Island's Edge - It's Better, Less Bitter / Pub confessions (2022) :60 (Ireland)

Trivia, this ad was shot in Harry's pub in Clontarf. This is where a patron asks what's the deal with Island’s Edge, and the landlord responds that it's less bitter. Now the entire pub starts chatting about things they really could be bitter about, but they've let it all go. Like the woman who said her own mother wore white on her wedding day. The gal with the misspelled tattoo. The man whose ex is getting married to a pilot with a full head of hair. And then there's Gary, not Gerry. 

The insight here is that Irish people love the idea of drinking stout, but they don’t always love the taste of it. The most common complaint is that it can be too bitter. So Heineken Ireland decided to create a stout that is simply less bitter. They called it Island’s Edge. The campaign salutes those who let go of their bitterness and share the belief that life, much like stout, is better less bitter. It does feel a bit like Murphy's 90s ad campaign in strategy, but I'm not bitter. 😉


Ger Roe, Board Creative Director at Publicis Dublin says, “While Ireland is often recognised as being one of the friendliest countries in the world we do tend to hold onto our hurts for a time. The key thing that makes Irish people different from others is that we’re pretty good at laughing at them too.

“Competing in Ireland against one of the world’s biggest brands the first thing we needed to do was be authentic but do it with a bit of personality. With a key product differentiator of ‘less bitterness’ it gave us a brilliant jumping off point. It also allowed us to leverage that emotional truth about Irish people while giving us an opportunity to differentiate with our brand personality too.

“We loved the idea of people trying to move on or hide their bitterness. David Shane is a master at getting authentic comedic performances out of actors and totally got what we were trying to do. Because much like Island’s Edge Irish stout, the clever and entertaining part is hiding the bitterness. It’s still there, just a bit less of it”.

“There’s nothing more interesting to me than people trying not to reveal what they’re really thinking,” said director David Shane. “There were so many slights and resentments under the surface of this smart hilarious script. It has everything I’m always looking for in an ad and rarely see.”


Agency: Publicis Dublin  

Board Creative Director: Ger Roe 

Creative Director: Peter Dobbyn

Senior Copywriter: Paul O’Loughlin 

Head of Strategic Planning: Chloe Hanratty 

Strategic Planning Director: Denisse Achata 

Head of Production: Niamh Skelly 

Content Producer: Claire Boylan 

Content Director: Philip Byrne 

Business Director: Sinead Dennis 

Senior Account Director: Ruth McCormack 

Senior Account Manager: Cormac Dooley 


Client: Heineken Ireland

Marketing Director: Wojciech Bogusz 

Marketing Manager: Mark Noble 

Senior Brand Manager: Jim Geraghty 

Activation Manager: Ursula Brennan 

Brand Manager: Dan Lee 

Media and Strategy Manager : Olwen Inglis


Production Company: O Positive

Director: David Shane

Executive Producers: Ralph Laucella, Marc Grill

Producer: Nell Jordan

DP: Sebastian Blenkov

Director Asst.: Michael Clancy

Editor: Adam Spivey (Assembly Rooms)

Service Co: Saturday Films

Sound Design: Folding Waves


Media Agency: Dentsu 

Strategic Consulting Director- Dael Wood

Business Director- Jan Markmann

Account Director- Amy Jope

Account Director- Kieran Lynch



Agency: MCCP

Managing Director: Kay McCarthy

Insight Director: Mary Sheahan

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Dabitch's picture

It is worth noting, by the way, that the "I'm not bitter" campaign from Murphys was done when Heineken had bought the brand, if I recall correctly.

Here it is in the archive:

Sport's picture

Yep. That campaign made me a Murphy's Irish Stout drinker.

Kissmekatey's picture

That's a great campaign. I had not seen that before so thank you for sharing. This campaign has the same potential of being a long running gag. I love the examples. Particularly Gary.

Mull's picture

Think the end of this is a rip off of the Jerry/Gary/Larry running joke in Parks & Recreation? Or a deliberate nod?

Dabitch's picture

I've never watched it, so I can't really tell. Upon googling I found that he had the names Larry Gengurch, Terry Gergich, and Garry Gergich which is pretty funny. It's noted that he flubbed his own name and didn't correct people. Maybe it is a nod?

Benihahna's picture

I'm a huge Parks & Recreation fan and that was my immediate thought. I think it was a deliberate nod.

Anonymous Adgrunt's picture

I thought this was my pub! Thanks for confirming it was shot at Harry's!