Irish food brands to shine in €2.7m newspaper advertising campaign

THREE indigenous food and drink brands are to be marketed in a €2.7m newspaper advertising campaign at no cost to the owners.

The National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI) last night launched an innovative Press Builds Brands competition among Ireland’s top 20 advertising agencies with a brief for each to revolutionise one of 20 selected smaller Irish food brands from the Bord Bia range. The winning campaign will benefit from an NNI press budget equivalent to the annual rate card spend of a top five Irish food brand.

Launching the scheme, Irish Times managing director Maeve Donovan said that based on the mean spend of last year’s top five food brands, this will be somewhere in the region of €1.2 million. The two runner up brands will be promoted at a budget equivalent to a top 20 Irish food brand, which will be in the region of €750,000.

“Now, you can imagine the impact that a press budget of €1 million will do for a small, indigenous food brand. But we’re not going to imagine. We’re going to find out exactly what that level of spend in national newspapers can deliver, in terms of brand awareness,” Ms Donovan said at last night’s NNI creative advertising awards in the RDS.

Ms Donovan disclosed that NNI will be commissioning a market research company to track awareness of all the brands involved in this process even before the winners are announced.

“Then we’ll take another reading of the brands before the ads start to run, and monitor awareness levels right throughout the publication of the campaigns. These ‘live’ case studies will of course provide us with the basis of some concrete effectiveness information, which we intend to publish,” she added.

Ms Donovan said that at the end of the process, she hopes to be able to point to a substantial increase in brand awareness, delivering the sort of effectiveness data that will enable newspaper sales people and agency planners to make a tangible case for newspapers.

The winning agency will get €20,000 to finish and produce the ads, with a cash prize of €10,000 to the winning agency team. And for the two runners-up, there’ll be €10,000 to produce the ads and €5,000 for the agency team.

“Twenty years ago, a little-known company called Ballygowan won the NNI Power of Press award and became a household name on the strength of its press advertising. That’s the sort of success story we hope to create with this initiative,” added Ms Donovan, a NNI management committee member.

Irish Food Board chief executive Aidan Cotter said most food and drink producers do not yet have the financial resources to tell their story the way they’d like to.

The 20 advertising campaigns will go into a competitive process where they are assessed by a panel of judges headed by C&C Group chief executive Maurice Pratt and including renowned copywriter/novelist Catherine Donnelly as well as Tara McCarthy, head of Bord Bia’s Consumer Food/Drinks division.

The participating Bord Bia companies are: dairy sector - Irish Yogurts, Glenisk, James Daly & Sons; grocery sector - Flahavans, Beeline Healthcare; chilled/frozen foods sector - Greenacres, The Crumb Factory, Walsh Family Foods, Glenhaven Foods; confectionery sector - Lir, Lily’s, Zed Gum, Oatfield; bakery sector - Gallaghers, O’Haras, Coolmore; soft drinks sector - Glenpatrick; meat sector - Brady’s Family Hams, Lundy, Clonakilty Pudding.

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