Team of Media Planners from Starcom win the NewsBrands Ireland Power of Planning Competition

A team of media planners from Starcom have won this year’s NewsBrands Ireland ‘Power of Planning’ competition. The winning media plan was created by Kate Deane, Sean Lyons, Varsha Ravindranath, Orna Monaghan, Rebecca Doggett, and Tara Delaney.

Over one hundred media planners from Ireland’s top media agencies took part in this year’s competition and were challenged to create a media plan exclusively using print and online news publisher platforms. The fictitious brief was to create a media plan for an organic, sustainable food brand who were launching a new Mexican range for summer.

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; and Parents. The judging panel, Lisa Buckley, Communications and Programmes Director, NewsBrands Ireland, Aoife Hofler, Media Director Javelin, and Christine Matthews, Kantar Media judged the entries on the following criteria: Interpretation of the Brief, Strategic Thinking, Best Use of the Medium, Use of Budget, and Presentation.

A very close second place went to PHD who, according to the judging panel, brought some fantastic creative media innovation and were very clear in bringing their ‘freshness’ theme to life, consistently throughout their response and live presentation.

Speaking about the competition, Lisa Buckley, Communications and Programmes Director, NewsBrands Ireland said: “This is the ninth year of our annual competition, and we love to see the energy and enthusiasm these young media professionals put into the competition. The idea behind the annual competition and Power of Planning education day is to demonstrate the reach, diversity, and effectiveness of using news brands platforms. Thank you to all the teams who took part and congratulations to Starcom and PHD for their standout plans.”

Speaking about the winning plan, competition judge Christine Matthews, Kantar Media, said: “Huge congrats to Starcom for their winning entry which demonstrated thorough interpretation of the brief. They used data fuelled strategy to match audiences with news brands media vehicles, incorporated creative media innovation, big media owner partnerships to maximise budget, supported with niche contextual matching, on point with the brief. They incorporated performance metrics & iteration, to maximise budget across a well-phased three-stage strategy.

Fellow competition judge Aoife Hofler (Media Director, Javelin) added that ‘the standard of the presentations was really strong, and Starcom demonstrated a very clear media strategy and approach and brought it to life effectively with a broad mix of solutions. Well, done to the Starcom team.”

As well as taking part in the competition, the 100 or so 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.

Irish news publishers collectively reach 82% of Irish people every week via their print and digital news platforms ( Kantar, TGI). NewsBrands Ireland represents Ireland’s leading news publishers and its remit is to promote the vital contribution made by our members’ trusted journalism to society and democracy; to convey the commercial power of news brand audiences to advertisers, and to work towards a fair and balanced legislative framework that supports public service journalism and a vibrant national news publishing industry.