It is certainly refreshing in the Cork advertising space to see the broadsheet Irish Examiner making a bold move with the development of their hard hitting and thought provoking billboard and print ad campaign. Developed by Dublin based Chemistry advertising the campaign promotes the Examiner's "Special Investigations" supplement that tackles several of Ireland's socially taboo subjects -including alcoholism, mental illness, clerical abuse, human trafficking, suicide and pornography.
Apart from some great art direction and creative crafting,what's really powerful and progressive is that these billboards are driving and shaping a social cause. By engaging in a conversation against the backdrop of an Irish social context, they communicate their message in dramatic and emotionally jarring way.
Love them or hate them, they are lifting the veil of secrecy and questioning some serious societal issues that are impacting the fabric of Irish society. Although it's not exactly uplifting stuff, the campaign is highly relevant to the product and makes a strong statement about the Examiner's unique brand of investigative journalism. Controversial by design, the campaign will certainly stimulate debate around the issues and create significant buzz for the Examiner brand.
At ThinkTank, we would like to see more brands taking a risk by developing conceptually driven campaigns because this is what consumers really connect with. Good or bad advertising costs exactly the same and it's positive to see a local brand investing in a higher level creative solution. It is also good to see a client allowing an advertising agency to do what they do best and steering clear of the large logo and web site phenomena that often destroys the communication and erodes brand value. Advertising should be evocative and NOT functional and this campaign certainly moves away from the bland and boring into new creative territory. At the end of the day advertising is about getting people thinking and talking....while at the same time buying more newspapers! We'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.
The Irish Examiner campaign was developed at Chemistry Dublin, by creative director Mike Garner, art director Nicole Sykes, copywriter Anne Fleming, illustrator P.J Lynch, account manager Kerrie Sweeney