Wednesday 13 December 2017

Adland Rises to the 1916 occasion

Sarah Brewer seated and Suzie O'Dea
Sarah Brewer seated and Suzie O'Dea

As events marking a century since the Easter Rising are held in Dublin this weekend, Ireland 2016 has a new ad campaign called 'Stand'. Fáilte Ireland's agencies Rothco and Mindshare rolled out the public awareness TV and online ads with real people, rather than professional actors, all of whom have roles in the celebrations - like Army Lt Selma Bedair, pictured above.

The 2016 Centenary programme director John Concannon was seconded by Arts & Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys until the end of the year.

Concannon's staycation campaigns for Fáilte Ireland earned him Marketer of the Year in 2010 and he later helped shape the strategy for The Gathering. Thousands of Ireland 2016 events are being staged at home and overseas. The Easter Sunday ceremonial parade and RTE's 'Reflecting the Rising' in the capital on Easter Monday top the bill.

Concannon says Ireland 2016 has seven strands, including State ceremonial events, historical reflections, Irish language tie-ins, youth and imagination, cultural expression, community participation and the diaspora. The events came about after 84 meetings with local communities across the country and in talks with Ireland's embassies.

Staying with the 2016 Centenary, TV3 will start showing 'Trial of the Century', a three-part fictional drama about Pádraig Pearse on the May bank holiday weekend. In the title role is Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, who played Nidge in 'Love/Hate' and Fianna Fáil spin-doctor PJ Mara in 'Charlie'. The story imagines what might have happened if instead of executing Pearse, the rebel leader was sent for trial.

The series coincides with the 100th anniversary of his execution on May 3.

It starts with the British prosecution presenting its case against Pearse. At a time when home rule was imminent and World War I was raging, was it justifiable to stand over so many deaths as Dublin burned to the ground? In episode two, Pearse mounts a robust defence of the Rising, reaching into a long history of British oppression in a bid to prove the wisdom of using force to try and overthrow a tyrannical regime.

The final instalment eavesdrops on the real-time deliberations of the jury. 'Trial of the Century' was shot in the Green Street Courthouse, where Fenian leaders Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet had been tried back in 1803 and John Mitchell in 1848.

Mark Huberman plays George Gavan Duffy and Andrew Bennett is lead prosecutor Sebastian Banks.


* DDFHB Group's The Reputations Agency has launched a consumer, brand and sponsorship division called TRA Brands. Headed by Sarah Brewer and Suzie O'Dea, TRA Brands provides advice in consumer brand strategy and campaign development, social media, content creation and sponsorship management and activation.

Clients include Fáilte Ireland, Bord na Móna, Bacardi, Mazda, Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa, IAPI, An Post and Kerry Foods. More recent business wins include SuperValu, Swatch, General Mills and Stena Line. Recent appointments include account director Anne Browning and Liz McNulty as senior account manager.

Niamh Boyle, managing director, The Reputations Agency, says TRA Brands will operate alongside the agency's corporate and financial PR and reputation management services.

The agency is also Ireland's sole associate on the global Reputation Institute. TRA was one of a small number of agencies recently awarded the consultancy management standard by the Public Relations Consultancy Association (PRCA). Pictured left are TRA Brands directors Sarah Brewer, seated, and Suzie O'Dea.


* The Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) invites entries for the Cannes Lions inaugural young journalist bursary. Created in memory of German journalist Michael Konig (41), who collapsed and died in the festival's press centre last year, the bursary provides an intern with an eight-day programme at the Lions in June. The experience includes a day in the Lions Daily News magazine onsite office, filing reports and helping to get an issue to press.

The intern will spend time with US trade magazine 'Ad Age', shadowing their reporters and assisting Cannes Lions TV with backstage interviews. Applicants should be 28 or younger and not working full-time. Competition entries close this day next week.


* No pressure on Publicis as the ad agency takes on one of Ireland's most iconic food brands. Ornua, previously the Irish Dairy Board, has awarded the job of adding the wow! factor to Kerrygold over Boys and Girls and DDFH&B. First launched by Tony O'Reilly in 1962, Kerrygold later ran TV ads created by Irish International with a voice gently asking: "Who's taking the horse to France?" You could cut the sexual tension with a butter knife.


* RTE is refusing to broadcast the Budweiser Dream Big TV ad with UFC fighter Conor McGregor, pictured top. The national broadcaster says the beer ad, directed by Brendan Canty, for Hinterland Films glamorises "heroes of the young". After his shock loss to welterweight Nate Diaz, 'The Notorious' got a record €1m fight purse, a share of the TV revenue and monies from sponsors Reebok and Monster Energy.

Michael Cullen is editor of

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