Tourism Ireland to spend €17.6m on ‘green button’ marketing drive

Initiative hit by delays and increased production costs

Tourism Ireland will spend more than €17.6 million on a ‘green button’ marketing campaign with the initiative hit by delays and increased production costs from the pandemic.

The cross-Border agency said they had spent €2.141 million on the creation and development of the initiative, which is designed to encourage short breaks to Ireland.

It said production costs had been hit by Covid-related delays with a requirement for regular PCR and antigen testing on filming days.

Due to differing restrictions on both sides of the Border, shoots also had to be organised and managed separately which they said had resulted in “increased costs”.


The €2.141 million spend covered 7½ days of filming in the Republic at locations including the Cliffs of Moher, the Ha’penny Bridge, Lough Tay and Trinity College.

Another four days of shooting took place in the North at locations in Belfast and along the causeway coast, they said.

Tourism Ireland said their creative agency Publicis Poke had created 600 different pieces of content for use on radio, TV, on social media and in print.

Invoices for the project included extra filming at the Cliffs of Moher due to adverse weather, additional production time and co-ordination, and an extra shooting day in Belfast.

Four markets

The campaign is focused on four separate markets with an overall marketing budget of €15.5 million, according to records released by the tourism promotion agency.

About €4.6 million was spent in the UK market, with another €4.1 million targeted at the United States.

Tourism Ireland said they had also planned for spending of €2.5 million in Germany, €1.8 million in France and smaller sums – all below €500,000 – in Italy, Spain, the Nordics, Switzerland and the Netherlands and Belgium.

Further marketing spending of €620,000 in Canada and €150,000 in the United Arab Emirates was also undertaken.

A brief for the project was ambitious saying its intention was to “drive people to start planning and booking trips to Ireland for 2021 and save the tourism industry. . . However, we will enter a very cluttered market with a much smaller pie to compete for.”

‘Green button’ campaign

However, the aim of the ‘green button’ campaign would be separate to “reassurance messaging” that was already under way, and this was not a “fundamental part of this brief”.

It said a shift toward a slightly younger demographic of the “culturally curious” traveller might be necessary.

The brief said: “According to research in key markets, travellers at the younger end of the spectrum (under 35) are up to 25 per cent more comfortable with travelling abroad than their older counterparts.

“While older audiences may be more willing to travel by next year, we should identify how we can reach this younger group and ensure they’re early advocates for the island of Ireland.”

It said “self-directed travel”, countryside destinations and exploration appeared to be in higher demand than city breaks or beach holidays.

“Travellers of this mindset are likely to be our most low-hanging fruit,” it concluded.