Team of Media Planners from Havas win NewsBrands Ireland Power of Planning Competition 2023

A team of media planners from Havas have won this year’s NewsBrands Ireland ‘Power of Planning’ competition. The winning media plan, with the campaign tagline ‘Stepping into Their World’, was created by Drishti Singh, Kerrie Patten, Siya Sharma, Cian McCarthy, and Erica Henderson from Havas.

Twenty-one teams of media planners from Ireland’s top media agencies took part in this year’s competition and were challenged to create a media plan using print and online news media platforms. The fictitious brief was to confront racism through a hard-hitting and engaging campaign which aimed to promote a fair, equal and inclusive society. The brief was to spark conversations around racism and drive traffic to a government campaign website where individuals and organisations could further engage with a range of anti-racism resources such as helplines, videos, and articles.

Each team was asked to choose three of the following audiences to target: 16-35 year olds; 25-44 year olds; Business Owners/HR Professionals/Workplace; 55+ year olds, the Sports Community; and Parents. The judging panel, Christine Matthews, Kantar Media, Melissa Byrne, Sky Ireland, and Lisa Buckley, NewsBrands Ireland, judged the entries on the following criteria: Interpretation of the Brief, Stategic Thinking, Best Use of the Medium, Use of Budget, and Presentation.

Speaking about the competition, Lisa Buckley, Communications and Programmes Director, NewsBrands Ireland said: “This is the eight year of our annual competition and delighted to see a record number of teams entering this year. Sincere congratulations to Havas for their standout plan which used a mix of print, online video, digital display, native articles, and partnerships to bring the campaign message to its target audience. Thank you to all the teams who took part and a special shout out to the teams from Essence MediaCom, PHD, and Mindshare who were runners up in the competition.”

Speaking about the winning media plan, competition judge Christine Matthews (Head of TGI Customer Service, Kantar), said: 

“The Havas team demonstrated a great understanding of the news brands landscape with an extremely detailed media plan. The entry stood out from the competition for its inclusion of a strong call to action, KPI’s, measurement, testing, and iteration as the campaign progressed. We were impressed by the clear strategy and campaign concept, well-formed justification for the media mix and budget allocation, as well as innovation through QR codes and a brand uplift study.”  

Fellow competition judge, Melissa Byrne (Head of Media with Sky Ireland) said: ‘The winning team presented an excellent campaign idea and strategy and executed it through media in a really comprehensive way. Clear insights and rationale for their choice of news brands, an innovative idea to engage their target audience, a detailed and thorough media plan, combined with a focus on campaign measurement, gave this team a clear competitive edge on the day. Huge well done to the team at Havas’

As well as taking part in the competition yesterday, the media planners had the opportunity to meet with commercial teams from Ireland’s leading national news publishers which included DMG Media, Business Post Group, News Ireland, The Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Reach Ireland, and the Irish Farmers Journal. The day started with the ‘Engage’ breakfast seminar which featured research, case studies and conversation about the power of print and online news media and the power of journalism.