As autumn kicks in and people make for their couches, it's back to business as usual for RTÉ and Virgin Media TV. The ubiquitous reality shows return like a bad penny for rich pickings, leaving sports fans and drama lovers to fight over the remote control. If the new schedules prove anything, they show that crime pays.
RTÉ's content director Jim Jennings and Virgin's Bill Malone know only too well that gripping thrillers please many viewers. With a plethora of must-see mini-series on Netflix and Sky Atlantic, RTÉ and Virgin accept they have to raise the bar - or get left behind. Quality Irish drama doesn't come cheap but it attracts handsome audiences and keeps advertisers onside.
On RTÉ, 'Love/Hate' writer Stuart Carolan, director David Caffrey and best-selling novelist Jo Spain give us 'Taken Down', starring Brian Gleeson. An investigation gets underway into the violent death of a young Nigerian migrant. Gleeson returns for 'Resistance', set during the War of Independence. Virgin pins its hopes on Adrian Dunbar repeating his high-octane 'Line of Duty' performance in 'Blood'. The six-part thriller is about a woman who returns to her rural Irish home after her mum's apparent accidental death. RTÉ has Sharon Horgan's 'Women on the Verge', a black comedy about three female friends whose lives have gone amiss.
With RTÉ recording a deficit of €20m in 2016, costs had to be cut to deal with less ad revenues and uncertain public funding. It's allowed Virgin to edge ahead with rugby's Heineken's Champions Cup and Uefa Champions League football. Former Arsenal striker and Sky Sports pundit Niall Quinn has joined as 'good cop' to counter Graham Souness's more steely analysis.
Ryan Tubridy's 'Late Late Show' travels to London for a live chat on the links between Ireland and Britain. Vogue Williams explores the lives of Instagrammers in a new documentary. Virgin's 'Revolting Ireland' is a four-part series with Simon Delaney looking at the history of modern protest.
RTÉ profiles "the heroes" at Dublin's Rotunda Hospital. A string of reality shows return on Virgin. Among them, a new 'Living with Lucy' series. Lucy Kennedy moves in with 10 celebrities, including Aslan's Christy Dignam, comedian and actor Deirdre O'Kane and country singer Nathan Carter
Paul Williams unveils 'Ireland's Jihadis: True Lives' as part of Virgin's crime documentary coverage. 'Who Do You Think You Are?' returns on RTÉ to explore the roots of six well-known Irish personalities, including Bertie Ahern. The question is, will we be any the wiser as to why our former Finance Minister never had a bank account?
A seminar aimed at encouraging audience participation and interaction is how the Association of Advertisers in Ireland (AAI) is billing its September Toolkit breakfast gathering at Core's new premises in Windmill Lane. Core CEO Alan Cox will present a countdown of the 10 most important truths for marketing communication effectiveness. The presentation, supported by evidence from the Marketing Multiplied study, will outline the most important levers to pull to generate long-term, sustainable growth from investment in marketing communications. Offering commentary on the 10 drivers will be strategist Karen Hand and Publicis director Jimmy Murphy. It's at 8.15am on September 18.
Atomic is shifting from being a consumer ad agency to offering a selection of specialist services in Dublin and London. Marketing manager Rosalie Heikens-O'Keeffe says its DNA division provides an employer branding to Aer Lingus, Bank of Ireland and EY.
Its Beta cell offers business-to-business and account-based services to Enterprise Ireland, KPMG and A&L Goodbody. Atomic Sport works with Leinster Rugby, the FAI and the European Tour on growing fan numbers, sponsorship and commercial revenue.
Flogas has retained cyclist Eve McCrystal as brand ambassador for another year. McCrystal was crowned the Irish national elite women's road race champion in June. Hidden Hearing has replaced Skoda as sponsor of Joe Duffy's 'Liveline' phone-in show on RTÉ Radio 1. Marketing director Dolores Madden says about 12pc of Irish adults - somewhere in the region of 600,000 people - has a hearing problem, but only one in 20 seek treatment.
Repeating ads aimed at consumers who have either visited or bought from a brand's website doesn't always pay off. A study by the US-based Manifest business news and how-to website says marketers are sceptical about retargeted ads. Of the 500 online advertisers interviewed, less than 43pc said they invest in retargeted ads. One reason given is a belief that consumers see it as brand overkill.
And finally... Normally, it's Marketer of the Year. But as the industry's top client award is now 25 years on the go, the search is on for Ireland's leading marketer over the past quarter century. Nominations for the country's 'ultimate marketer' are open atmarketing.ie until 5pm on Wednesday, September 27.
Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie; firstname.lastname@example.org