Tuesday 6 December 2016

AdLib: Influencers are making a mark

Michael Cullen i

Published 01/12/2016 | 02:30

VHI Healthcare’s ‘Big Question’ campaign
VHI Healthcare’s ‘Big Question’ campaign

Influencers are gaining a strong foothold in marketing and media circles. Ogilvy's PR agency Wilson Hartnell signed up five well-known influencers - rugby great Paul O'Connell, artist Maser, food blogger Roz Purcell, science guru Jonathan McCrea and music maven Angela Dorgan - to help launch WH Culture Collective. A credible crew, one might say.

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The hope is that these five experts can help WHPR keep a better check on cultural shifts in Ireland and provide knowledge and insights for clients like Adidas, Bord Bia, Eason, Guinness, M&S and Pfizer. As a way of communicating its fertility message targeted at young couples, VHI Healthcare and its agency Publicis hired blogger Maia Dunphy for its 'Big Question' campaign (pictured).

Publicis creatives Ronan Nulty and Carol Lambert worked with the aptly-named Motherland on a TV ad that's observational but subtle. A camera hovers above young couples, each of whom has personal views on having children, yet seemingly overlooking how difficult getting pregnant can prove. One in six couples in Ireland experiences problems with fertility.

In a bid to entice the youth market, Bank of Ireland (BoI) is now embracing influencers through 'BOIMyFirst'. The campaign homes in on experiences, which the bank's press release says "bring young people a step further towards independence".

The campaign is part of a strategy by BoI to engage with millennials, a cohort other brand owners have found more elusive than the Scarlet Pimpernel. The launch follows the bank joining Snapchat in September. In a bid to drive new business, BoI wants to have "conversations" across fashion, sport, art and basically whatever else young people find interesting.

With Snapchat as its focus, it marks a first for an Irish brand using out of home (OOH) ads. The ads feature three young people living in Ireland who share stories under the headings of My First Adventure', 'My First Place' and 'My First Business'. Helping with the social media messaging are fashion and beauty blogger Rosie Connolly and James Kavanagh, co-founder of Currabinny foods.

On his blog, Kavanagh said he Snapchats every detail of his life, "so much so, I've gotten into trouble for the kind of stuff I post ... Follow me, but with caution", he said. It would appear BoI is willing to gamble on someone who may court controversy. It shows how far financial marketing has come in recent years in an effort to recruit youths.

While most banks play safe with ad campaigns, there's now an air of throwing caution to the wind with social media. But brands must remain watchful. When people who spend so much time over-sharing and obsessing about life's pursuits online go missing, it comes as no surprise to see them resurface on the set of a reality show.

Bank of Ireland is running surprise light projections around Dublin city and a competition giving people the chance to win €5,000 towards 'My First…' The final goes out live on Spin1038 tomorrow week.

* Cawley Nea\TBWA announces its rebrand today as TBWA, reflecting the agency's full membership of the Omnicom network and ending ties with founders Chris Cawley and David Nea. Following an EU tender, TBWA has won a three-year contract for Cosc, an executive office of Justice & Equality Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

The campaign aims to combat domestic violence by working to the insight 'You're Not a Bystander, You're a Witness'. The ads inform people of their role in helping to prevent outbreaks of domestic violence. It shows that by turning a blind eye to violence in the home, victims are created. TBWA managing director Deirdre Waldron said over 300,000 people in Ireland have been abused by a partner. The ads reinforce the message that domestic violence is unacceptable and needs to be stopped.

"We want to instigate a change in long-established societal behaviours and attitudes by recognising that anyone can be a victim of such crimes," Waldron said. The TV ads were shot by Irish director Benjamin Cleary, who won an Oscar this year for his short film, 'Stutterer'.

* Netflix, Apple, Google, Microsoft and YouTube are the world's most popular brands, a report by Accenture Interactive and Fjord design shows.

Over 26,000 consumers rated 70 brands. Netflix - with hit dramas like 'Narcos' (below), got the nod as top brand experience for fun, Fitbit for relevance and Amazon as helpful. Apple was rated highest for engagement and Facebook for social.

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

Hit drama series ‘Narcos’
Hit drama series ‘Narcos’

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