SSE Airtricity, a leading energy provider in Ireland, has always had local communities at the heart of all they do. What started as a green energy alternative for the country found engagement with various social causes nationwide, bringing people closer and creating authentic connections with the locals. The most recent of these collaborations is with LGBT Ireland – which maintains and runs the National LGBT Helpline. SSE Airtricity’s sponsorship of this essential helpline was the first time it was fully funded, allowing members of the LGBT community to receive much-needed support in a non-judgemental, accepting environment – free of cost.
As an essential helpline for all LGBT people nationwide, this National Helpline needed all the awareness and attention it could get. Simultaneously, the project ensured that the intended audience could connect and relate with the message enough to feel comfortable contacting the helpline and, at the same time, dealing with the incredible nuance of identity and sense of self – any outreach needed to be localized and drilled down to speak directly to the intended audience, emphasizing a non-judgemental space.
Here comes IRS+ and our local radio heroes with a game-changing solution that changed how The National LGBT Helpline and SSE Airtricity reached out to the locals.
IRS+ identified the need for local sentiment in any outreach, the idea that help is closer than one thinks – being at the crux of it. Therefore, local volunteers assisting local callers were at the core of our advertising campaign, and we brought it to life using the Local Accent Bias.
The Local Accent Bias is a pioneering experiment conducted by IRS+ to investigate the benefits of using local accents in radio advertisements across Ireland. The results had been ground breaking – revealing that the geographically targeted local accent voiceover copy significantly outperformed the national accent in 22 out of 24 sample groups.
This research has helped IRS+ brands to reach out more impactfully to local audiences, create a powerful impact, and establish genuine relationships with our customers nationwide. The local accent is a game-changer in radio advertisements, and for SSE Airtricity and the National LGBT Helpline, it was just what they needed to connect with the local audience.
IRS+ worked with Foe to create a bespoke campaign around bringing in members of the LGBT community to speak of their real-world experiences using the helpline for various reasons and the positive impact it had on them. We produced different copies for each radio station we worked with, within which only people from the local relevant accents were used. This was key to the success of this campaign since the local accent bias came into play to connect with the local audience, who were able to hear members of their community speak about LGBT+ issues and reaffirm the helpline’s commitment to national service.