Limerick today declared a bold ambition for growth with the unveiling of a first ever brand positioning and international marketing campaign. ‘Limerick: Atlantic Edge, European Embrace’ was unveiled today, becoming the first major branding of the city and county to promote it nationally and globally as a destination for inward industry investment, tourism, education and for people to live and work in.
Developed by global creative agency M&C Saatchi, the new brand positioning will internationalise Limerick, placing it at the most dynamic global crossroads and capturing the sense of warmth and resilience of a historic city and county.
The creation of the Limerick brandmark involved key inputs from a range of stakeholders, from members of the public and business community during early stage focus groups through to students of LIT’s Limerick School of Art & Design – one of the top 50 third level art and design institutions in the world.
In addition to M&C Saatchi, the creative process also saw a number of local companies, including True Media, Limerick Printmakers, Treaty City Brewery, and Limerick Chocolate Shop, engaged by Limerick City and County Council, while Ireland’s largest marketing communications company, Core Media, will be involved in rolling out the programme nationally and internationally with a bespoke media buying campaign across traditional and social media.
A major multi-market campaign, ‘Percentages’, is a cornerstone of the programme which aims to quantify Limerick’s combination of edginess and friendliness. The character and culture of Limerick will also be articulated through a roll-out of Limerick ‘heroes’, which will see inspirational people tell their stories on video and become faces of the campaign to amplify the sense of edge and embrace that typifies the city and county.
These include aeronautical engineer and author Dr Norah Patten, who is hoping to become Ireland’s first astronaut; and Michelin-starred chef Michael Tweedie, acclaimed tattooist Ross Nagle, Ireland’s queen of style Celia Holman Lee, hurler Cian Lynch and climate activist and schoolgirl Saoirse Exton.
To broaden the brand’s reach and embed it into the various sectors across Limerick, a Brand Ambassador structure has been established. Founded on six pillars Tourism, Education, Business, Local/ Community, Culture and Media, each ambassador will help in the rollout and development of the brand, specific to their sector.
Launching the brand, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Michael Sheahan said that the brand positioning and campaign reflects the confidence across the city and county today. “This is a real milestone for Limerick. We’ve had an economic transformation over the past decade and we are now rightly going out proudly to the rest of Ireland and the world and inviting them to experience our vibrant city and county. Whether through inward investment, coming here to enjoy our dynamic tourism offering or, indeed, coming to work in and enjoy the affordability of our city and county, we have a compelling offering here now and it’s right that we would take that to the world,” said Mayor Sheahan.
Said Dr Pat Daly, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council: “This brand positioning and marketing campaign is a dynamic new asset for Limerick that will give us an edge to generate more inward investment, more tourism and more people to come and live and work here. In doing that they will join a city and county on a very exciting journey that will benefit all. Our ‘Limerick 2030: an Economic and Spatial Plan’ is a framework for the future. It was set in place in 2013 but we have already surpassed the job targets for it over a decade out. So now we go again and this brilliant new asset is a timely and exciting lever to propel us forward.”
Said Limerick City and County Council Head of Marketing & Communications Laura Ryan: “A huge amount of work has gone into getting us here today but today is really just the start. We’ve captured the essence of Limerick and we now take that story to wherever we believe there are opportunities for Limerick. Today is a reflection of the new ambition that Limerick has. The brand reflects the confidence of a transformed Limerick. A city that welcomes all, that has grit, determination and resilience in abundance and one that is at the world’s most dynamic crossroads, where Europe and the Atlantic meets.”
Mary Harris, Managing Partner, M&C Saatchi, said: “We’re incredibly proud to have taken the creative lead on developing the first brand for Limerick City and County. The brand and campaign we have developed represents a major statement of intent for Limerick and sets out its global ambitions. ‘Atlantic Edge, European Embrace’ immediately locates Limerick in the world and captures its grit, determination, and warmth. It also helps establish the City and County as the gateway to Ireland’s premier tourist proposition – the Wild Atlantic Way whilst underlining Limerick’s strong cultural links to Europe, both now and in the past. Working with Limerick has been a true delight – everyone we have encountered has been so generous with their time and their insight. There is a palpable passion for the county and a belief that the time is now for Limerick to come into its own and take its place on a global stage. It’s a very special place and I’m looking forward to seeing it fulfil its potential.”