How Irish creatives bring exceptional advertising campaigns to life – The Irish Times
Christmas is an important time in the advertising calendar.
Brand managers aren’t the only ones who want to be “on top” when consumers buy gifts, but they also know that the right campaign will help get their product or service known in the national psyche for the rest of the year. .
For its flagship Christmas campaign, online department store Littlewoods Ireland turned to award-winning creative agency Dublin Boys + Girls.
“Christmas is an important time for Littlewoods Ireland as they sell a huge range of products. But Christmas is also an important time to get the brand message across, to show what a brand is,” says Rory Hamilton, co-founder and chief creative officer of the agency.
His team worked with marketing managers from Littlewoods Ireland to establish not only what they wanted the campaign to do, but also how they wanted it to feel.
The cheap feeling was out of the question. “The last thing you want is for people to feel emotionally manipulated. It’s a complete shutdown and performs the exact opposite function that you want. We’re taking the approach that you can’t fake a emotion,” Hamilton says.
The Littlewoods Ireland video shows a little girl decorating a box, blowing a kiss on a heart-shaped piece of paper and giving it to her delighted mother. Christmas isn’t about gifts, the ad says, it’s about love.
The creatives of Boys + Girls developed the idea as they always do, looking for a real, authentic experience to base it on. Young creative team Conor Marron and Roisin O’Mahoney based it on an experience O’Mahoney had as a child, when a teacher asked her class to each decorate a box and put a kiss in it. for their mom.
“His mother always brings the box at Christmas,” says Hamilton. “These are things that really happen. You can tell a true story. It’s not false. Littlewoods Ireland wanted the ad to show how much effort parents have put in over Christmas, to ensure their children have a great time.
It wasn’t too marked. “Everything had to look authentic. It’s a true story that doesn’t put Littlewoods at the center of Christmas, but love. Littlewoods Ireland is delighted with it and the feedback on social media has also been very positive.
Standing Awareness Week
When BeLonG To, an LGBTI+ charity that supports young people, needed help promoting Stand Up Awareness Week, a number of creative teams jumped at the chance.
Stand Up Awareness Week is a campaign for secondary schools that aims to tackle the fact that one in five young LGBTI+ people are bullied and that 73% do not feel safe at school.
This is one of the causes that IAPI, the advertising industry body, together with its member agencies, production partners, clients and 2FM supports each year by providing an inter-agency collaborative creative team who creates campaigns on a pro bono basis.
One of the first to answer the call was Fiona Cunniffe, senior account manager at In the Company of Huskies.
“My role is to work with clients to build relationships, making sure the creative teams are fully informed of what’s needed and working with them to make it happen,” she explains.
“Each year, IAPI brings together a team of people from different agencies. Everyone was excited to get involved with the BeLonG To Stand Up Awareness anti-bullying campaign, to get people to stand up against LGBT+ bullying, not just in schools, but across the country.
A planner worked with BeLonG To to develop the campaign strategy.
“The first thing is to agree who you are talking to and what you want to say. In this case, we wanted to change the behavior, so we looked at the strategy around language. We’ve found that kids at school very often say things like ‘that’s so gay’. Our goal was to change behaviors to stop using hurtful language and start using positive language instead,” she says.
A total of nine of Ireland’s top agencies took part in the production, including TBWA/Dublin, where creative director Niall Staines helmed the project. He too jumped at the chance.
“BeLonG To has such a great reputation, and it’s such a great cause, that I wanted to dedicate my time to it, even though we’re busier than ever during the pandemic and we’re all working from home,” he says.
Rachel O’Donovan, director of strategic planning at BBDO Dublin, has also joined the team. “She was brilliant. It was thanks to his research that we discovered a problem around the language. There are still a lot of homophobic slurs in the vernacular, so that became the brief,” he explains.
The idea was to focus on words that heal rather than hurt, and to use the projection to project crossed out negative words onto the people in the video ad, who were all volunteers from the LGBTI+ community.
“These words are projected onto people throughout their lives, especially during their formative teenage years, a time when it has a real, sometimes devastating impact,” he says.
Creative production studio Algorithm, which specializes in stunning visual experiences, created the projections. “It looked like a shoot that would cost between €100,000 and €200,000, and it was all done on zero budget, based on favors,” Staines explains. “We were delighted with it and the client loved it.”
Help for women
Huskies’ creatives handled another topic, domestic violence, with great sensitivity also for client Allianz, on behalf of the insurer’s charity partner, Women’s Aid.
The campaign was the brainchild of creative team Laura Rice, the agency’s senior art director, and Aoife McCleary, award-winning senior creative writer.
“Allianz is a fantastic client to work with who does a lot of community and sports sponsorship. They renewed their corporate and social responsibility activity six months ago and through the research we have done with them found that Women’s Aid was a perfect fit, given that both organizations are involved in protection,” says Rice.
The incidence of domestic violence has increased during the closures. The duo developed the dossier through workshops with Allianz and Women’s Aid. They then explored all aspects of the subject, including case studies and poignant testimonials.
What struck them was how often previous campaigns on domestic violence focused on images of visibly bruised and beaten women. According to them, this exaggeratedly portrayed women in such circumstances as helpless and powerless. They decided to take a different approach, emphasizing that there was not only help available, but in fact, the women who make it through such circumstances are incredibly strong.
“We wanted to reverse that trend and show the strongest women in the world, the bravest and most resilient women, whose strength lies in survival,” says Rice. “It takes incredible strength to overcome the hardships these women go through. Just calling Women’s Aid for help involves an incredible amount of strength.
The couple worked closely with Women’s Aid to ensure the tone and message was perfectly matched. The campaign, which is taking place online and on TV, will take place in the run-up to Christmas, another time when, unfortunately, the incidence of domestic violence tends to rise.
Whether for brands or for society, good publicity can change things. “We are so proud to be involved in this project,” McCleary says, “because it has the power to make such a difference.”
Ireland: where Creative is Native is an IAPI initiative to promote Ireland as a center of excellence for the commercial creativity industry.
Ireland is a country where being creative is second nature; world famous for its writers, artists, poets, musicians and agents of change. These talents spill over into the commercial creative world of advertising, design and communications.
IAPI believes there has never been a better time for the industry to expand its international reach. For brand owners looking to break into the European market, Ireland is now a viable and nimble alternative, in addition to being the only remaining English-speaking country in the EU.
Brand marketers no longer seek creative expertise overseas because they know they can work with the best in the world, right here in Ireland. National and international brands such as An Post, AIB, Vodafone, SuperValu, Allianz, Nissan, Lidl, Jameson, Diageo and Toyota and many more create world-class communications using Irish creative and media agencies.
Learn about IAPI’s Creative is Native initiative – www.creativeisnative.com