Social media and ‘establishment’ firms: putting the cart before the horse?

Had a conversation there over lunch with a marcomms person working in financial services: he said he was working on introducing social media to his company as a comms tool.  The conversation turned to the unthinking adoption of social media, where it seems that many companies don’t ask themselves if they’ve anything to say online. … Continue reading

Is there no escaping the celebrity news?

Last weekend saw the first Bank holiday of the summer and had everything one can expect from arguably the busiest of the year including a heat wave, Dublin senior footballers making their way to a Leinster Semi Final and bucket loads of celebrity gossip and news. I can imagine there were very few people who … Continue reading

Is it bad for a brand to be too reliant on one persona?

At this stage, the Royal Wedding is a fairly distant memory for almost everyone (except, presumably, for the winning bidder of Princess Beatrice’s Philip Treacy hat) but with all the commotion over Kate Middleton’s wedding dress I began to think about brands that have a personality or ‘face’ that is too visible, eclipsing the name … Continue reading

The emotional and the rational in the planning of new Bulmers campaign

Last weekend marked not only Munster’s triumph over Leinster, but also the end of Magners League 2011 and their sponsorship of the Celtic League.  Magners, also known as Bulmers in Ireland, has been the headline sponsor since the 2006/07 season and their five year contract has now come to a ‘natural’ end with the brand … Continue reading

Are we preferring cinema experience to film content?

The recent closure of the Lighthouse cinema has caused me to think about the current perception of cinema in Ireland. Why exactly did the Lighthouse close? Is it simply another casualty of the recession? Was it in an awkward place for people to get to? Or was there simply not a big enough market for … Continue reading

Consumer insight technology & the crawl to monetization

I was talking to a guy I know last night in a pub in Ranelagh about tech R&D in consumer behaviour. Our conversation turned to the startling changes in pace in bringing tech ideas to the market (angel or venture capital, in a lot of cases, rather than direct to the marketplace). My friend works … Continue reading

How will we know if our ideas will fly?

Training in strategic thinking is a cash cow. Every issue of the major business magazines is brimming over with ads from universities offering courses to aspiring or current C-suite people. Strategy is, I believe, the single biggest gap in the advertising sector (knowledge of financials is a deficit common to most business function: hence why … Continue reading

Celebrity endorsement and the gullible consumer

Ken’s post below on America’s penchant for inappropriate health advertising brought Jenny McCarthy’s insane and clearly ill-informed crusade against the MMR vaccine hurling to the fore and got me thinking about how receptive the public are to celebrity endorsements. Shampoo, jeans, bags, and now the welfare of their children are the big life decisions being dictated … Continue reading

Planners are flat earth thinkers when it comes to demographics

The Financial Times has a good quality reader survey that got me thinking. In social science research, and in the applied end of the practice in advertising and marketing, there’s an entrenched interest in demographics. It could be argued that media planning in particular is a blend of demographics, spots and frequencies.  But demographics only … Continue reading

Rate cards, free speech, and public health.

A friend of mine in the US alerted me to this fascinating debate he came across on Salon on the right to advertise this nonsense (I’m pinning my colours to the mast and saying that the science against vaccines is bad to awful: the BMJ has some excellent work in this area, and learned from … Continue reading