Thursday 16 August 2018

AdLib: Festival focus on great outdoors

Media & Marketing with Michael Cullen

Playstival sponsors Dave and Steve Flynn from The Happy Pear: below, Weir & Sons jewellers ‘Style’ house magazine was a winner at the US Global Content awards
Playstival sponsors Dave and Steve Flynn from The Happy Pear: below, Weir & Sons jewellers ‘Style’ house magazine was a winner at the US Global Content awards
Style magazine

With today's youngsters being bamboozled by all things tech, it's heartening to see a new summer festival which encourages kids to enjoy some old-fashioned play, fun and imagination. The focus of Playstival, sponsored by The Happy Pear, is a return to basics by allowing families experience a more innocent approach to games and play.

Set across this weekend in Overend's Airfield Estate urban farm in Dundrum, in south Dublin, Playstival is about hands-on, imaginative fun and themed 'play universes', with no fancy tech or screens about. The idea behind the festival is to get away from screen time. Organiser Shell Holden, of Laya City Spectacular fame, said "we're looking at Ireland's first generation that never gets to say 'before the internet'".

It's a generation growing up while being switched on 24/7, amid growing concerns for possible negative effects on their cognitive and social development. The objective is to provide families with a chance to enjoy simple play, fun and imagination and help boost sustained physical and mental wellbeing.

The 'play universes' involve wooden games created by the French company Festijeux. The games are varied to suit kids from 18 months to 12 years old. They include a construction site, an architect's office built on team skills, a pedal-powered park train, a kid's food market, animal farm, toddler's island, tea party and a Wild West visit.

Parents can either join in with their kids or let them play with other youngsters. As well as games, Playstival includes Laughter Yoga and the BrickX Club for Lego builds. Kids can act up at Miss Ali's Stage Schools workshop, get crafty with the Paper Pet Shop or discover a world of science with Junior Einsteins.

Airfield Estate's farm food is on sale over the weekend, including a BBQ grill, home baked treats, ice cream and barista coffees. Brunch will be served at the Overends' Kitchen all day. The Stables Cafe will have grab 'n' go picnic foods for visitors to enjoy on the 38-acre estate. Playstival tickets cost €12.42 while under-twos go free.

* With August being a popular time for weddings, a survey by the Bridebook.co.uk app shows the average cost of tying the knot has hit an all-time high of £30,365, up 12pc on last year's total of £26,989. Even when some of the frills are dropped, such as videographers and entertainment, the average Big Day event bill stops just a few quid short of £18,000.

Bridebook says the hyper-personal wedding has arrived as couples do things their way to reflect themselves as a couple. If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can have a 70kg deconstructed lemon-and-elderflower wedding cake and 'Stand By Me' sung in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, couples no longer need to be bound by tradition - all of which can add to the budget.

A survey by One4All shows that Irish wedding guests pay out an average of €643 on outfits, transport, reception drinks, accommodation and gifts. Brits have a heftier bill when attending weddings, with a Provident study showing guests must cough up £1,015 - double if the wedding is overseas.

* Drinks, retail, food and finance were the top four category spenders on out of home (OOH) advertising during the first half of the year. Kinetic reports that drinks accounted for 20pc of overall OOH spend, with Diageo, Heineken and Coca-Cola all featured in the top 10. Just Eat was the top recalled campaign.

The top food spenders included Cadbury, Mars, Ferrero and Danone. NTA figures show that passenger numbers on public transport were up by 17pc last year, which is good news for advertisers using Irish Rail, Dublin Bus and Luas networks.

* Newstalk will soon roll out a new early morning news show called 'Breakfast Briefing'. Presented by Andrea Gilligan, the half-hour show will air from 6am with the morning's top stories and set the day's agenda. It will be the only live news programme on radio at that time of day.

Gilligan, a native of Donegal, has worked for Newstalk for five years as the afternoon news anchor. She presents 'Between the Lines' on Sunday mornings and fills in elsewhere. 'Breakfast Briefing' starts on Monday, August 27.

* Weir & Sons jewellers landed the award for best retail publication for its 'Style' house magazine at the Global Content marketing awards in the US. Stories on luxury watch brands such as Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer and Longines feature in the biannual publication. Dublin content agency 256 helps Weirs with the magazine.

And finally... Bouquets to SoftCo for supporting the Ireland hockey team competing in their first World Cup since 2002. SoftCo's executive chairman and co-founder Susan Spence was herself a first-class goalie. The international software group's other sport sponsorships include All Blacks legend Dan Carter and Ireland icon Ronan O'Gara.

Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie; cullen@marketing.ie

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