Story of Home
2018 Winner

Story of Home

The Irish Times

Dublin 2 , Ireland

Category Native Advertising

Overview of this campaign

  • Put Ulster Bank front of mind for potential mortgage customers.
  • Let readers know that meaningful help is attainable and to elevate Ulster Bank's ‘Help for What Matters’ proposition.
  • To create and emotive but results driven campaign
  • Refocus people not on the perceived complicated process of applying for a mortgage but on the end result

Our creative concept was to encourage readers (and potential Ulster Bank customers) to consider Ulster Bank at the very earliest stage of their mortgage journey so that they can get the help they need to build a home and start their new chapter.

Buying a home is perceived as a complicated process, and for many readers the end result might seem too far removed when they look into nitty gritty terms and conditions of the procedure. That's why the videos were so important because we wanted to unearth the emotions and passion attached to turning a house into a home.

The videos we created weren’t scripted or story-boarded. They were the result of deep research, engaging interview techniques and a respect for the work of the designers involved. This series is a very good example of the journalistic approach we take in Content Studio: by moving away from a singular product focus we are able to tell a deeper story with much more emotional connection to our readers.

Convincing a client to take this approach can be challenging, they need reassurance that their business KPIs will be met. This is why insights and previous case studies are so important.

Native advertising can only work if it draws people in and engages them long enough to understand the key messages and resonates deep enough to give a halo effect for the brand. Creativity and passionate story telling is not easy and the production costs are certainly higher, but its value is in creating a more engaging landscape for brands to operate within and that is where we excel time and time again.

Results for this campaign

  • 88,661 article views on
  • 4,110 hours of consumption time
  • Social media reached 604,000+ individuals, receiving 1,769 high-quality engagements
  • Over 235,000 video views across the website and social media.


Pre- and post-campaign research with 2,477 readers measured the effectiveness of the print activity with our audience. The most significant results:


  • Between the first and last article tested, positive sentiment towards Ulster Bank increased by 51%  (37% to 56%)       
  • Between the first and last article tested, intent to purchase with Ulster Bank increased by 14% (increase of 3,000 people)                                 
  • Between the first and last article tested, previous knowledge of the brand increased by 124% (increase of 68,100 people)                                                                              


The campaign outperformed the benchmark scores for banking and finance ads in The Irish Times, where questions are directly comparable:

  • Recall: matched the advertising effectiveness benchmark
  • Read thoroughly: 89% higher than benchmark
  • Discuss with family friends: 94% higher than benchmark


In terms of the UB Q2 Coyne brand tracker, Ulster Bank’s mortgage campaign outperformed competitors by 8% YoY in terms of generating positive feeling towards the brand (59% compared to 51% average of competitors). The only difference in advertising in the last year being this content series.

Client Satisfaction:
"The Irish Times, with its high standards of journalism and content creation was a perfect partner for Ulster Bank. Mortgages are a commercially focused product but we wanted to take a softer approach and to create engaging and sharable stand-alone content. We wanted to build relevance for our brand and to substantiate ‘Help for What Matters’. The Story of Home did this for us and enabled us to engage with readers in an emotional space around the benefits of home owning. The series combined engaging story-telling with high production values. Being able to share this across print, online and social media allowed us to reach our target audience on their preferred media channel." Paul Kelly - Advertising & Digital Campaign Planner at Ulster Bank


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