Thursday 29 September 2016

A glimpse into the future

Published 12/11/2015 | 02:30

Former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh
Former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh

Family life in Ireland has undergone profound change and marketers need to recognise that family no longer just means relatives - it also extends to close friends. While marriage is seen as less important by the younger generations, family continues to take centre stage in people's lives, priorities and sources of happiness and wellbeing, a new report called 'The Future of Ireland' shows.

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The first in an ongoing series of national mood studies by media agency OMD, in tandem with Ulster Bank and Amárach Research, the report looks at how everyday life in Ireland might shape up 10 years from now. Will Irish people be happier? Healthier? Enjoy a better work-life balance? The findings are based on interviews with over 1,000 people. For instance, 56pc of respondents said Ireland will have its first female Taoiseach by 2025.

Most people - 57pc - would prefer to live in Ireland than anywhere else, despite most of them believing the things that make the country different from other countries are fading fast. When it comes to established institutions, 75pc expect the Catholic Church's influence to decrease and 40pc believe media will have a lesser role in society. Over half of the interviewees expect younger people to have more influence and 53pc believe overseas companies and countries like Germany and China will wield more power globally.

Ireland's urban-rural divide will continue and our main streets will struggle to recover in the next 10 years from the effects of the recession and online shopping.

In a vox pop shown at the launch in CHQ Building in Dublin's IFSC, one person said one of the worst things holding Ireland back has been the proliferation of regulations which have "gone bananas".

Looking ahead, only 28pc of respondents expect people will become more involved in local communities and voluntary groups - an indication that perhaps we didn't learn a great deal from the ill effects of the Celtic Tiger economy.

Launching the report, former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh said her return to Ireland from the US was all about intuition and gut feeling. Presented by TV3 with the chance to co-host 'The Seven O'Clock Show' in recent days and the station's upcoming 'Christmas Toy Show' along with Brian Ormond, Ms Walsh said there was a sense of greatness about Ireland since the marriage equality referendum was passed.

The report, which includes photos by David Gerulis, is available online.

Chocolate or sex?

It's one of those perennial conundrums. Is chocolate better than sex? Well, a new campaign asks the question in a bid to raise brand awareness for Lily O'Brien's Chocolates in the competitive British market. Ad agency Bloom is taking a giant chocolate box on a tour of shopping centres all the way from London to Newcastle.

Women are being invited to share chocolate and some sweet thoughts. Founded by Senator Mary Ann O'Brien in Newbridge, Co Kildare in 1992, Lily O'Brien's is sold in some of Britain's major multiples.

Seated in a kind of Big Brother diary room, questions posed to participants include "Why don't more women ask men out?" and "Who's your weird celebrity crush?"

The interviews are recorded and the best answers are edited to create an online video series.

Bloom director David Quinn says that, to date, the Lily O'Brien's chocolate box tour has clocked up over two million views.

If it ain't broke...

John Moore, pictured, sent an email to clients and suppliers asking them if they thought it might be a good idea to rebrand his Clickworks digital design agency. Moore felt that with all the goings on in marketing in recent years and the wider role his agency plays in servicing clients it might be an idea to roll out a new identity.

Clients and suppliers were asked to choose between three names - Curiosity, Equation and The Cavalry. But so far most people have responded by clicking on the 'no change' button, saying they'd prefer if Moore & Co were to stick with the tried and trusted Clickworks. It appears as though Clickworks works.

Movers & shakers

Staying with digital agency rebrands, Ciaran O'Reilly's Refresh is now trading as Murray Creative. Clients include Avonmore Milk, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bernard Dunne's Brod Club and Kilkenny Food Company's new Fusion and Street soups.

On the PR front, Keating & Associates has been retained by HSBC Bank, following a review which included Heneghan and Gibney Communications.

Predictable praise

A new book claims to have the lowdown on perfecting the art of persuasion. Its page three testimonials include words like "insightful", "funny" and "brilliant". But the choice line on urging people to read Philip Hesketh's 'Persuade' (Capstone) comes from Ronseal's Ged Shields, who remarks: "Read this book. It does exactly what it says on the cover."

Well, he would say precisely that, wouldn't he?

Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie; cullen@marketing.ie

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