Irish pubs are not only globally recognised cultural icons but also significant pieces of local history, continuing to play a fundamental role in the communities they serve. Following a tough few years for the hospitality industry, LePub and Publicis Dublin’s new campaign for Heineken aims to help safeguard this heritage by turning pubs into virtual museums.

Being officially accredited as a museum would provide pubs with the government grants and tax exemptions usually reserved for other cultural landmarks, complementing the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland’s bid for UNESCO to officially recognise pubs as part of Ireland’s cultural heritage.

The campaign uses AR technology to highlight the stories behind historic waterholes including Toners Pub in Dublin, Mother Macs Public House in Limerick, and Sean’s Bar in Athlone, which is believed to be the oldest pub in the world.

Visitors can use their phones to scan a QR code on a plaque outside the pubs, with an AR overlay telling local legends about them. Combining indoor navigation with each pub’s geolocation, photogrammetry was used to create digital 3D models of historical objects inside the pubs.

Bruno Bertelli, CEO of LePub and CCO of Publicis Worldwide, says: “It is terrible to see that many [pubs] survived for hundreds of years and are now experiencing financial difficulties. We wanted to highlight the historical and cultural value of these fantastic places … making them eligible for financial benefits from public institutions.”

Agencies: LePub and Publicis Dublin
LePub Global CEO Global, CCO Publicis Worldwide: Bruno Bertelli
LePub Global CCO: Cristiana Boccassini
Global ECD: Eoin Sherry
Global Creative Director: Jack Christensen
Creative Director: Stefano Zanoni
Associate Creative Director: Roberto Ardigò
Art Director: Flavia Conti
Copywriter: Cristiana Candido
Publicis Dublin Board Creative Director: Ger Roe
Creative Director: Peter Dobbyn
Senior Art Director: Cormac O’Connor
XR Creative Studio: Lens That