Tánaiste launches Ireland's innovation-focused overseas marketing campaign

17 September, 2009

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan TD, today (17th October, 2009) launched a major new marketing campaign promoting Ireland as a destination for foreign direct investment. The campaign, which has been developed by IDA Ireland, is designed to position Ireland as the pre-eminent location for companies who are seeking to invest in future innovation.

Launching the campaign, the Tánaiste said, “In today’s turbulent global economy, it is critically important that our international brand positions Ireland as a location for leading multinational companies to invest in their future. This campaign taps into Ireland’s unique selling points built around our talented and highly skilled workforce. It is aimed at opening new eyes to what Ireland has to offer.”

The campaign consists of television, internet, newspaper and poster advertisements. Its theme is Ireland's ability to supply the fresh thinking and creativity which innovation needs to flourish. It stresses the part that the people of Ireland can play in making innovation happen. Ireland, says the campaign's tagline, is the place where 'innovation comes naturally.’

Speaking at the event, Barry O'Leary, IDA CEO said that “In today's extremely competitive world, business people are agreed that innovation is the primary source of sustainable competitive advantage. This search has recently led companies including Facebook, Google, Intel and Citi to locate their European headquarters or other major operations centers in Ireland. Ireland's unique innovation ecosystem - founded on the creativity and skills of its workforce, a knowledge-based economy and pro-business government policy - has made Ireland a uniquely attractive environment in which to foster innovation”.

The campaign is itself designed to be innovative, fresh and impactful. Each ad in the series, created by advertising agency McConnells, uses a blackboard as a backdrop to make points about Ireland and innovation. As one headline states, it encourages the viewer to think of Ireland as a 'Thinkpad the size of a whole country'. 'Innovation + people = Ireland' reads another headline.

As part of this integrated communications campaign various senior executives from leading multinational companies talk about the advantages that Ireland has to offer. Included are Sheryl Sandberg, COO and Colm Long, Head of EMEA Operations for FaceBook and Paul Rellis, Managing Director of Microsoft in Ireland.

Participating in the launch were Colm Long, Head of EMEA Operations for Facebook, Bryan Meehan, General Manager of Merck’s new plant in Carlow and Frederic Daniel, Vice President, Business Objects/ SAP.

The television advertisement emphasises the sometimes spontaneous nature of innovation. It depicts the lines left by a piece of chalk as it sketches out an idea on a blackboard. As we watch, the chalk doodles and dashes about the board. Finally it comes to a successful conclusion, as we see a chalk representation of fireworks above a doodled map of Ireland.

These images are accompanied by the following words, spoken by actor Stanley Townsend:

•What it isn't is something that happens step-by-predictable-step.
•It doesn't always stop at the lights.
•Sometimes it goes backwards to go forwards.
•It goes up blind alleys.
•It zigs and it zags.
•It wiggles.
•And then...
•And then it lets rip.
•Your job is simple.
•Just give it the right environment.
'Ireland. Where innovation comes naturally'
Over the next 6 months the campaign will be initially focused on the North American market, and will include a series of TV advertisements on CNBC and Bloomberg, as well as advertisements in print and digital media and major US airports

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