“Every so often in a generation you see an ad that comes on TV that you just go, ‘God do you remember that ad’… and we have one, we found one and it has got this extraordinary piece of music and over the past fortnight the soundtrack to this TV ad for eir has captured the ears of everyone who has heard it… it’s magnificent”
Ryan Tubridy, Late Late Show (October 2nd 2015)
On Thursday September 16th, 2015, the eir brand was launched. The results shown in this paper will demonstrate how this was more than just a name change, it marked both the final step of one journey and the beginning of another. This journey would change the fortunes of an ailing business, its staff, customers and shareholders.
First, let’s go back to 2012; the low point. Ireland was at the height of recession, unemployment was peaking at 14.6%, and Irish people were experiencing the full impact of austerity. Eircom had an older customer base and was failing to recruit younger customers. The business was experiencing revenue declines. At this time, eircom group was placed under examinership. The state’s largest telecoms provider, with a Moodys rating of CCC, sold five times in ten years, hampered by regulatory constraints and operating in an intensely competitive market was losing relevance, consideration and customers. It seemed that eircom was a bellwether for Ireland and its future.
A brave decision was taken: it was to be ‘End of Days’ for eircom. The business was to re-launch under a new brand name, which energised the organisation, engaged the Irish people and helped to transform its prospects.
This paper does not seek to overstate the role of advertising in changing the fortunes of this organisation, but it will assert that the advertising campaign was an important catalyst in this continuing story of transformation, that it lent credibility to a business claiming it was changing, and that it amplified the impact of this change, creating brand fame and consumer mental availability to its proposition and product set.
This new advertising campaign didn’t just change the conversation about this organisation, the advertising made the organisation the national conversation!