Irish Independent Masterbrand
2024 Finalist

Irish Independent Masterbrand

Irish Independent

Dublin, Ireland

Category Brand Awareness Campaigns

Overview of this campaign

The overall objective of was to bring the 3 independent brands together to become an omni-channel newsbrand that reflected how consumers interact with news content and for that brand to have value.

In addition to our legacy brands not reflecting how consumers behaved, our marketing had become inefficient as marketing budgets and reach of the individual brands diminished.

When it came to marketing our Independent journalism, we found we were marketing formats rather than brands given the absence of a shared name and assets. Using multiple brands as call to actions complicated messaging and led to consumers often not recognising us. We were making them work too hard.

The need for a Masterbrand strategy was clear but groundwork was needed for wider stakeholders. To help us arrive at a new brand architecture, we hired a brand consultant to conduct interviews with internal and external stakeholders. That led to a strategic three-stage transition to a new Masterbrand, easing towards the final destination. would be retired as a brand, with Irish Independent initially taking its place as our digital brand and the Sunday Independent becoming more aligned.

We hired news media design colossus, Mark Porter, to deliver a visual identity for the new Masterbrand. Having workshopped the new Masterbrand, we agreed that the identity should be distinctive and feel Human, Modern, Irish, and Inclusive to consumers.

We worked to understand what Human, Modern, Irish, and Inclusive meant in the context of Irish design. The new brand identity covered new typography, logos, colour, composition and layout, imagery, and motion graphics.

Together with the new brand identity, we developed a communications strategy and a new creative platform for the brand: Written all over Ireland.  The concept used the close-up imagery that was part of the new identity, as well as the Cláirseach typography. The campaign consisted of a 60” brand film with three 30” vertical edits, news and sport TV and ran in Cinema, VOD, radio, press, OOH, social and digital media.

Results for this campaign

On September 12, the new Irish Independent Masterbrand rolled out across the printed paper, website, apps, socials, and podcasts. Next day, our 11 regional print titles rebranded, with the Sunday Independent following at the weekend. Over the next weeks, we bedded in the rebrand across marketing, audience, and editorial, while finishing the Written all over Ireland awareness campaign.

We used System1 to test and refine the campaign creative, to ensure consumers recognised the brand. In testing, our 60” film achieved a phenomenal brand fluency of 97% while our 30” News edit scored 96%. In addition, consumers scored us highly for the implicit brand attributes of Irish (96%), Modern (80%), Inclusive (80%), and Human (78%).

We went into campaign on October 9 with our new identity winning plaudits in the design world and the successful trademarking of the new Irish Independent harp in the EU and UK.

With the rebrand campaign live, we added the main TVC to our Q4 Brand Tracking which is undertaken by Behaviour & Attitudes. 39% of respondents had seen the News advert and 51% the Sports ad. Both scored better than previous ads tested on driving likelihood to read and subscribe, positivity towards the Irish Independent, and giving a fresh brand perspective.

Q4 tracking also showed a post-rebrand jump in preferred weekday choice for the Irish Independent in print from 8% to 12% and a lift of 1% to 7% for the Irish Independent website and app. The combined score of 19% matched RTE’s weekday choice for the first time.


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