Cider, curry sauce and The Irish Times: ads celebrated at ADFX awards

Rothco and Starcom win advertising industry Grand Prix for launch of Orchard Thieves

Advertising agencies Rothco and Starcom won the ADFX Grand Prix for their campaign to launch Heineken cider brand Orchard Thieves.

Advertising agencies Rothco and Starcom won the ADFX Grand Prix for their campaign to launch Heineken cider brand Orchard Thieves.


A campaign to launch Heineken cider brand Orchard Thieves was the big winner at last night’s ADFX awards, held by the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) to recognise effective advertisements.

The “Thieving the Spotlight” campaign by the agencies Rothco and Starcom took the main Grand Prix award at the ceremony.

Winners of “gold” awards on the night included Owens DDB and PHD Ireland for The Irish Times “You are what you read” campaign.

Rothco added an ADFX gold to its tally of awards for “A Shred of Decency”, its campaign for stationery shop Daintree Paper, which ran during last year’s marriage equality referendum. In June, Rothco won a bronze at the Cannes Lions festival, the most prestigious international award for advertising creatives.

Rothco also won ADFX gold for creating AIB’s “backing doing” campaign, while PHD took home gold gongs for its advertisements for Cadbury Ireland and the Natural Confectionary Company.

A television advertisement for McDonnells Curry Sauce starring Conor McKenna (“Arms” in sketch trio Foil, Arms and Hog) won gold for agencies Boys & Girls and Mindshare, while DDFH&B was awarded gold for its work on Supervalu and Water Wipes, sharing the latter with OMD Ireland.

The panel of judges was chaired by Chris Cawley, co-founder of agency Cawley Nea, while comedian Dara Ó Briain hosted the event.

His preamble included jokes about vintage Irish advertising campaigns for Kerrygold and Bank of Ireland mortgages, as well as the Irish telecoms sector’s recent fondness for rebranding.

Constraints on most advertising budgets mean there is pressure on advertising agencies to demonstrate that their campaigns deliver a return on their clients’ investments, either by contributing to an increase in sales or influencing consumer behaviour.

“A great creative idea is not enough,” according to IAPI. “There must be proof that the idea worked.”

The event, which is held every second year, wasn’t exclusively reserved for celebrating the best of Irish advertising, however. Guest speaker Bob Hoffman, a US advertising veteran and author of the blog Ad Contrarian, spoke about the self-inflicted “perils” facing the business.

He said the global advertising industry had lost touch with the average consumer, “or as I like to call them, people”.