger’s cousin and Loughrea singer songwriter Ultan Colon,

Ger’s brother John helped out behind the camera and many locals also got involved.

Ger said: “The John Lewis ad cost £10 million, while the other viral Christmas story, the one with the guy with the hipster beard and man bun listening to old tapes cost £50. Well mine cost the price of two cooked chickens to feed the cast.”

Take a look at the video below.
To hear more from JJ Hough’s visit their Facebook page.

Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling