AIB is Ireland’s leading bank yet reputational issues associated with the 2008 recession remain.
Gaelic Games (GAA), Ireland’s national sports of hurling and football, are AIB’s primary brand affinity building tool. The sports are Ireland’s national obsession with clubs located in every community nationwide.
With an objective of 8% growth in affinity, extensive consumer research conducted in early 2020 led us to evolve the insight underpinning AIB’s ‘The Toughest’ campaign, whereby the insight moved away from the nature of the sport itself to focusing on the strength Gaelic Games infuses throughout communities, no matter how hard the going gets.
Then Covid-19 hit.
Overnight, Games stopped but the GAA community did not. Nor did AIB.
Social listening informed us that fans were desperate for sports content and were feeling a palpable sense of loss.
Maximising the opportunity to fill this literal and emotional void, AIB leveraged archive content from the ‘Toughest Trade’, its branded series, which saw amateur GAA players swap places with professional athletes. As this was a re-airing, we added a new dimension and partnered with an award-winning filmmaker to make a six-part webisode and documentary, ‘The Toughest Summer’, which celebrated the GAA community’s extraordinary response to the pandemic – stories of the human character and spirit with people bound together through a shared passion and unbreakable ties.
Resulting in 100+ million impressions (on an island of 5 million), sentiment shifted from 82% positive or neutral pre-broadcast to 94% during the broadcast.
We are confident that these results, due next month, will contribute towards affinity growth for AIB.