Is this Irish pub's Christmas ad the ‘best this year'?

The third Christmas ad from JJ Hough's in Co Offaly addresses the issue of technology over the festive period.

A local Irish pub has entered the running for the best Christmas advert of 2018 with a self-produced short film about the impact of technology during the festive period.

Gerald Hough, manager of JJ Hough’s Singing Pub in Banagher, Co Offaly, and the short film’s director, made the advert to raise discussion about smartphones and family.

“It’s a social commentary on technology and how it’s not all bad, but also how we can use them to our benefit and improve our lives,” he told the Press Association.

Digital De-Houghx

Presenting the 2018 JJ Hough's Christmas Ad 'Digital De-Houghx'. Thanks to all who participated in the making of this film, It couldn’t have been made without the wonderful community spirit which is abundant in Banagher. Happy Christmas to all our customers. Song 'Really Gone' by Ultan Conlon – musician #digitaldehoughx #jjhoughschristmasad2018 #johnlewis #banagher #ultanconlon #logout #reconnect #christmas . I'm Dreaming of a Luddite Christmas😂😂😂😂😂🎅🎅🎅🎅🎅 SuperValu Ireland Diageo Guinness Storehouse

Posted by JJ Houghs Singing Pub on Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The film revolves around an elderly gentleman who, frustrated with everyone in the pub gawping at their smartphone screens, chops down the nearest telegraph pole with a chainsaw.

Without TVs or technology to distract them, the locals gather at the JJ Hough’s to talk, laugh and celebrate Christmas together.

The finale sees the elderly man receives his own smartphone for Christmas and take a selfie with the grinning crowd, only to be found sat in the corner at the end, addicted to his device as the credits roll.

“I don’t want people to cast away technology, it’s more about how we can have balance and a bit of harmony between the analogue people and the digital people,” Hough said.

This is the third year in a row Hough, 39, has made a Christmas ad for the pub, the first focusing on a man who lost his presents and the second, Drone Alone, highlighting issues around loneliness at Christmas and how technology might help.

Drone Alone

Presenting the 2017 JJ Hough's Christmas Ad ' DRONE ALONE' a film by Ger Hough, In association with IDrone.ie. Song Lonely Avenues by Ultan Conlon. Thanks to Sheila Hough, Darragh Kelly John Hough Martin Murphy, Margaret Murphy, Vinny Fennel, Noel Hayes snr Pierre Pepper Aileen Corrigan and future film star Blaithin Corrigan. Happy Christmas to all our customers. John Lewis Guinness DJI Ultan Conlon

Posted by JJ Houghs Singing Pub on Monday, November 27, 2017

The latest film, titled Digital De-Houghx, was shot in the first weekend of November and, as is the norm, features a song by Hough’s cousin Ultan Conlon.

“His music just has a nice melancholic ring to it that goes with these videos,” Hough said.

One person called it the “best Christmas advert this year”.

“Christmas is for spending time with family, friends and loved ones, so be smart this Christmas and put the phones away and create memories that will last a lifetime (not just trending for 5 mins),” they wrote.

“Love it, absolute love the message in the story line. Happy Xmas to u all,” wrote another.

Hough added: “We’re in uncharted territory with some new technologies and we have to learn how to balance this I guess.

“Like anything it’s all about moderation, whether it’s exercise or alcohol.”

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