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Business case studies No 304 - 05.06.2020

RTÉ and Electric Ireland - Darkness Into Light 2020: Sunrise Appeal

The spirit of solidarity, especially in times of crisis, is needed more than ever. This week’s egtabite features a generous cross-platform campaign made in partnership with RTÉ and Electric Ireland, an Irish utility company, called “Darkness Into Light 2020: Sunrise Appeal”.

Darkness Into Light

Pieta, a mental health charity preventing suicide and self-harm and offering face to face therapy and phone service to people in danger, organises an annual flagship walk called “Darkness Into Light”, which was indefinitely postponed due to the world pandemic. Donations were down due to the crisis, yet demand for Pieta’s services continued to rise. Therefore, Pieta invited people to watch the sunrise from their homes and share their photos online while RTÉ’s mission was to promote and support the “Sunrise Appeal”, so that people around the country could come together, while apart. Electric Ireland has supported Darkness into Light since 2013, working with Pieta to bring hope to customers, staff and communities across Ireland that have been affected by suicide.


To raise awareness and funds for Pieta’s initiative on a national level, RTÉ and Spark Foundry, an Irish media agency and part of Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company, set out to leverage the scale and reach of their platforms where Electric Ireland and Pieta could spread their message, better reach their audience and bring people together in one very unique, special moment.Following Covid-19, many charities were facing a critical funding situation, therefore the challenge was to cut-through audiences ‘emotional fatigue’ and build a connection which would drive fundraising.

To generate as much awareness as possible, the nationwide cross-platform campaign was activated with a mix of audio, social, editorial content, AV and TV for the maximum reach. Each medium delivered a multi-faceted and far-reaching campaign with a strong message spreading hope and love among the Irish public. Electric Ireland and RTÉ partnered and called on the public to support Pieta’s urgent appeal for donations and join the virtual “Sunrise” event on May 9 to mark the postponed flagship event.

First, the campaign’s radio activity began with a 2FM partnership, including live mentions by the presenter, on-air promos and website call out two weeks before the “Sunrise” on May 9. The radio part of the campaign helped to bring focus to this virtual event. Then the editorial content through radio interviews followed, with Brand Ambassadors Louise Cooney, Hannah Tyrrell and Levi Clarkin on several flagship shows which greatly helped drive traction around the event.

A second important element of the cross-platform campaign was the social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with viral hashtags #DIL2020, #DILSunriseappeal and the Electric Ireland handle.

The final component of the campaign was its TV presence, which kicked off with a “Darkness Into Light Sunrise Appeal” editorial segment on May 8 featured on the hugely popular Late Late Show with the CEO of Pieta Elaine Austin and Paul McEvoy, who discussed the huge impact that the “Darkness Into Light” walk has on the charity as well as Paul’s first-hand experience with Pieta’s services. There were numerous calls to action during the show, emphasising the importance of mental health.

In addition, RTÉ ran two contextual TV ad breaks for Electric Ireland, lasting 3 minutes each and made up of a long form ad of 2.32 minutes and a shorter 30 second which aired at the beginning and at the end of the show.

The evening before the “Darkness Into Light: Sunrise Appeal”, RTÉ News 6 pm & 9 pm broadcast a brief insight into how Pieta services have helped in time of need.

On the morning of “Darkness Into Light: Sunrise Appeal”, there was a radio broadcast of a “Sunrise Special”, supporting the initiative with uplifting music and messages of hope raising the spirit of the audience. RTÉ aired special innovative 3-minute slots, within the News on the same day, featuring over 100 pieces of content (videos and photos) of magical sunrise moments that were captured on mobile devices by the public to express the support and unity of the Irish spirit.

The results

The results of this cross-platform campaign indicate that the contextual tv ad break takeovers reached over 744 000 of adults. The average TV rating was 12.87 while 20.5% of all adults viewed both these ad breaks for at least one minute and ranging up to 7.6% of those viewing at least 3 minutes. Over two million euros raised for Pieta by viewers of RTÉ's Late Late Show including a 100,000 euros donation from Electric Irelandand overall donations reached in excess of 4 million euros. .

"There's good things happening, because there are good people in the community making them happen", said former president Mary McAleese.




» RTÉ website


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» 11 June 2020, 15:00 PM CET
Online Talk with Luis Di Como (Unilever), Ben Jankowski (Mastercard) and Zeman Bhunnoo (Nestlé)

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» 11 June 2020
European Affairs Group
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» 24 September 2020
European Affairs Group

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» 6 October 2020
CEO & Top Exec's Summit

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