Irish agency shortlisted for global ‘Content Marketing Agency of the Year’ award

S’funny how life works out sometimes.

Seven months ago, as the senior management team in 256, a small Irish content marketing agency just three years old, we initiated a strategic process that had us considering where we would like to be in 2020 and how we would get there.

One of the exercises had us mock-up the front page of a global trade publication from 2020 that carried a piece of news about us. So we dropped in a headline about a major comms network buying us for a daft amount of money. One of the sub-heads, though, was ‘256 wins Best Agency Award at The Content Marketing Awards’.

‘Ah yeah, a typical bit of blue sky strategic vision nonsense’ you’d think.

Well, guess what?

No. At least, not yet. But it could very well be happening this week!

Drum roll, please.

256 Media has been shortlisted for ‘Content Marketing Agency of the Year’ at the global Content Marketing Awards, with the winner to be announced at Content Marketing World this week. Tragically, the awards are taking place in Cleveland, as opposed to Vegas. Oh well.

Ok, so the award is for what they term ‘Small’ agencies. That’s agencies that employ 100 people or less. We just squeak in on that metric, with 24 of us here in our Dublin HQ. There is another award for ‘Large’ agencies, those that employ over 100. We’ll leave that to 2020, so.

This video showcases last year’s Content Marketing Agency of the Year finalists, so will give you a good idea.

So… to what do we attribute this (slightly embarrassingly brilliant) news? Well, it probably helped that we won one of the most important categories in the Awards (Best Branded Content Campaign).  Won quite a few new clients, including Symantec, a multinational client. And became the only content marketing agency in the world to achieve ISO 9001 certification. And grew billings by 200%.

Plus, there were the ‘Dad moves’ … more of that anon.

256 wins ‘Best Content Campaign’ Award for EBS ‘Anytime’

We are particularly pleased to have also won the ‘Best Branded Content Campaign’ award for our ‘Anytime’ campaign for EBS.

This was a campaign that we rolled out to underline EBS’ proposition that they would meet prospective mortgage customers ‘anytime’ to discuss mortgages. Our take on that was that when you tell an Irish person that you will meet them ‘anytime’, their initial reaction is generally ‘you will, yeah’. We used this insight to look at how we Irish abuse and mis-describe time all the time.

This gave rise to ‘The Big Survey of Irish Time’ in which we found out all sorts of fun things – like how long you expect to wait when asked to ‘hold on a minute’? (7 mins 4 secs in Limerick); how long is a ‘donkey’s year’? (14 years, 5 months); how late is ‘dead late’? (43 mins 39 secs); what are our favourite (I’ll be there now in a minute) and our most annoying (Two shakes of a lamb’s tail) time based phrases?; what is our most used excuse to get out of work (‘doctor’s appointment’ wins by a mile but 9% are prepared to kill off a relative – ‘my granny has died’) and much more.

Armed with this knowledge, we created an ebook and infographic for ‘The Big Survey of Irish Time’, a vox pop video, cartoons, a calendar, mugs and more.

EBS Funny Irish Habits GIF

The results were astonishing, delivering huge engagement online and press and radio coverage, beating industry averages by miles.

They’re only awards, but hey …

It should be said that we aren’t slaves to the award-winning process.

But it does at least mean that somebody, somewhere, thinks that you’re not making a complete and utter balls of things.

So we’ll take that. Happily.

Oh yeah, nearly forgot the ‘Dad Moves’. We created this video in support of our entry:

Now, as per the video … it’s a rap. And I’m off to book some flights! 🙂

New Call-to-action

About Adrian O'Farrell

Adrian O’Farrell is Head of Client Services for 256, Ireland’s first dedicated content marketing agency. He has worked in marketing for over twenty years, having had his own award-winning marketing agency. He has worked in advertising in both agency, media owner and client side. He is a former Chairman of the Association of Promotional Marketing Consultants.