CovidComms Awards Ireland

Launch of Bright Sky App in Ireland

Bright Sky App
Vodafone Ireland Foundation
Winner: Best use of social media or influencers
CovidComms Awards Ireland

It is a sad fact of life that domestic abuse cases have risen across Ireland. Research conducted by Vodafone Foundation found that 31 per cent of Irish workers had experienced some form of domestic abuse. With more people confined to their homes during the pandemic, Vodafone Foundation wanted to promote its ground-breaking app Bright Sky Ireland, which connects victims of domestic abuse to support services nationwide.

The Bright Sky App, which first launched in the UK in 2015, provides victims of abuse with vital information, such as details of their nearest support centre, practical advice on how to leave a violent partner, the ability to record incidents on a diary that is uploaded to the cloud and a questionnaire to test the safety of a relationship. Setting up in covert mode also disguises Bright Sky as a weather app if a victim’s family were to check the phone.

Ireland’s Bright Sky App was created in partnership with Women’s Aid Ireland and An Garda Siochana, which means it is both credible and trustworthy. To highlight its importance, Vodafone Foundation partnered with two Irish influencers Jennifer Carroll and Emma Murphy, who have both been impacted by domestic abuse.

Dubliner Carroll built up an Instagram following of more than 110,000, after she shared the story of how she overcame abuse and shed 12 stone as she vowed to turn her life around for her son. Mother of two Murphy hit the headlines in 2015 after sharing a video of her black eye on Facebook and vowing to leave her violent partner.

Domestic abuse is a sensitive subject. The Vodafone Foundation was aware that it needed to approach the issue with caution and care. Using relatable and relevant influencers meant that they could showcase the app’s capabilities.

Drawing on their personal experiences, Carroll and Murphy were able to demonstrate the functionality of the app while highlighting the issue of domestic abuse. Carroll also included personal images that highlighted the violence she had personally suffered.

These images also caught the attention of mainstream media, which led to interviews on The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk, and the Sunday World. The posts from Carroll and Murphy reached more than 850,000 people, while the interview broadcast on The Pat Kenny Show was heard by 125,000 listeners.

Since the campaign’s launch, downloads of the Bright Sky app have risen by 60 per cent and it was downloaded 444 times between September and December 2020. The judges felt that ‘real thought’ had been put into the choice of influencers for the campaign, which had driven awareness for the app and – perhaps more importantly – led to downloads.