The Irish Times operates in an industry which the experts consistently claim has no future. With declining print sales and consumers increasingly seeking their news and comment from online sources we had to generate a proposition that would enable the news organisation’s business strategy – defend its print sales in a declining market while introducing a digital subscription platform to generate a new revenue stream.  


Following numerous sessions with the editorial, management and journalist teams a consistent theme became clear. The Irish Times’ superiority was rooted in a simple truth – the quality of its journalists.

It is the work these journalists carry out in an environment that encourages independent thinking which rewards its readers every day.


We created a new proposition for The Irish Times – You are what you read.

The parallel was obvious – just as the nutrition a person takes in will affect their health, the manner in which you stimulate your brain with news and comment has a similar effect.

Our objective was to position the quality of The Irish Times above its peers. To do that we put the journalists at the heart of the campaign and as time passed were able to build on that foundation with clear messaging about The Irish Times’ superiority as a news organisation.


Utilising television, VOD and commuter outdoor for brand messaging we complemented this with radio, digital display, programmatic and dynamic advertising to support print sales and drive digital subscriptions.


Since we commenced working with The Irish Times we have helped defend print sales in a declining market – a case study rewarded with an IAPI ADFX Gold.

In tandem we have worked with our agency partners to drive digital subscriptions to such a level that The Irish Times now has more paying readers than its 2007 peak.

The Return on Marketing Investment has been incredibly strong, underpinned by a clear campaign idea, consistently delivered over the last five years.

Find more on Owens DDB's website
Find more on Owens DDB's website