The 2016 Easter Rising centenary commemorations offered an opportunity to explore these intricacies with a oncein-a-lifetime invitation to everyone. Remember, reflect, reimagine was the core thread throughout our campaign and content strategy.
The content we made was engaged with and shared at home and abroad. During Easter week, the hashtag #Ireland2016 trended outside of Ireland. While Twitter users here registered more than half a million tweets about the centenary and Facebook’s organic reach hit numbers of 300k. During March 2016, the whole country was engaged with its history. In the lead up the centenary celebrations, there were almost one and a half million visits to Ireland.ie while the Dublin Easter commemorations were the second largest civic gathering in the State’s history.
By creating digital content that represented as much of the conversations, stories and culture surrounding the centenary as possible, bigO helped democratise the year. Firstly, the Ireland 2016 Programme Team engaged partners such as local authorities, government agencies and cultural and educational institutes in order to create an inclusive and far-reaching programme of events. This formed the backbone of our comprehensive content plan.
Our approach was also highly collaborative. We teamed up with Post to design and Annertech to develop the awardwinning Ireland 2016 website Ireland.ie, while our writers liaised with the initiative’s partners to write and upload more than 1,000 commemorative event descriptions. Content was kept fresh by commissioning several articles from well-known historians and writers. In addition, our team wrote more than 100 engaging stories and news items on topics such as Last Letters, Last Words, The Children of 1916, Portraits and Lives and 10 Facts… and also curated commemoration-specific landing pages such as The Executed. Over 100 powerful articles were crafted by our copywriters. We curated, created and managed all of the Ireland 2016 social posts, building a unique and vibrant community. We learned that people respond to people, so we developed the hashtags #RevolutionaryWomen #PeopleOfTheRising and #StreetsOf1916 to share the untold individual stories of people living during this time. Facebook Live and Periscope was used to bring key events to a country-wide audience.
Our national tongue was a key motif in this project. We translated all events, stories, videos and a third of all social posts into Irish.
Dublin Rising, a Google Street View piece, was narrated by Colin Farrell and proved to be one of the most popular projects of the Ireland 2016 Programme, trending on Twitter the day it was released. We also trawled through archive libraries and pulled together a collection of compelling images and re-mastered and colourised each image.
Our video strategy was to engage people through their interests, creating beautifully executed, shareable pieces of content.We profiled artists and the cultural projects the Ireland 2016 Programme helped fund; we created documentary-style pieces led by some of Ireland’s top academics and historians; we contemporised poetry and prose from that time, product-placing event programmes within shareable pieces of content; we created emotive spots to coincide with topical events such as International Women’s Day.