IAPI's 'Ireland Before Agency Project' BeLonG To Excels with LGBTI+ Community

Hires, Wins & Business 176 0 Add this
Volunteers from 16 different agencies came together to create the mini agency BeLonG To offering support in all disciplines
IAPI's 'Ireland Before Agency Project' BeLonG To Excels with LGBTI+ Community

One of the key strategic priorities for IAPI (Institute of Advertising Practitioners Ireland) is to promote greater diversity in the industry. In February of 2019 IAPI put a call out for volunteers from member agencies to participate in an initiative supporting the LGBTI+ charity, BeLonG To. IAPI created a mini agency to support BeLonG To across all disciplines: planning, account management, creative, digital, social, media and production.

BeLonG To Youth Services, the national organisation supporting LGBTI+ young people in Ireland, has some sobering statistics: 76% of LGBTI+ youth cite bullying as a major source of anxiety and 90% struggle with their mental health. 2019 marked the tenth anniversary of Stand Up Awareness Week, BeLonG To’s initiative to encourage people to stand up to homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools. The participation rate of schools had hit a plateau of 43%. 

Ray Sheerin, ex MD of Chemistry and IAPI Board member spearheaded the initiative for BeLonG To. IAPI wanted it to be an industry-wide rather than a single agency initiative, so a call was issued for participation to all IAPI member agencies. There was a great response: individuals from 16 different agencies volunteered (BBDO, Bonfire, Boys & Girls, Carat, Chemistry, Core, Havas, Huskies, Javelin, JWT Folk, Ogilvy, Pluto, Publicis, Rothco, Starcom and TBWA). All agencies provided their time free of charge.

Agency volunteers were split into two creative teams and the idea of #ComeIn came to life supported by the thinking that if everybody chose to come in, nobody would have to come out. The call to action asked people to Come in as part of Stand Up Awareness Week against LGBTI+ bullying and to wear a jumper in a colour from the rainbow on Friday 15th November to show support. With IAPI’s backing, the generous support of national radio station 2FM as media partner was secured, giving the campaign access to their media mix across radio, digital and social. 

Charley Stoney, CEO, IAPI said: “The communications industry, like the entertainment industry, has always been more diverse than most: in terms of socio-demographics, sexuality, religion and culture. Having a diverse workforce has been of enormous benefit to our industry which is one of the reasons why IAPI has adopted diversity as a key strategic goal and why BeLonG To was such a good fit for our first 'Ireland before Agency' project.”



The results speak for themselves, school’s participation rate increased by 14% to 57% against 43% in 2018, from reaching 162,038 students in 2018 to 206,864 students in 2019.  In the latest *Empathy survey carried out for BeLonG To, 72% of teachers who responded said their school took part in Stand-Up week vs. only 53% in 2018.  Perhaps the most significant outcome of Stand-up Week 2019 was the shift in behaviours by secondary students with a decrease of anti-LGBTI+ bullying reports by 20% according to responding teachers. 

The total video views achieved 170k with impressions of 275k and a total reach of 231k. One of the first branded and verified GIPHY channels for any organisation in the country was produced and #ComeIn GIFS were created to be used across social channels such as Instagram Story, Tumblr, Twitter and GIPHY itself. The assets were very successful reaching an audience of over 75k during the campaign.  During the campaign duration, the platform hashtag #ComeIn and the event hashtag #StandUpWeek were used over 700 times. 


Sign up to our newsletters and stay up to date with the best work and breaking ad news from around the world.

Categories: LGBTQ+, Corporate, Social and PSAs

The Institute Of Advertising Practitioners In Ireland, 1 month ago