On Monday Secretary of State Brandon Lewis revealed the advertisement on Twitter, tweeting a video of the 30-second commercial before it was first broadcast that night.
However, the NIO has now clarified that the advert is only being shown on UTV and Channel 4 here – meaning that Northern Ireland is being advertised to Northern Ireland.
When asked about the cost of making and broadcasting the advert, the NIO did not reveal that information but said that it would be published “as part of routine UK government transparency publications” at some future date.
When asked why the advert was not being shown on TV outside Northern Ireland, and what the point of the advert was, the NIO said: “The ‘Our Story in the Making: NI Beyond 100’ campaign was created for the centenary year to promote Northern Ireland’s people, culture, traditions and enterprise, and its vital contribution to the United Kingdom.
“As part of this, the new campaign advert will be broadcast on Northern Ireland TV stations and on-demand services, and will also be promoted online in Northern Ireland and the wider UK.
“In addition, it is being amplified internationally through UK government social media channels. The new advert signposts viewers to the NIO’s centenary website, ourstoryinthemaking.com, which in addition to showcasing the stories of Northern Ireland’s people, products and places also lists upcoming centenary events for public awareness and participation.”
The slightly abstract advert involves images of everything from the Mournes to Londonderry’s Peace Bridge, surfers at Portrush’s White Rocks, a motorbike racer, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and tractors ploughing a field.
As those images are shown, a voiceover says: “We are not just an area on the map; we are so much more than that.
“We are every story we’ve ever told, and all the places that shake souls and all the people we’ve ever met and all the feats of endeavour we’ve marvelled at ... our story is in the making.”
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