As a Public Service broadcaster, TG4 was interested to help build Ireland’s culture credentials internationally as part of the Government’s ‘Ireland’s Global Footprint 2025’ project. The problem? Despite being well-loved in Ireland, TG4’s international audience was small, with little to no TG4 awareness outside Ireland. Our challenge was to deliver a larger international audience to the TG4 online player.
With challenging media budgets and a whole world to choose from, we identified a growing demand for traditional Irish music online in North America, and decided to focus our efforts on the Irish Diaspora there - people who proudly self-identify as Irish-American and seek out Irish cultural experiences. We learned that hearing traditional Irish music acts as an immediate catalyst for these people to feel closer to their Irish culture. However, they were unaware of TG4’s extensive online library of traditional Irish music, instead searching and scrambling online for their music hit. Our strategy was to tap into the existing online demand for Irish music and the emotional value it holds to drive this diaspora to the TG4 player – the best online destination in the world for traditional Irish music.
Our audience have a strong vision in their minds of where traditional Irish music is best experienced; a packed, cosy pub somewhere in the middle of rural Ireland. While they can’t be in Ireland, they could still experience this piece or Irish culture online at ‘The Second Best Place for Irish Music’ – the TG4 player.
There are clearly defined and proven creative rules to maximise ad performance on YouTube and Facebook– put the story arc upfront, use recognisable faces, feature the brand early and use heavy branding throughout. However these rules are created as norms based on averages across various categories and brands to successfully land and broadcast mass market messages to unengaged audiences. When considering these rules we knew our audience to be different. They were predisposed to our message, having previously sought out Irish music online. They already wanted content like ours, they just didn’t know where to go for it. We knew that if we could connect with them creatively on an emotive level through storytelling, we could drive a deeper engagement with our message. So we created a 60 second ad allowing us to engage on a deeper level that didn’t adhere to the usual YouTube and Facebook mandate.
Our creative strategy worked, delivering above the odds when it came to engagement metrics versus the industry average for both YouTube and Facebook. Our 60 second ad completion rate on YouTube was almost three times the industry average (44% vs. 15%), while our Facebook click through rate nine times the industry average (3.5% vs. 0.39%).
But our biggest result was the International traffic we drove to the TG4 player. During the campaign period, we added over 350,000 American visitors to the TG4 player, a staggering 1500% increase compared to the same period in 2019. (See figures below). The targeted international strategy we used with North America as a test case has the potential to be rolled out to new international markets so TG4 can continue to grow their international audience.
The success of this campaign taught us how important it is to question received wisdom when it comes to certain media, in this instance social and digital. The learning being that when you clearly identify a strong audience profile to target, you can connect with that already invested audience in a deeper, more emotive and thus more engaging way, through storytelling.