Getting Local with Product Placement | SPAR & RTÉ

Client: BWG Foods

Agency: Core Sponsorship

Project: Fair City Product Placement

Primary Platform: RTÉ One



Ireland is a very competitive retail sector, with established brands, disruptive discounters and changing customer lifestyles. BWG Foods work with SPAR retailers, who are owner-managed businesses, many of which have firm roots in the local communities in which they operate so they know what works well. A big part of their success is their entrepreneurial spirit.

The clients had two goals that they wanted to achieve:

  • To provide their retailers with a strong compelling marketing message to work with.
  • To make their campaign local and highlight that SPAR is a part of Irish communities.


What was the opportunity?  

In 2011, the producers of Fair City planned for the character of Christy Phelan to renovate his shop and reinvent his life. The type of shop that Christy owned didn't exist widely in modern Ireland anymore so it was a natural opportunity for commerce to meet creativity and for a retailer like SPAR to become part of the Carrigstown community. The SPAR presence gives Fair City a real authenticity. SPAR has been an integral part of local communities right across the country for nearly 50 years now. So, it seems only natural to extend this presence to the best known local towns on Irish television.

At the time this was the most high profile product placement in the country and remains so to this day.



Why RTÉ?

The team at RTÉ were able to integrate the SPAR brand fully into the show. They had an internal and external set built on the Fair City lot. Much of the action in each episode takes place around the local SPAR.

Fair City is a hugely popular show with a loyal following. The show has reached 2.4m people since the beginning of the year and has an average audience of 345,300*.

Part of the appeal of the show is the local, community aspect where everybody knows everybody. This was exactly the type of campaign that SPAR were looking for, one that could reach households all over Ireland and show how SPAR is part of real-life communities.

We started this partnership back in 2011 and have even renewed it twice since then. It's been really successful, it's increased our brand awareness and it's really working for our SPAR retailers and the SPAR brand in Ireland

– Colin Donnelly
SPAR Sales Director, BWG Foods


What was the result?

This partnership has been so successful for BWG Foods and SPAR that they have renewed twice since the partnership begun. The product placement increased the brand awareness. This works for the SPAR brand in Ireland as well as their retailers around the country.


Source: TAM/Nielsen, Adults 15+, 1st January - 10th September, Consolidated