New picture as TV3 revamps
THE recession has laid waste to the media sector as much as anywhere else, but TV has been hit extraordinarily hard in the past four years.
What has always been a competitive business suffered immediate shortfalls in advertising revenue and the entire sector has had to cut back significantly on spending.
RTE's travails have been well documented, but TV3 has had to make sharp changes to how it carries out its business as well.
The independent broadcaster is fighting back, however, and is looking at new and different ways to promote itself and improve profits.
The company is spending €5m on a new, high-definition studio that will be finished by the end of the year, while it has also launched a wireless service in Dublin city centre, which allows a camera to transmit pictures back to base without having to go through the rigmarole of bringing a satellite van like the ones we see around government buildings most of the time.
The move cuts the cost of having to use the van, and, in theory, gives the reporter and cameraman more flexibility when covering a story.
TV3 boss David McRedmond says: "The country is still in recession, there's no getting away from that, but we have been able to recover from the worst of it and our revenues are now back to something approaching where they were before the crash.
"Like everyone else, we've adjusted our cost of the new business but the new studio will provide an extra revenue stream when it comes online and will give us the ability to essentially rent out our studio to outside productions," he says.
The station is also making changes to its online business and is adapting its website to suit changing consumer needs, says director of online, Stephen Grant.
The company is also investigating international revenue streams, and is working with the US on-demand TV site 'Roku' to bring TV3 shows to the expat community in the US.
The channel's head of marketing and sales, Pat Kiely, says the changes have had an effect. "Advertisers are very receptive to what we're doing, and they are responding to that."
Carlsberg's new campaign escapes
CARLSBERG launches a new TV campaign today, and Ireland will be the first market to see it. The 'Crate Escape' is, as you'd expect, a humorous take on the film 'The Great Escape'.
It is set in a remote health spa where a group of men, who would far rather be somewhere else, have been forced to join their partners on a luxury spa break. Carlsberg say the ad's "hero" will find an ingenious way to not only hold his commitment to his girlfriend but have a few Carlsbergs as well.
Leading the way, he and his mates join forces in an effort to secretly break out and smuggle a crate of Carlsberg back into the spa.
Carlsberg's senior brand manager Karen Murphy said: "We're delighted with our new TV ad and to be chosen as the first market to air it.
"The commercial reinforces the Carlsberg brand message" and offers some light-hearted entertainment.
Developed by creative agency Fold7, the 30-, 50-, 80- and 90-second ad was directed by Peter Lydon, whose work includes hit Channel 4 TV shows 'Shameless' and 'Teachers'.