The Irish Tourist Board is set for a global marketing push, Harriet
The island of Ireland is set to become a brand next year - a plan the
Irish Tourist Board (or Board Failte) has been working on for
Last week, it chose the Dublin advertising agency, Peter Owens, and its
international associate, DDB Europe, to share the pounds 10 million-plus
worldwide account (Campaign, 31 May).
Peter Owens may be little known in the UK but the agency has been a
valuable partner of DDB for the past three years. The two work on
accounts including Volkswagen, and McDonald’s. For the tourism task,
Peter Owens will act as the lead agency, with DDB providing expertise on
The campaign will have one theme and will be adapted by DDB for each
market. Michael Bray, DDB International’s managing director, says there
are marked differences in how various nationalities perceive Ireland:
Germans are interested in the outdoors; people in the UK put good food
and pubs top of the list; and the French want clean hotels.
In the past, the Irish Tourist Board has advertised on a market-by-
market basis using a number of agencies, Maria Mahon, its senior
advertising and brand adviser, says. ‘Now we want to treat the tourist
destination of Ireland like any global brand.’
For the UK, it means the end of J. Walter Thompson’s campaign starring
the television chef, Keith Floyd. From the new year, the ITB aims to
launch a consistent global push in its key markets - France, Germany,
the UK and the US. There will also be advertising in smaller markets
such as Benelux, Italy and the Far East.
The aim is to create a single brand positioning based on an exhaustive
17-country research project which measured consumer perceptions. The
brief to Peter Owens and DDB will be to communicate the ‘emotional
experience of Ireland’.
The advertising will include Northern Ireland - tourists see no
difference between the two states. But the Northern Ireland Tourist
Board is, as Mahon explains, still ‘reserving judgment’ on whether to
join the campaign.