Business Media

Thursday 18 September 2014

Postscript: How to build a brand on flat batteries

Media & Marketing with Sarah McCabe

Published 03/07/2014 | 00:00

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Vodafone Centre Stage
Luis Suarez and Steven Gerard - men are still the biggest fans of football.

There is nothing worse than getting lost at a big event like a music festival and finding a dead battery on your phone. For years, distressed festival-goers were asked to pay for the pleasure of charging their batteries. But then Vodafone identified it as a marketing opportunity. Now its free recharging stations are a stalwart at festivals around the country.

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The brand is now in its second year of Centre Stage , a massive sponsorship drive that targets music and comedy events and eats up a large part of its €5m Irish sponsorship spend. This includes the Vodafone Comedy Festival as well as Sea Sessions, Electric Picnic and others. Vodafone sponsorship manager Robert Hyland explained why this approach has worked for the telecoms company.

"It allows us to tap into the passion Irish people have for music and comedy, evident in the massive growth of Irish festivals of late and the success of shows like 'Moone Boy'. The phone recharging stations have been particularly successful - it really gives value to attendees and gets a positive message across. Something as simple as a phone charging service shouldn't be underestimated; most of us rely on phones for photos now. We've made the service available to everyone, not just Vodafone customers, because connectivity is so important that we didn't want to deny anyone."

The company receives hundreds of sponsorship pitches a year, he said. Successful applicants are the ones who understand its music and comedy focus.

Roomy Ryanair? Skoda thinks so

Leg room isn't the first phrase most people associate with Ryanair, but Skoda thinks differently. The car brand has just launched an in-flight advertising deal with Michael O'Leary's airline that will place ads on tray tables on Ryanair flights, to highlight the legroom in its flagship model, the Skoda Superb.

In-flight advertising is relatively limited on aircraft, usually restricted to magazines, but that looks set to change as airlines seeks ever-more inventive revenue sources. Ryanair's overhead lockers will also be branded, boasting that Skoda's Superb Combi can fit 15 cabin bags - or 8,263 Toblerones from duty free. The campaign will run for four weeks across 540 flights from Dublin.

Men still biggest football fans

SOME stereotypes just wont die; viewing figures for RTE's World Cup programming shows that Ireland's World Cup fans are still largely male. Its coverage of England v Uruguay on RTE Two drew its highest television audience of the tournament so far, with an average of 572,400 viewers. While 51pc of the available audience of men aged 15+ tuned in to see Luis Suarez send England home - just 37pc of women did the same.

A third of live streamed matches were watched via mobile device. "We've seen a change in how online matches are consumed depending on the time of day," said marketing director Lucy Campbell. "Mobile phone usage, for example, is higher earlier in the evening."

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