Darkness Into Light - Wake Up

As a long-term partner to Pieta House, Electric Ireland, Ireland’s leading energy supplier, wanted to evolve its sponsorship of Darkness Into Light, the annual charity walk that takes place in 120 locations around Ireland. Pieta House helps deliver critical counselling services to people who are in suicidal distress. Darkness into Light is a national event to raise awareness of the issue of suicide in Ireland.


To kick off the campaign, we hosted The National Wake Up Call, a rallying cry to the people of Ireland to ‘Wake Up’ and realise that we, as a nation, are all related to suicide. We worked with photographer Laurence J McMahon, creating a suite of imagery with Irish faces who have been affected by suicide and self-harm. Each person bravely shared stories of compassion, survival, loss and strength. Using our global network THE LOVE NETWORK, we gathered a core ‘crew of advocates’ called ‘The Wake Up 100’ to start multiple conversations about mental health in Ireland.


Through our work, we learnt that empathy is a behaviour that is key to tackling the issues of suicide and self-harm. To start the movement, we collaborated with Clinical Directors from Pieta House to create ‘The Essentials of Empathy’, a guide for showing compassion in everyday life. We packaged this guide with bespoke wellness boxes that we sent to health and wellness media and key stakeholders within Electric Ireland and Pieta House, encouraging people to start talking. The Essentials of Empathy were also shared across Electric Ireland’s own channels, including social media and the Electric Ireland blog. The reaction was extremely positive, with customers contacting the brand for a printable version so they could share with their friends.

The campaign focused on driving registrations for the Darkness Into Light event itself. To do this, we delivered a major online campaign including social media content where we brought real-life stories from across Ireland to life. We created a ‘WAKE UP’ social media badge for the event and kick-started its viral success by bringing some key personalities on board to share their new profile pic. This created a huge surge in online awareness and drove people to sign up to the event.

We helped Electric Ireland demonstrate to their customers and staff that they care – not only about providing them with the right energy product at the right price – but about the issues that they care about, and that affect them and their loved ones.The campaign generated a reach of over 17 million with 49 hits across print, online and broadcast including a feature on The Late Late Show. We recorded 126,346 online registrations (over 150,000 global participants) and had over 2,500 people using the social media badge with pride. Our PR team generated over 880 media hits for the event with a reach of over 32m.

The brand has demonstrated alignment with causes their customers are passionate about, while helping raise €4.3m in funds for the vital work of Pieta House.

Indeed, last November, Pieta House CEO and new Thinkhouse client Brian Higgins received the Marketer of the Year award, with judges describing the Darkness Into Light campaign as “one of the most compelling pieces of work that we have seen recently.”

Thinkhouse has subsequently committed to driving as much Darkness Into Light 2018 registration as possible. For Christmas, we gifted a substantial number of our clients entry to Darkness Into Light 2018, so they can see first hand what an incredible event it has become and, of course, contribute to the suicide and self-harm prevention movement themselves.

Edel McCarthy, Group Sponsorship and Activation Manager in Electric Ireland, said of the campaign: "The partnership between Electric Ireland and Pieta House is very special. The campaign truly felt like a movement. It feels like people are finally waking up. We’re so proud to be a part of this incredible partnership and to work with the amazing team at Pieta House. Having the team at Thinkhouse bring their energy, creativity and passion to the campaign, helped us achieve a much higher level of engagement.”

Keep an eye out on to join the Darkness Into Light Movement in 2018.