Alongside a desolate road in the wilds of Connemara, Ireland, is this enormous stone sculpture of a mythical giant. The tourist guides say that if you touch his hand, you will have good luck.
You probably think it’s an ancient Gaelic effigy with historical implications like the Blarney Stone.
This is the most brilliant marketing scheme I’ve ever seen.
The inscription at the base of the statue says this:
“This is Connemara (Conn son of the sea) built in 1999 by Joyce’s Craft Shop for no apparent reason”
Driving through the bleak Connemara landscape feels a bit like time travel to the prehistoric era. The craggy landscape goes on for miles, no civilization in sight.
Then there’s this…
Out of nowhere, a sign appears.
Screech!!! (That’s me hitting the brakes.)
Who wouldn’t stop? Nothing in sight but rocks and sheep for miles, and then suddenly, shopping?! Not only that, but in the best shop in Ireland?
The town, if you can call it a town, is aptly called Recess.
The store is filled with the usual Irish merchandise…woven blankets and Guinness paraphernalia and Aran sweaters and Celtic jewelry, and various items carved out of Connemara marble.
It’s a nice souvenir shop, I’ll give it that…but the most impressive thing about this store is the fact that, by simply saying so, it’s become “one of the best craft shops in Ireland.”