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The Punt: Holiday set for DMX confab

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Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen in 'The Hunger Games'

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen in 'The Hunger Games'

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Ryan Holiday

RYAN Holiday, the controversial director of marketing for American Apparel, has been unveiled as a speaker for this year's DMX Dublin conference, the country's largest digital marketing event. Holiday should prove to be a big draw – he's one of the world's best known marketers and highly in demand among brands and media agencies around the world.

Appointed as director of marketing at American Apparel at the tender age of 21, he has overseen some of the most controversial advertising campaigns in the world. The label's ads often centre around semi-naked women, triggering accusations of sexism, but generating huge publicity.

Questionable but effective marketing tactics employed by Holiday in the past include defacing client billboards to make sure their image is shared online.

His book 'Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator' – which examines flaws in the online journalism process and catalogues his exploitation of them – debuted on 'The Wall Street Journal' bestseller list.

DMX Dublin takes place at the Aviva stadium in March. Other confirmed speakers include Tessa Barrera, who last year led Red Bull's social media activity for Felix Baumgartner's now-legendary space jump, which achieved a record-breaking eight million live audience on YouTube.

MIXED PICTURE FOR CINEMAS

IRISH cinema attendance is still the highest per capita in the EU – but it seems our love affair with the big screen is waning. Irish box office sales fell 5pc last year, according to new estimates from cinema advertising group Carlton Screen Advertising, close to dipping below the €100m mark for the first time in eight years.

The findings reveal some interesting patterns. Critics might have scoffed when 3D films first began appearing several years ago, but today 3D blockbusters are stealing the show. Seven of the top 10 highest grossing movies were 3D movies, generating 43pc of all box office revenues.

It's also clear from the findings that we like familiarity – the top three biggest grossing films of the year were all sequels ('Despicable Me 2', 'Iron Man 3' and 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'. Sequels and franchises accounted for 32pc of box office takings.

The three most successful Irish films were 'Hardy Bucks: The Movie', the critically-acclaimed 'Pilgrim Hill', and the comedy 'Life's A Breeze'.

MARKETERS ARE UPBEAT

THE vast majority of senior marketers expect to grow staff and budgets this year, according to research commissioned by MCSquared (the consumer and brands division of Murray Consultants). The study, carried out by Amarach Research, indicates very positive prospects for the marketing industry.

"The 2014 marketing outlook is more positive than at any time over the past six years," said MCsquared director Grainne O'Brien.

Three-fifths of those surveyed, who are all members of the Marketing Institute of Ireland, are planning to increase their budgets for digital marketing in 2014. Digital currently accounts for almost one quarter (24pc) of marketing spend and 8pc of brands dedicate more than half their budgets to it.

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