The Times, Ireland Edition has recreated the speech that President John F. Kennedy was due to deliver on the day of his assassination, using cutting-edge voice recognition software to match his words with the text of the speech he never gave on that ill-fated day in Dallas.
This special historical project celebrates the revered Irish-American president and reminds us of his continued relevance, 55 years after his untimely death.
In this speech, the former US president, who was shot in Dallas, Texas on November 22 1963, had planned to discuss how “ignorance and misinformation can handicap the progress of a city, company, or a country” and how “those who confuse rhetoric with reality and the plausible with the possible, will gain the popular ascendancy with their seemingly swift and simple solutions to every world problem.”
The project, which involved isolating sound fragments from previous speeches President Kennedy gave, was undertaken in co-operation with Irish creative agency Rothco and Cereproc, a speech synthesis company based in Scotland.
Sound engineers reviewed 831 of JFK’s previous speeches, creating a database of more than 100,000 phonetic sound units, to recreate the speech as it would have been delivered had President Kennedy reached the Dallas Trade Mart, which was his destination that fateful day.
“As part of Accenture Interactive, we really believe that now is the time for creative ideas to become world class brand experiences. We all crave great experiences, so brands like The Times that embrace this consumer want, will reap the rewards” Patrick Hickey, CEO ROTHCO.
According to Alan Kelly, Executive Creative Director at ROTHCO: “When we delved into the words JFK had written for the Trade Mart speech, we found they were not only poignant for the time but strikingly relevant today. By bringing his voice back to life to deliver this speech, the message is even more powerful: ‘We cannot expect that everyone, to use the phrase of a decade ago, will “talk sense to the American people.” But we can hope that fewer people will listen to nonsense. And the notion that this Nation is headed for defeat through deficit, or that strength is but a matter of slogans, is nothing but just plain nonsense.’”
A cohesive marketing strategy for The Times Ireland edition will drive awareness of this historical project and will include Out-Of-Home advertisements, a radio campaign, press ads, digital display, social media and video to encourage consumers to log into www.thetimes.ie to hear the speech.
Subscribers to the digital edition of The Times, Ireland Edition will be given access to the full 20-minute speech, a three-minute highlights package and a video on how the speech was produced. A series of articles will also run in the accompanying print edition analysing the speech and the long lasting effect Kennedy had on world politics.
Richard Oakley, Editor of The Times, Ireland Edition, says: “John F Kennedy has always been regarded with affection here in Ireland especially as his family never forgot the path their ancestors took to a new life in the United States. His trip to Ireland in May 1963 secured his place in collective Irish memory and Ireland mourned when he was killed later that year. We’re delighted to have worked with Rothco and Cereproc on this project which allows us to hear JFK deliver his final speech. With the current turmoil in the White House, JFK’s speech reflects poignantly on some of the challenges we are still facing today.”
Last week, the newspaper unveiled a fresh new look with additional Irish content in the form of opinion, analysis, cartoons and obituaries. New columnists include former RTE political correspondent David Davin-Power; former TD Lucinda Creighton and Newstalk Breakfast presenter Shane Coleman. They join existing columnists such as Sarah Carey, Ann Marie Hourihane and Jason O’Mahony. Weekly columnist Lise Hand has also joined the award-winning all-female political team to work alongside Niamh Lyons, Ellen Coyne and Jennifer Bray.