The beauty of Ireland’s west coast and the magic of its music are woven together in a new ad campaign directed by Georgi Banks-Davies for Tourism Ireland and Publicis, London.
The campaign, produced by Friend, London, includes an eight-minute documentary as well as 60 and 30-second spots, promoting the launch of a 2,500 km tourist route, dubbed “the Wild Atlantic Way,” by following members of the indie band Solomon Grey on a road trip. Band members travel via a Volkswagen van that doubles as a mobile recording studio and make stops to admire the rugged coastline and visit with local musicians. The documentary is incorporated into an interactive website where visitors can also download a Solomon Grey EP.
Banks-Davies, who is represented in the U.S. by Madheart, said the agency handed her an open brief. “I approached it with a small and lean team, so we were free to react to unexpected situations,” she recalled. “Certain locations and people we knew were coming, others were surprising. Key to me was that it was a very intimate journey in a huge landscape. It had to feel epically beautiful and considered, never a ‘grab it’ style.”
The director, her crew and the band traveled the full route for “the Wild Atlantic Way,” which extends from Donegal in the north to Kinsale in the south. The dozens of shooting locations included the Cliffs of Moher, the tiny island of Inishmore and the village of Crookhaven on the island’s southern tip. “I wanted to show the diversity of the coastline from north to south, and what was unique to each location, such as horse racing on a beach in Omey and the haunted lake at Dunlough Castle,” said Banks-Davies.
Stylistically, she drew her inspiration from classic road movies and travel photography. “The most important thing was the band – Solomon Grey,” she said. “I was inspired by their music and their process and, in return, they were inspired through my pictures. It’s clear in the edit that the music and images inspired each other.”