Three Ireland launches ‘Made by Music’ by Boys + Girls


Three Ireland launches the third music video in the ‘Made by Music’ series which was created by Ireland's most creatively-awarded advertising agency Boys + Girls as part of a five year music sponsorships strategy for the telecoms brand. Championing emerging Irish music talent and celebrating the power of music to connect people, Three Ireland has teamed up with DJ, composer, multi-instrumentalist and big band leader Kormac for the latest instalment in the integrated #MadeByMusic campaign for his new single ‘New Day’ feat. Jack O’Rourke. The emotive film follows the story of a young man from Soweto, one of South Africa’s largest townships, and his friends, showcasing the power of music to connect people and empower them to challenge the status quo. Shot in Zimbabwe, the music video was directed by renowned filmmaker, William Armstrong, who won Cannes Lion Young Director Award in 2012. 

The campaign has resulted in the three acts working together on a unique, collaborative version of Saint Sister’s ‘Causing Trouble' that was recorded live and played on the Irish radio station, 2fm (August 8th, 2018) bringing the campaign, which celebrates connections made by music, full circle. The recording has enjoyed repeat plays since. The acts will collaborate at Ireland’s biggest music festival, Electric Picnic, appearing at the #MadeByMusic Base, an experiential stage created by Three, in September.

Three is already well known for its involvement and support of the music industry in Ireland. Earlier this year it was announced that the brand would retain the naming right to the iconic 3Arena and will continue to sponsor of Ireland's most popular festivals, Longitude and Electric Picnic.

Tell us about your role in the creation of this work.

As the copywriter for Three Ireland’s music sponsorship, I worked on coming up with a platform that allowed us to create work that felt authentic in the music space. Even brands with a strong music heritage struggle to maintain credibility.

Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about?

#MadeByMusic celebrates how music connects us all and is an initiative from Three Ireland that champions emerging Irish music talent. Three music videos were commissioned for three Irish artists who each represent the originality and diversity of Irish music: Jafaris, Saint Sister and Kormac. Give them a listen, they’re deadly.

Tell us about the details creative brief, what did it ask?

Create an association between Three Ireland and music. They already had all the credentials - Three Ireland hold the naming right to the iconic 3Arena and sponsor some of Ireland’s biggest music festivals. The crowd at these gigs was a big part of this brief. We were challenged to come up with an idea inspired by the culture of music and the way it brings people together.

Which insight led to the creation of this piece of work?

Music melts away boundaries. Gigs are a perfect example of this - people who’ve never met before chat like they’ve known each other for years, or feel totally comfortable climbing on each other’s shoulders. People just enjoy each other’s company. They connect, straight off the bat. That led to the campaign idea of connections made by music. The music videos were a way to get the idea out there in a way that felt more authentic and engaging than regular ads communicating the new platform.

Can you share with us any alternative ideas (if any) for this campaign? Why was this idea chosen?  

Since music is such a connecting force for people, a connection angle made perfect sense for a telecoms company whose purpose is it is to connect people. It was important for us to create a music sponsorship campaign that aligned with the brand’s DNA.

How did the client initially react to this idea?

Getting our client to buy into the idea of essentially handing over their ad space to underground musicians was a big ask. But our clients were incredibly brave and bought into the idea immediately. We all got really excited about the idea of creating culture, not just advertising. I read a Nils Leonard article on this topic a few years ago and it really stuck with me. We all wanted to make work that resonated with people outside of the ad industry.

What was the greatest challenge that you and your team faced during development.

As I mentioned earlier, creating an ad campaign for a brand’s music sponsorship was not without its potential pitfalls, so finding an angle that felt relevant in the music space was the biggest challenge. People are really passionate about music, and have a really good radar for things that feel inauthentic.

For one of the directors, William Armstrong, political unrest in Zimbabwe, where one of the films was shot, ended up being a massive challenge. The political unrest resulted in the military banning drones from use or entering customs. This happened as the drone team for the shoot were literally at the airport about to board the plane. The wides and landscapes were lost on the spot.

What did you enjoy most about seeing this campaign through? Did you learn anything new from the experience?

Seeing the impact the campaign is having is very rewarding. The profiles of the musicians we worked with are on the rise and it’s exciting that a brand shared their platform to help accelerate careers in the music industry.

Creatively, I loved how collaborative it was. We tried to keep the shoots as guerilla-style as possible, and freed up the directors to interpret the theme of “connections made by music” however they wished.

Where do you see this campaign going in the future?

My ambition is that this impacts the Irish music industry long term. That it makes the careers of musicians skyrocket and results in the artists from the campaign filling massive venues like the 3Arena, bringing everything full circle. I can already see that the success of this campaign will lead to more client bravery, and more culturally interesting all round.