Thursday 18 December 2014

Postscript: New UTV channel boosts its production

Media & Marketing

Published 05/06/2014 | 02:30

1: Centra's latest marketing gimmick really takes to new heights.
1: Centra's latest marketing gimmick really takes to new heights.
Pádraig Harrington who has become the face of Dunnes Stores golf clothes range.

THE launch next January of UTV Ireland, the Northern Irish broadcaster's first standalone channel in the Republic, isn't drawing any smiles over at TV3 or RTE. But one sector doing well from all this new-found competition is the independent production business, which now has an extra platform for its content.

UTV will host a briefing session for independent production companies on Thursday, June 19 in Dublin to discuss the commissioning process for the new channel.

UTV Television managing director Michael Wilson and newly-appointed channel head Mary Curtis, a former RTE executive, will be on hand to talk the process through.

"UTV Ireland will reflect the interests of our audience," said Curtis. "This briefing gives us an opportunity to talk about programming and commissioning to ensure we get the best ideas for the channel and engage with the Irish audience through relevant public service Irish content."

The sector has also done well from TV3's response to the competition posed by UTV. The Ballymount station has responded to losing viewer favourites 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale', which UTV has the right to air from 2015 as part of a deal with ITV, with a shift toward in-house and Irish-produced content. Garda soap opera 'Red Rock' is just the beginning.

FLIGHT OF FANCY FOR NEW RANGE LAUNCH

MARKETERS might have oohed and aahed over Lidl's clever "Secret Garden" pop-up restaurant, which showcased the best of the chain's produce to diners from a temporary Temple Bar abode last month. But Centra's latest marketing gimmick really takes things to new heights.

The convenience chain launched its new gourmet sandwich chain with nothing less than an airborne picnic on the bank holiday weekend.

Groups of diners were elevated 100ft above Dublin by a 120 tonne crane, strapped into roller-coaster style seats at the Point Village. Once up in the cloud, they feasted on slow cooked pulled pork baps and chicken, brie and roasted pepper rolls.

HARRINGTON TEES OFF WITH DUNNES

CELEBRITY endorsements have never been the strategy du jour for Irish clothing brands, long eschewed by big names like Penneys, Awear, Avoca and Carraig Donn. Our retailers take a decidedly different tack to British retailers like Next and Marks & Spencer, whose celeb-rich ad campaigns are as closely monitored as their sales.

The one major exception to the rule is Dunnes, which has a long tradition of teaming up with personalities to market niche lines. Paul Costelloe fronts a homewear offering, for example, while Carolyn Donnelly lends her name to a womenswear and lifestyle line.

The latest celeb to sign on the dotted line with the 70-year-old brand is Padraig Harrington, who has become the face of its new men's golf clothing line.

Dunnes is so confident in the deal that work has already begun on a second collection. "The initial research feedback has shown us that this exclusive partnership is going to be much bigger than we envisaged," said textile buyer Brian Roche.

NEW FEMALE MD AT POPULAR WEBSITES

THE woman behind 'The Irish Times' The Story of Why campaign is taking over the reigns at fast-growing websites Joe.ie and Her.ie.

Maximum Media, the group behind the popular sites, has appointed former IT marketing manager Katie Moloney as their new managing director.

Joe.ie and Her.ie, which as their names suggest, are news and entertainments sites geared towards men and women respectively, now have two million unique users a month and a combined social media audience of 500,000.

As well as building these products up, Ms Moloney will oversee the launch of new parenting website HerFamily.ie.

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