Tourism Ireland’s branded content 'war room' went into action mode yesterday afternoon with a social campaign just hours after celebrity newlyweds Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (also known across the internet as 'Kimye') touched down in Ireland for their honeymoon.
Speaking to The Drum, Tourism Ireland marketing director Mark Henry said that the organisation had become increasingly involved in looking at branded content opportunities having established a strong social media presence over the past four years.
An 'Always On Group' was recently set up to respond to cultural events related to Ireland, and yesterday the team of eight found themselves frantically discussing how to reach the combined 32 million Twitter followers and 22 million Facebook fans Kim and Kanye have with information on where they might be staying during their honeymoon.
“We’re looking for earned media opportunities where we can borrow a bit of celebrity brand equity. This is a case where we have two of the biggest music and entertainment brands in the form of Kim and Kanye. We know it’s an international media story,” he explained.
“It was a topic of social media conversation from early in the morning, and by 11am we had made the decision that this was something that would be an opportunity to create earned media for Tourism Ireland.
“We had an internal ‘war room conference call’ at midday and had decided by lunch what our media plan was going to be. We then worked through the day and evening pulling together the campaign, which actually went live in the US last night.”
The crux of the activity is a news bulletin style video listing where the pair might be going. This will then be seeded on Tourism Ireland’s earned media platforms, predominantly social, as well as the ‘Always On’ PR team proactively pushing it out to entertainment press across the world. There has also been a significant media spend on pushing it out further over the next 48 hours, he explained.
“We’ve invested and have made the budgets available so that we can promote that short term reaction,” said Henry.
This is the same strategy Tourism Ireland employed to take advantage of Rory McIlroy’s recent BMW PGA Championship Tour win at Wentworth or the buzz around Michael Fassbender’s Oscar nomination.
The organisation also has an ongoing deal with HBO around Game of Thrones, which has been partially shot in Northern Ireland. For two days around each new episode airing, Tourism Ireland will run Facebook and Twitter activity to highlight where the episode was shot.