Concannon named top marketer

John Concannon MotY

John Concannon, director of market development at Fáilte Ireland, has been named Marketer of the Year for his Discover Ireland ‘Fun starts here’ campaign, designed to make home holidays, or ‘staycations’, more attractive by giving a new appeal to the many activities and attractions available year-long throughout the country.

Concannon used his background in fast moving consumer goods marketing with Unilever, where he worked on household and ice cream category brands, to build a new picture of Irish holidays for the domestic market.

Last year, Ireland was in the full throws of recession. Spend on home and overseas travel was down from €8.7 billion to €7.1bn in just one year. The domestic tourism market, which accounts for 75 per cent of all Irish hotel bednights, was under threat as consumers re-evaluated their spending and attitudes to holiday breaks.

The two runners-up for Marketer of the Year were Vanessa Hartley, customer management and marketing director, Aviva Ireland and Pat Mannion, commercial director, JCDecaux for Dublin Bikes. Hartley repositioned Aviva Health “through focus and resilience”, increased sales by 70 per cent and doubled market share.

Mannion used the launch of the Metro outdoor formats and a targeted and highly personalised campaign to ad agencies to introduce the Dublin Bikes scheme. The campaign resulted in 24 new brands advertising with the French poster contractor and heralded Ireland’s first public bike scheme which has proved a big success.

Now in its 18th year, Marketer of the Year is a initiative sponsored by Alternatives.

For the full story on this year’s Marketer of the Year, see the November issue of, out now.

Failte Ireland Kerry

One of the TV ads for Fáilte Ireland’s ‘Fun starts here’. Behaviour & Attitudes said the campaign created by DDFH&B-JWT was the most effective communications their advertising monitor had ever measured.

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