AdLib: A Brand new way of TV thinking
Media & Marketing with Michael Cullen
Irish marketers will have to get used to the idea that several brands will play a role in top-rated TV shows through advertising funded programming (AFP) in future.
The practice is already established in Australia and South Africa. Speaking at an Association of Advertisers in Ireland (AAI) breakfast, Livewire sponsorship agency boss Jill Downey says 'MasterChef' Down Under has supermarket chain Coles as lead sponsor. However, it also allows seven other non-competing brands to sign up to the TV franchise.
In Australia too, 'House Rules' boasts a whopping 132 partners. The reality show follows six couples who renovate each other's homes. Whoever gets the highest score is the winner and has their mortgage paid off. TV is also homing in on advertising created programming (ACP), where the series relies entirely on the advertiser shaping the idea. Ireland has yet to embrace programme licensing, using the show's intellectual property.
"Stings are now less valuable than content marketing. We've come a long way from product placement," Downey said. Get branded storytelling right and the dividends are high, get it wrong and there's hurt. Cost is a barrier to AFP and ACP in Ireland. On the other hand, with branded content you save on airtime charges. Downey says leverage is crucial and proper measurement metrics are needed. Marketers should always think viewer first. TV branded content is said to be three times more effective than your traditional TV ad.
AIB's group brands director Brian Keating, who backed 'The Toughest Trade' GAA reality series, says the project brought content marketing in Ireland to a new level. AIB sponsored the GAA Club Championships for 22 years, but the concept had grown tired.
The sport's growing popularity saw AIB competing in a crowded market and it was ranked 22nd in Ireland's sponsorship league. The championships are seen as the toughest of all GAA competitions with year-round games in all weather. People from all walks of life in every town and village are represented with no big club transfers. AIB ironed out plans to take on Heineken, Guinness and Three. Kerry footballer Colm 'The Gooch' Cooper played a central role in the campaign comprising ads, virals and a host of online options. Bryan Sheehan's longest free kick in club history was recreated to start a conversation on social media. Speaking as a client, Keating disagreed with Downey on multi-branding shows. Keating believes multi-brand projects suffer from clutter.
He'd rather secure sole content rights. Having said that, should a strong campaign end up with several brands competing for audiences - and provided there's no direct conflict - so be it, "you just battle on".
* 'Whatever you drive, drive a Firestone' is the slogan for the American tyre brand now owned by Japan's Bridgestone. Its international music tour comes to Ireland for the first time this weekend at the Vantastival festival in the Beaulieu House & Gardens in Drogheda, Co Louth. The gathering will involve around 1,000 campervan lovers and music fans.
The Firestone tour pops up at festivals like Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Hurricane in Hamburg, Rome's Postepay Sound Rock and Download in Donington in England. Saint Sister, Jinx Lennon, Saramai, The Bonnevilles, Swords and Elm and Elephant will play unplugged. There are open mic sessions and comedians in the Firestone arena, complete with a 1930s Route 66 gas station backdrop. Festivalgoers pay €75 for a weekend ticket with two nights camping.
* With evidence that the property market may be over the hump, the RIAI architects register has commissioned Architecture Ireland Publications to roll out a new magazine called 'Home + Design'. RTE's 'Room to Improve' presenter Dermot Bannon will launch the title at Bord Bia's Bloom garden show in the Phoenix Park on Saturday.
In the first edition, Bannon reflects on trends in design over the last decade. There are visits to 14 homes, ranging from restored period houses to loft conversions in New York. Features include June Blake's garden and nursery in Blessington, Co Wicklow, a furniture and home accessories guide and advice on energy efficiency and working with architects. The magazine's print run is 10,000 with a €4.75 cover price.
* Cinema admissions were up by 3.5pc in the months from January to the end of April, compared to the same period last year. Wide Eye Media reported box office receipts of just over €5m. Disney's 'The Jungle Book' is the Republic's highest-grossing film taking almost €3m since its mid-April release.
'Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice' was the top grosser in March, 'Deadpool' in February and 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' in January. Forthcoming releases include Pixar's 'Finding Dory, with the voice of Ellen DeGeneres, 'Suicide Squad', 'Bridget Jones's Baby' and JK Rowling's wizardry tale exploring Prohibition-era New York in 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'.
Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie: firstname.lastname@example.org