Eir Print, Design & Branding, Case study Black Spots by Rothco Dublin

Black Spots

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Industry Mobile Communications
Media Print, Magazine & Newspaper, Design & Branding, Case study
Market Ireland
Agency Rothco Dublin
Executive Creative Director Alan Kelly
Creative Director Stephen Rogers, Shane O'brien
Art Director Andre Maia
Copywriter Lucas Guratti
Released October 2017


Eurobest Awards 2017
Design Publications & Editorial Design Bronze Eurobest

Credits & Description

Client: Eir
Product (Service): Wifi Calling
Agency: Rothco Dublin, Ireland
Entrant: Rothco Dublin, Ireland
Idea Creation: Rothco Dublin, Ireland
Media Placement: Rothco Dublin, Ireland
Pr: Rothco Dublin, Ireland
Production: Rothco Dublin, Ireland
Executive Creative Director: Alan Kelly (Rothco)
Creative Director: Shane O'Brien (Rothco)
Creative Director: Stephen Rogers (Rothco)
Copywriter: Lucas Guratti (Rothco)
Art Director: André Maia (Rothco)
Head of Studio: David Gallagher (Rothco)
Finished Artist: Mickey Hughes (Rothco)
Agency Producer: Al Byrnes (Rothco)
Managing Director: Richard Carr (Rothco)
Head of Account Management: Miriam Hendrick (Rothco)
Account Director: Sarah McGann (Rothco)
Project Director: Ailbhe Beirne (Rothco)
Strategy: Tara Finnegan (Rothco)
Director of Marketing for Rothco: Jill Byrne (Rothco)
Social Media: Eadaoin Coyle (Rothco)
Group Marketing Director: Henry Dummer (Eir)
Head of Brand and Marketing: Oisin Masterson (Eir)
Published: October 2017
The Campaign
Research groups had underlined for us that consumers struggled to understand how this product worked. So, we needed to create a simple analogy for what WiFi Calling actually does. In Ireland people refer to areas of poor phone coverage as “black spots”. We realised that this was the simplest and clearest way of communicating the product – WiFi Calling gets rid of black spots. Once we had this insight, we pushed ourselves to bring this to life in the most surprising way we could. We began asking ourselves whether we could remove all the black spots in our ads. Which lead us to a much bigger thought… What if we removed all of the black spots in an entire magazine or newspaper (every full stop, every semi colon, every tittle on every i and every j) and replaced them with a colourful eir dot? With that question, we had our idea.
Creative Execution
The execution took over the entire Irish Daily Mail Magazine and removed every single black spot to promote the new service for Ireland’s largest communications company, eir. Every full stop, every semi colon, every tittle on every ‘i’ and every ‘j’ was replaced with a colourful eir dot. Readers then found out the reason in a full-page advert for eir at the back of the magazine. This was an incredibly complex challenge for the Daily Mail. The nature of print journalism is such that copy is still being added right up until it goes to print. And with this idea, every single piece of copy in the paper was affected – headlines, bylines, captions, etc. So in order to implement the idea, the Daily Mail actually had to move their copy deadlines in order to give their designers enough time to work overnight to remove every black dot.
Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
In terms of results, our coverage had no black spots. In a country with a population of 6.3 million, our single ad placed in a newspaper with a circulation of just 41,000 has reached upwards of 6.7 million people.* It generated 26 articles featured in 35 publications across 16 countries and took Twitter by storm.* It also brought new life to a medium in which people seldom innovate, generating overwhelmingly positive sentiment and mentions in notable publications including AdWeek and Shots. “Print isn’t dead. In fact it’s more insidious than ever.” Adweek *Source: Olytico Social Media & News Media Monitoring Coverage black spots are nationwide, so our target market was effectively everyone in Ireland aged 16 and up and we needed a national publication with a broad reach. This immediately limited us to just a few potential partners. Furthermore, this was not a traditional media buy, as what we were proposing had never been done before. There was no rate card for replacing all of the punctuation in a publication. So we needed a partner who loved the idea as much as we did and who had the willingness and creativity to make it work. We found that partner in the Daily Mail. Our strategy was to focus all of our print media buy on a one off takeover of the Daily Mail’s
It’s Friday Magazine with an unmissable ‘ad’. We wanted to create a world first media event
in order to generate conversation, coverage and awareness of the product.
English Translation of Main Headlines
No more black spots At eir, we don’t like black spots. Which is why we’ve gotten rid of them in this magazine. And we can get rid of them in your home and office too with WiFi Calling, exclusive from eir. Just enable Wifi Calling on your mobile phone and you will be automatically connected to any WiFi network, so you can still make mobile calls whenever you have weak signal.