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IDA enlists Bono & le Brocquy for 4m branding campaign
Wall Street Journal, May 25th 2006 (full-page), one of a series of heads by Louis le Brocquy used in a 3 year campaign in the US.
IDA Ireland has enlisted the support of Bono, the U2 singer, and the artist Louis le Brocquy in a 4 million drive to market Ireland as a prime business location for US multinationals.
With the State investment body predicting a "good pipeline" of job initiatives after a positive start to the year, its chief executive Sean Dorgan a number of big new projects were within the grasp of the organisation.
IDA grants for industry increased to 71.99 million last year from 45.95 million in 2004, according to its 2005 annual report.
In a new marketing campaign called the " Irish Mind", the IDA took out a full-page advert featuring le Brocquy's well-known portrait of Bono's head in the US edition of the Wall Street Journal yesterday.
A self-portrait by Mr le Brocquy and his portrait of WB Yeats will also feature in the "Irish Mind" campaign.
Full-page adverts in the Journal command a list price of $100,000 (78,322). For two years or more, the adverts will also run in publications such as Business Week, Time, the Economist, Forbes and Fortune.
In language far removed from IDA Ireland's typical investment parlance, the body said "le Brocquy aimed to make a recognisable image of Bono's outward appearance while attempting to portray what he conceives to be the wavelengths of his inner dynamism".
The text of the advert itself is in a similar mode, stating that the flexible attitude of the Irish pervades the ecosystem. "The Irish mind. An abundant supply of that rare commodity you'll need to bring your business to peak performance," it says.
"The Irish. Creative. Imaginative. And flexible. Agile minds with a unique capacity to initiate, and innovate, without being directed. Always thinking on their feet. Adapting and improving. Generating new knowledge and new ideas. Working together to find new ways of getting things done. Better and faster."
Mr Dorgan said the aim of the campaign was to underline the fact that Irish people had a different approach to tackling issues, solving problems and seeking new and better ways to meet the needs of business.
Bono and Mr le Brocquy gave their permission for the use of the work in adverts, he said. When it was suggested that some of the political causes endorsed by Bono were at odds with big business, Mr Dorgan responded: "He's Irish isn't he? He's well recognised."
The body says 2005 was its best year for job creation since 2000. Its chairman John Dunne said that the 71 new projects were agreed with new an existing clients last year were worth 760 million.
While 12,623 new jobs were filled, 9,211 jobs losses meant the overall number employed in IDA-backed companies rose by 3,412 to 132,728.
Copyright 2006 Irish Times. Source: Financial Times Information Limited - Europe Intelligence Wire.
Images of Bono, W.B. Yeats and Self-portrait (Louis le Brocquy) to appear in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Time, the Economist, Forbes and Fortune, The International Hertald Tribune etc.