One year after its creation, ESB established Ireland’s first public relations department in July 1928, and an advertising campaign began on 1 September 1928.
Advertising had to be clear and concise, educating the public on the general advantages of electricity for domestic and industrial use.
Long before social media, the only guaranteed access into the homes of Ireland was through the national and provincial newspapers and ESB embraced this medium. On the world stage it was a time of movement and modernisation, socially, technologically and culturally and the general enthusiasm for all things modern helped ESB in the push to electrify the country.
One of the first advertisements featured an image of a giant masterminding the Shannon works and detailed the opening of the Scheme to visitors, to see history in the making and no doubt to instil a sense of national pride.
Early advertisements detailed the engineering logistics of the Scheme noting ‘constructing the huge embankments of the new canal on the Shannon Works, at the rate of 1,200 tons per hour, is the remarkable feat performed by one of the great bank building machines’. The copy for these print advertisements were sophisticated, and typical of the 1920s and 1930s.