Success story

Telling the story of how Tourism Ireland embraced the Internet of Things (IoT) to connect with tourists

The challenge

Position Tourism Ireland as an organisation with a history of innovation in tourism marketing.

The process

Being responsible for marketing the island of Ireland (Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland) overseas requires collaboration and innovation, and Tourism Ireland knows this. Since being founded in 2002 under the Good Friday Agreement, it has grown up with a culture of experimentation by constantly seeking out new ways of doing things. This often involves exploring opportunities in new territory and testing and validating ideas and techniques to put Ireland in the spotlight when it comes to holiday making decisions. This reputation for innovation hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2019 TI was invited to showcase its recent campaign called ‘Fill your Heart with Ireland’ at the Digital Travel Conference in Kristiansand, Norway on 24th and 25th September 2019. In the campaign, Tourism Ireland looked to the internet of things in a campaign which incorporated a heart rate monitor which was worn by a couple as they visited Ireland over the span of a couple of weeks. When they experienced moments of exhilaration, the rise in heart rate triggered a helmet mounted camera, which captured these moments of joy.

With only 3 weeks to the conference we were asked by Peter Nash, Tourism Ireland Market Manager for Northern Europe, to develop a presentation to tell the story of this campaign, but also of the digital marketing journey up to that point. He wanted not only to showcase the work, but also to grab the audiences attention and leave them with an impression of Tourism Ireland as not only a great organisation, but also as an influencer in destination marketing.We began by reaching out to the conference organisers to get a full understanding of the AV requirements and any other technical considerations. We carried out some research into the conference and they type of audience it would attract. to find ways to develop a unique hook with which to grab the audience’s attention. With most of the audience being Norwegian, we agreed that the Viking connection between Norway and Ireland (think plundering, destruction and eventually settling and integrating) would create an opportunity to begin with some humour. We sketched a presentation outline, and began harvesting interesting images and content to bring the connection to life, and to build an engaging and dramatic picture of their digital marketing journey. We developed a graphical timeline which mapped out phases and key milestones in that journey, and began populating the details including video content and infographics. Through multiple iterations and rehearsals we refined the slides and shared these with the conference organisers ahead of Peter’s presentation, and in the lead up to the event, we were on hand to support Peter and we provided slide updates up to the last minute.

The outcome

An Apple Keynote presentation which told the story of the clients digital marketing journey along a timeline from 2002 to the present day, through all it’s successes and not-so successes. Campaigns were brought to life with video and image examples which were mapped along the timeline.

Compelling visual storytelling, drawing out a strong narrative structure and attention to detail are the ingredients which Alan has consistently brought to the presentations he has created for me.

Peter Nash, Tourism Ireland