Donegal | It’s Ours

Donegal Tourism

Devising a campaign to reveal Donegal’s covert charm

Donegal Tourism’s 2023 Shoulder Season campaign kicked off October 20th, a time when unconstrained adults in Ireland and the UK begin scouring Google for short break ideas, hoping for a way to mark the shift into the colder, darker months.

Enter ‘It’s Not Yours, It’s Ours’, an engaging and fun reverse psychology campaign aimed at boosting awareness of Donegal as a brilliant holiday destination well worth keeping a secret. 

Week one kicked off with, tongue firmly in cheek, a teaser video surfacing on the 19th with snippets of the hero video concealed behind a playful caption hinting at a leak, urging viewers to scroll on. The jest resonated, and the audience joined the fun with amused comments. Crowned by TikTok star Eric Roberts, the hero video, was unveiled on the Sunday, going viral and sparking a social media storm. This ushered in a series of thematic posts from the enchanting landscapes of Fanad to the cosy secrets of well-loved local spots, all wrapped in a tone oscillating between faux dissuasion and a conspiratorial wink. 

Context

The identity for Good Friday Agreement 25 was informed by workshops undertaken by bigO with the DFA to articulate the values embodied in the Good Friday Agreement and how they would be reflected in the DFA’s campaign outputs.

These values were articulated as: 

balanced; diverse/inclusive; honest; hopeful; respectful; reflective; accessible; nuanced; non-binary (identity); about community and lived experience; duty of hope; diversity of voices; shared stories.

Additionally, given the sensitive nature of the materials, we discussed using the importance of abstraction and the avoidance of using obvious symbols or colours that directly relate to either of the major communities in Northern Ireland.

The brand mark we developed is inspired by the three strands within the Good Friday Agreement:

Internal Institutions — established within Northern Ireland

North-South — agreements between Northern Ireland and Ireland

East-West — agreements between Ireland and the United Kingdom

The three strands are represented by three lines, which form the abstracted image of a turning page. This represents both the document itself and the commitments from both sides that make it so important to a lasting peace on the island, and also the sense of forward momentum—a turning of the page.

Alongside the brand mark, a colour scheme and typographical choices were made with respect to the DFA’s own visual identity and the specific sensitivities of the Good Friday Agreement.

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Eric Roberts looks surprised and delighted as he holds a Best in Travel 2024 badge from Lonely Planet

The announcement of Donegal’s place in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Best Destinations for 2024, launched on Week 1, gave our social media team the perfect opportunity to amplify the campaign’s messaging, with witty posts sharing the news and wondering aloud, ‘Who blabbed?’

In the second and third weeks, we offered a reluctant welcome, revealing Donegal’s guarded secrets. Thematic posts blended Out & About snapshots with Secret Spot reveals, reluctantly embracing the sharing of hidden gems. Specially curated Trade Videos featured business and tourism operators trying to keep their impressive offerings “under wraps.”

With 282 pieces of content shared across 11 platforms in just three weeks, the campaign reached 31 million people, boasting 1.6 million total video views (nearly 1M of which were on the hero video itself) and 58.5k engagements. The secret was out; Donegal’s allure echoed across the digital landscape.

Sector

Campaign Strategy | Copywriting | Social Media | Video

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