Hat Trick for Tourism Ireland at Direct Marketing Awards in London

20 Dec 2011

Tourism Ireland scored a hat trick when it scooped three awards at the prestigious 2011 DMA Awards in London recently. 

Beating off stiff competition, Tourism Ireland won awards for its innovative social media campaign, called “Nick and Sam’s Ireland Road Trip”, in the following categories:

- Gold:      in the travel and holidays category;
- Bronze:  for best use of social media;
- Bronze:  for best integrated campaign.

Tourism Ireland’s winning campaign set out to showcase the richness of a holiday here among online audiences around Britain, allowing them to experience the island of Ireland online and prompting them to then come on over and experience it for themselves. 

The campaign saw Nick and Sam Brown, a couple from Bath, embarking on a week-long road-trip with a twist – they weren’t in charge of their own itinerary. Instead, Facebook and Twitter communities across Britain were in control and were given the chance to decide where the couple should go and what they should do. Beginning their adventure at the Giant’s Causeway in Co Antrim, every detail of the couple’s journey was an interactive event, as they shared maps and video blogs, and uploaded photos to a live photo feed, so that potential visitors around GB could see their suggestions being carried out throughout the week-long trip. A specially developed campaign webpage followed Nick and Sam as they travelled around the island. At the end of the seven days, Tourism Ireland held a prize draw to send a group of four to Ireland, rewarding them for their engagement with the campaign.

Over 50,000 people around Great Britain visited the campaign webpage and 11,500 used social media, resulting in a +1,000% increase in engagement on Tourism Ireland’s Facebook page in GB. Nick and Sam uploaded more than 20 films during their time here, which were viewed 23,300 times. And almost 20,000 people entered the competition to win a road-trip of their own.

Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain, said: “We are delighted that our campaign was singled out for these accolades. Our aim was to engage with online communities around Britain and bring potential holidaymakers along for Nick and Sam’s journey, in order to inspire them to begin planning their very own road-trip. We also wanted to capture the attention of those who prefer to use their car on holidays, as these visitors tend to stay longer, spend more and are likely to visit more than one region. 

“We are constantly looking at innovative and engaging ways of reaching potential British holidaymakers, to help the island of Ireland to stand out from other destinations in the very crowded GB marketplace, so these awards are good news indeed as we kick off our promotional drive to grow British visitor numbers in 2012.”

Entries in the DMA Awards were judged by 200 senior marketing professionals. Each campaign was judged both individually and by group discussion on the three key criteria of strategy, creativity and results. Mike Colling, who was on the judging panel for the awards, described the Tourism Ireland campaign as “a truly interactive and evolving campaign”.

-ENDS-

Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland    
Tel:  087-685 9027    

Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• By the end of 2011, almost 7.4 million overseas visitors will have come to the island of Ireland (+7% on 2010), delivering revenue of approximately €3.4 billion.  Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent.  In 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.

 

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