The delicious treats were always promoted around St Patrick’s Day, so in the commercials below, prepare yourself for questionable Irish accents and very American takes on traditional dance steps from Ireland.
The original vanilla-flavor Shamrock Shakes (1973)
March 11, 1973 – Long Beach Press-Telegram
The Leprechauns: 1/2 price… but just as big as ever! 1/2 price! Ah, tis the luck o;-the-Irish. McDonald’s great vanilla flavor… the green is just a favor!
Now! You can be part of history – McDonald’s first half-price sale – Good only on Green Shamrock Shakes
March 9 through St. Patrick’s Day March 17. At all participating McDonald’s.
McDonald’s Shamrock Shake TV ad (1974)
Mint-flavor Shamrock Shakes beat green vanilla (1976)
Text below excerpted from The Star-Press (Muncie, Indiana) March 18, 1976
Three McDonald’s restaurants quenched the thirst of hundreds with Shamrock Shakes…
The mint-flavored milkshakes were offered at central Indiana stores for the first time in seven years.
“We began selling them March 1, and will probably continue until Thursday or Friday. It was strictly a St. Patrick’s Day item,” Bob Terhune, one of the owners of the Muncie McDonalds, said.
“When we tried them about seven years ago, they didn’t seem to spark any attention, but this year has been a complete turn-around,” Terhune said.
The last time the shakes were offered, they were green-colored vanilla, rather than mint flavored.
Terhune could not estimate how many of the shakes were sold but said, “we did have a lot of repeat customers.”
McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes bring out the Irish in you. (1976)
“Sure ‘n even we experts love ’em!”
Maybe it’s the taste that’s as frosty and fresh as the Erin dew. Or perhaps it’s the color that’s as green as the sprawling moors of Kilkenny.
Whatever it is that makes McDonald’s triple-thick Shamrock Shakes so Irish, it’s also what makes ’em so good.
If you’ve had one, you know what we mean. And, if you haven’t you’re in for a treat. So stop in at McDonald’s and have a Shamrock Shake. Then you can tell your friends that you’ve got a bit of the Irish in you.
Shamrock Shakes (late 1970s)
’tis the first green of spring: MINT flavor
Now you can add a little color to your life at McDonald’s. And the color is Irish green.
McDonald’s famous Shamrock Shakes are back. They’re fun. They’re frosty. They’re triple thick. And best of all, they’re green.
But Shamrock Shakes are making a limited appearance. So if you want to get in on the fun, hurry to McDonald’s. Before their Shamrock Shakes all disappear.
Minty Shamrock Shakes and Shamrock Sundaes (1980)
Here’s to the first green of spring. Celebrate with minty Shamrock Shakes and new minty Shamrock Sundaes.
St. Patrick’s Day, McDonald’s way. Minty frosty-thick green shakes and vanilla swirl sundaes with cool, mint-flavored topping, get everybody in the spirit.
‘Tis the first green of spring. ‘Tis terrific. For a limited time at participating McDonald’s.
McDonald’s Shamrock shake & sundaes (1980)
“It’s the first green of spring! Celebrate with minty Shamrock Shakes and new minty Shamrock Sundaes — right now at McDonald’s!”
Shamrock Shakes are here again (1981)
Sure as there’re Irish, you’ll love our one-of-a-kind, frosty green, rich ‘n thick Shamrock Shake. Just like a refreshing Dublin breeze, ’tis the first green of Spring.
Welcome back, spring TV commercial (1983)
“Welcome back, hello spring — come on, let’s celebrate… with McDonald’s thick, rich, oh-so-creamy great green Shamrock Shake. The taste of spring is coming through with the Shamrock Shake — so green, so cool…”
Shamrock Shake in a free Uncle O’Grimacey cup (1980)