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22 Jun 2017

Tourism Ireland’s Game of Thrones campaign scoops gold, silver and bronze at the prestigious Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity – the ‘Oscars’ of the advertising industry

Tourism Ireland’s Game of Thrones campaign scooped three awards – a gold, a silver and a bronze – at the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. 

The Cannes Lions awards are highly coveted and generally regarded as the Oscars of the advertising and marketing world. The Tourism Ireland campaign was awarded a Gold Lion for ‘Outdoor – Special Build’; in all, 20 campaigns were shortlisted for this particular category, including the likes of Nike, Microsoft and Heineken. Tourism Ireland also took the Silver Lion for ‘Use of Ambient Outdoor’ and a Bronze Lion for ‘Use of Social Platforms’. The accolades are particularly noteworthy given that the festival organisers announced this week that a total of 41,170 award entries had been received, across 24 different Lions categories.

To date, Tourism Ireland’s ‘Doors of Thrones’ campaign has racked up over 30 awards and accolades from the marketing and advertising industry across Europe and the United States.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Winning a Cannes Lion is the ultimate industry accolade, so we’re really proud that our ‘Doors of Thrones’ campaign has been singled out for three awards at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. The international tourism marketplace is an extremely competitive one and we are constantly looking at innovative and engaging ways to reach potential holidaymakers, so we are particularly honoured to receive these awards.

“Tourism Ireland has been working hard to build awareness of Northern Ireland around the world and we were really pleased to continue our partnership with HBO last year, to highlight the beautiful landscape of Northern Ireland – through the exciting events of Game of Thrones – on the global stage.” 


In January 2016, The Dark Hedges – the iconic location which stands in for The Kingsroad in HBO’s Game of Thrones – was hit hard by Storm Gertrude, which levelled some of the trees. Over ten weeks, Tourism Ireland used the fallen wood to make ten beautifully crafted doors, each depicting an episode from Game of Thrones season 6. Those doors are now hanging in pubs and other venues across Northern Ireland, giving fans a brand new Game of Thrones trail to follow. The ‘Doors of Thrones’ campaign reached an estimated 126 million people around the world, with the campaign’s short films being viewed 17 million times – generating coverage worth about £11.3 million. 

Next month, Tourism Ireland will join forces once again with HBO, with a brand new Game of Thrones campaign to promote Northern Ireland around the world, timed to coincide with the season 7 (set to premiere in mid-July).
 
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Brian Twomey, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Marketing Communications, with the Gold Lion award for ‘Outdoor – Special Build’ for Tourism Ireland’s ‘Doors of Thrones’ campaign.

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 281,000 people.
  • In 2016, we welcomed approximately 10.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.3 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 19.37 million visitors in 2016.

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