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Invest Northern Ireland Innovate NI – Phase II

Showcasing the best of Northern Irish innovation.

The Challenge

In October 2019, with the help of an integrated campaign, the Innovate NI brand was launched, alongside an accompanying website and social channels. During the first four weeks, the campaign resulted in over 1,000 users visiting innovateni.com and over 350 customers entering the Innovation Checklist to assess their innovation level.

The primary focus of Phase II was to generate ambition within businesses and individuals in Northern Ireland, for them to feel inspired and encouraged to stake their claim to being Northern Ireland’s next big success story. So, the focus of the campaign was to highlight Northern Ireland’s rich heritage of innovation, both past and present – from Professor Frank Pantridge’s portable defibrillator, to TriMedika’s non-contact digital thermometer.

The Approach

Northern Ireland has a long tradition of innovation. Pioneers such as Harry Ferguson, Frank Pantridge, John Dunlop and William Thomson came from undistinguished backgrounds, but achieved great success through turning their ideas into value.

 

We linked these inspirational stories from the past with examples of Northern Irish innovation today, with the intention of the audience seeing that innovation isn’t just experts and big companies. It’s something that ordinary people have done – and continue to do – right here in Northern Ireland.

 

For example, we linked Hans Sloane’s invention of chocolate milk with Finnebrogue’s nitrite-free Naked Bacon. Both in the same commercial sector, and both demonstrate that innovation is something that many people are doing right now.

The Execution

We’d segmented the audience and identified personas in the original phase, so to build on this and to maximise effectiveness the creative execution needed to remain faithful in both narrative and language. But to avoid any creative wear-out, we adopted a fresh approach within the overall Innovate NI brand look and feel.

The campaign rolled out across a range of media, from press and social to display advertising and were brought to life with a new animated video running on broadcast VoD and programmatic video platforms. This activity was further supported by new radio and podcast spots.

The Results

The campaign launched in January this year and not only built on the momentum of the initial campaign, but increased it significantly. To date innovateni.com has had almost 28,000 unique visitors since launch and there has also been a marked increase in social engagement across all three channels. The campaign has also gained considerable traction among the participating businesses and the Innovate NI stakeholders in their areas, from local councils to FE Colleges and Universities.