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    Ad of the Week: We Cover Courage – Allianz Ireland/In the Company of Huskies

    Ad agency, In the Company of Huskies has rolled out a new campaign for Allianz Ireland called ‘We Cover Courage’.

    The ad recreates Minister for Education, Donogh O’Malley’s moment of courage in announcing free secondary school education in 1966 and features his son, the actor Daragh O’Malley, delivering his father’s famous speech.

    The ad tells the story of Minister O’Malley who, acting without the knowledge of his government, in 1966 announced free secondary school education for all children in Ireland. The announcement had not been approved by the Department of Finance, but O’Malley knew that once word was out, there was no going back. Free education is now deeply ingrained in the Irish system. Today, more than 90 per cent of the population sit the Leaving Cert and Ireland has one of the highest rates of second-level completion in the EU.

    This one act of monumental courage represents a pivotal point in Irish history and had major consequences for social mobility and cultural change. In O’Malley’s eyes, free secondary school education was a human right. The ad features extracts from the Minister’s speech and is delivered by his real son, the actor Daragh O’Malley [Withnail and I, Sharpe, Silent Witness].

    The speech begins: “Every year, some 17,000 of our children, finishing the primary school course do not receive any further education. But education is the one great leveller-upper, greater than wealth, greater than lineage, greater than power.”

    Picture: Daragh O’Malley looking at a picture of his father, Donogh O’Malley
    Picture: Daragh O’Malley looking at a picture of his father, Donogh O’Malley

    Damian Hanley, Creative Director, In the Company of Huskies comments: “Daragh O’Malley delivering his father’s speech was electrifying. It felt like we were there 53 years ago. It was an emotional moment for Daragh, who said it was one of the proudest moments of his career. This says it all considering the talented theatre and film actor has featured in many movies including the cult classic film Withnail and I.”

    “Huskies wanted to create a marketing platform that would communicate Allianz’s purpose in a compelling way. We felt this was best captured by ‘We Cover Courage’. The campaign depicts true acts of courage by Irish people and helps reconnect customers to the idealistic roots of insurance,  reminding them that Allianz is there to support them when they face big and small choices that impact on their lives,” adds Damian Hanley, Creative Director, In the Company of Huskies.

    As the largest insurer of schools across Ireland, Allianz Ireland is proud of its deep and long-standing connection with Irish education, insuring over ninety percent of primary and over fifty percent of secondary schools across Ireland.

    “Reflecting on the little and big acts of courage undertaken by our customers on a daily basis as they go about their lives, Allianz Ireland wants to recognise people whose courage brought major changes both for themselves and Irish society,” said Sean McGrath, CEO, Allianz Ireland.

    “With one statement, Minister O’Malley made free secondary education — an idea that had been circulated and debated, though never fully realised — a reality. The Minister for Education had gone out on a limb, unbeknownst to the government behind him, to make a stand. A stand which brought about seismic change in our society. A stand which would ensure that generations of Irish school children would benefit from education. This has transformed our society beyond all recognition. It can be easy to overlook the huge courage it took to announce this, but he believed this would help us overcome poverty and once announced, it could not be taken back. Free education has been a core element of our society’s evolution.”

    The campaign will run across TV, OOH, digital, sponsorship as well as PR.

    Picture: Daragh O’Malley delivers his father’s speech


    Client – Allianz Ireland
    Robert McEvoy – Head of Market Management
    Damien O’Neill – Head of Marketing Operations
    Joseph Campbell – Marketing Communications Executive
    Niamh Ryan – Marketing Communications Executive
    Creative Agency – In the Company of Huskies
    Creative Director: Damian Hanley
    Art Director: Damian Hanley, Nick Kelly.
    Copywriter: Greg McLoughlin
    Business Director: Sarah Deeny
    Account Manager: Kritika Verma
    Senior Account Executive: Cillian McSweeney
    Agency Producer: Brian Daly
    Senior Designer: Nicole McMahon
    Digital Strategy: David Hayes
    Social Media Manager: Thomas Ryan

    Production Co.: Pull The Trigger
    Director: Richie Smith
    Executive Producer: Maxine Brady
    Producer: Grainne Tiernan
    Post Production – Screenscene
    Editor: Juniper Calder
    Sound:  Will Farrell
    Grade: Donal O’Kane
    Compositing : Gavin Casey
    Post Producer : Peter Greene

    Photography – Neil MacDougald Photography

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