ICAD Upstarts entry brief – “Make people like North Korea”


The Institute of Creative Advertising and Design (ICAD) Upstarts programme is the self-unprofessed TopGun of young creative advertisers and designers in Ireland. Only 12 individuals are chosen for a six week course, where a brief is issued every week by a different agency in Dublin and the participants come in an present to the Creative Director. Along the way each person is mentored by an experienced professional in the industry, and at the end there is an exhibition of work where all the upstarts are presented to Creative Directors.

To win a place on the programme an entry brief was sent out. This year, the task was to make people like North Korea. Together with my Art Director Katie Jones, we set out to create an interesting campaign to catch the eye, and this is what we came up with to get us on the programme….

Make people like North Korea

Idea: North Korea wants to be friends with the people of Ireland, and to make friends they want to give us all a gift. But they don’t know much about us, so they undertake a learning period and have an online campaign to ask us what we like. They find out we like socializing the most, and being the direct and harsh bastards that they are, they take this quite literal and send each person in Ireland their own person as a gift.

We sent in two prototype packages to the ICAD offices as our application.

The first “Friendship box” had various North Korean merchandise like the “Game of Life”, a playboy calender, their favourite beer “Riceweiser”, a phrase book and a cook book.

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The second box was a much larger one that was supposed to hold your  “Special Liaison Attributed Vocational Exchangement”. We made it ourselves, and along with a copy of all the radio scripts, press releases, rationale etc, delivered it to the ICAD offices. Unfortunately, after all the hype of the radio ads, the press releases, the online campaign and the friendship box, when the time came to open up the main gift, the person inside had miraculously escaped through a hole that the chewed in the bottom of the box. How sad.

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Press Release :

“North Korea extends hand of friendship to the people of Ireland”

The Department for foreign affairs and the Department for Transport and Tourism are delighted to announce the initiation of a new relationship building venture in coordination with The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea. The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea and Irish Trade Union Solidarity Friendship Initiative (DPRNKITUSFI) is set to be the first of its kind in the world, commencing this July, promoting cultural exchanges as well as trade agreements. The initiative was instigated by The North Korean leader, Kim Jung Un, as part of the new leader’s plans of improving relations between North Korea and the rest of the world. 

According to the North Korean Minister of Releasable Information, Yi no Noting, “The chosen people of North Korea and the Irish have had a lot in common over the years, and we feel that this is a great friendship that hasn’t yet been formed.  Like for instance, our mutual dependence on basic but nutritious food sources, issues with our borders, as well our unquestioned acceptance and compliance with self-appointed leaders of morality and society over the last century”.

The Minister believes North Korea can expect to learn a lot from Ireland, as the country possess a wealth of knowledge in attracting top foreign investment, encouraging tourism, as well as a familiarity of building codes and standards in New York, London and Australia. He also feels that in exchange for that, as Ireland is a small impressionable neutral country located ideally between some of North Koreas top military adversaries, The DPRNK can offer the Irish government advice on crime, traffic congestion and public obesity that the country has all but eradicated.

The core concept of this initiative will be a gesture by the people of North Korea to offer the people of Ireland a gift of their choice, which is in line with traditional North Korean hospitality. For more information about the initiative, the public are urged to log onto DPRNKITUSFI.com to see how people can benefit and participate. 

Friendship box welcome letter

Dear happy recipient of world famous North Korean hospitality and gift giving,

This is your Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea and Irish Trade Union Solidarity Friendship Initiative (DPRNKITUSFI) friendship pack. On behalf of the Righteous and Ever-adored Leader and the great people of North Korea, this pack symbolises the great generosity of wealth and hand of friendship that the Eternal Nation offers to our new friends of the respected nation of the People’s Democratic Republic of Ireland.

This pack is in preparation for your second pack which contains your bigger gift of a Special Liaison Attributed Vocational Exchangement.  Your gift, or Special Liaison Attributed Vocational Exchangement is a grand gesture, in relation to the world famous North Korean gift giving ability, to build the relationship between the great people of North Korea and Ireland and will arrive soon.

In this pack you will find all useful tools to help you with your new Special Liaison Attributed Vocational Exchangement. Here you are given items such as a North Korean calendar, bottle of beer, phrase book, cooking book, your insurance policy and a board game to help for the acclimatisation.

This great idea was chosen by the supreme leader Kim Jong Un himself, and we are forever thankful for his wisdom and intuitiveness.

Many thanks to the people of Ireland and your leaders, and we know you will enjoy this momentous gift


Client: North Korea
Product: Friendship
Title: Part 1


Station(s): Length: 40 seconds Date:


V/O 1 – Straight, clear, news room type voice

V/O 2 – North Korean, broken English, Eccentric

V/O 1 – This is a public service message from the glorious state of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea.
V/O 2 – People of Ireland! On your small Island between the evils of America and Britain, hello. Did you know North Korea always have great respect for Irish people? You are very similar to people of North Korea. We are both fun, easy going people, with an unfaltering devotion to our illustrious political leaders. So we want to be best friends with you. To be friends, we want to give you a present, but we don’t know a lot about you. So over the next 2 weeks we have North Korean cultural examination programme to learn what is best gift to give.
You like big party? North Korea make you big party. You like space? North Korea try send you to space. You like food?….well we talk about that later.
But go to Northkoreafriendshipinitiative.com to see how you can get involved.
North Korea and Ireland will be best friends forever
V/O 1 Advertisement paid in full by the generosity of the supreme Leader Kim Jong Un


Client: North Korea
Product: Friendship
Title: Part 2


Station(s): Length: 40 seconds Date:


V/O 1 – Straight, clear, news room type voice

V/O 2 – North Korean, broken English, Eccentric

V/O 2  – People of Ireland! Hello again, are you well? Super. So you remember when we asked you what you liked so North Korea could give you a present? Well we read all your suggestions so now we know what we are going to give you.
You liked beer, so we thought we would give you a free supply of North Korea’s favourite drink, North Korebeer for a year? Yeah? no.
You said that you don’t like street crime, so North Korea maybe blow up the oxegen music festival for you. Yeah yeah? Still no.
From your suggestions you Irish people said you like people and socialising, so our illustrious leader Kim Jong Un is sending every one of you, the people of Ireland, their very own North Korean… person. Praise Kim Jong Un!
You all will receive a friendship package in the post soon so watch out.
North Korea and Ireland, super best friends now.  Don’t believe us? Check out northkoreafriendshipinitiave.com for more info.
V/O 1- All Praise for Kim Jong Un



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