AdLib: Older consumers prompt new focus
Irish marketers need to get a firmer grip on trends and how our society is evolving if they are to take advantage of the opportunities from people living longer, says Bord Bia's Brand Forum chairman John Fanning. Speaking at the Marketing Society Future Council's 'Futureproof - Advice to My Younger Self' talks series, Fanning said coming generations will live until 100 and retirement age will be further pushed out.
"With people enjoying so much more leisure time, it will have huge implications for brand owners," Fanning said. Businesses shouldn't underestimate the importance of the green jersey - we're lucky to be Irish. Unlike almost all other only EU members, we weren't a coloniser. With St Patrick's Day, we've a national promotions event staged around the world every year. We live in a global world driven by technology.
The former McConnells' boss said the Irish tend to be less deferential to people above us and less patronising to those below us. "We're not aware of it, but we need to be aware of it," Fanning insisted. Facebook can't possibly know more about someone than their partner. Brands are being neglected. Marketers should consider following the example of the Catholic Church by hosting an annual industry retreat with an audit of brand values.
Unilever and Procter & Gamble (P&G) know more about consumers than Facebook, the FBI and any other intelligence gatherers you care to mention put together. P&G's global brand officer Marc Pritchard has warned that while Facebook allows for granular targeting, his company often wants to reach for broader audiences to promote brands with frequent usage and short purchase cycles.
Fanning says Irish marketers must be more grown up and avoid standing by on the sideline. They must field their best players and perform to the best of their ability. Marketers should be able to comprehend balance sheets if they want boardroom access. Understanding consumers remains the essential core competency of the ad agency. "Don't let the management consultants take our business," Fanning added.
* As they say, you could wait an hour or two for a bus and three of them will pull up at the stop at the same time. Three of Ireland's top media agencies are on the move. Having outgrown its offices in Iveagh Court on Harcourt Road, IPG Mediabrands is relocating to larger premises in Marsh House on Adelaide Road from early October.
Core Media has let the 24,000 sq ft third-floor space in Hibernia Reit's new 1 Windmill Lane development. The agreement is for a 21-year lease, with 12 years term certain. Core, headed up by Alan Cox, also has offices at nearby 16 Sir John Rogerson's Quay.
Dentsu Aegis Network media and digital agencies will soon move into revamped offices on Haddington Road in D4. Group boss Liam McDonnell told AdLib that the plan is to create a purpose-built campus. He expects business to be up and running from the new HQ by October 23.
* Every September, there's a pitched battle for college students between the various modes of transport. The belief is, if you can mould student behaviour at the start of the academic year, you've a fair chance of keeping them for their entire college career. That's the thinking behind the new Irish Rail 'Dream Trip' campaign rolled out by Publicis. The ads urge students living away from home to commute by train.
How students get home at weekend often depends on cost. With ticket prices starting at €10.99 one way, comfy seats, a smooth ride and a laid-back atmosphere, Irish Rail claims the train offers students the perfect rest time in between the madness of college.
Whether asleep or awake, train travel is quite simply 'the dream trip'. The TV ad was produced by Invisible Thread and directed by Bob Gallagher. 'Dream Trip' also includes short films, outdoor, digital and a 30-second radio ad.
* Brand owners and agencies are reminded that this day next week is the cut-off for Marketer of the Year (MotY) submissions. Entrants are asked to outline the scale of the marketing challenge they faced, the key aims and objectives, the strategy adopted and implications for the business.
Submissions should also point out the insights driving the strategy and the actions taken and tactics used. Finally, entrants need to show the impact on the marketplace - such as sales and brand awareness - and how success was measured. The winner last year was VHI's Adam Bacon.
* New ads for Panadol spread the message 'This is what we're made of'. Over 6bn Panadol tablets are produced in Dungarvan every year, with exports to over 70 countries. GSK claims to have a 70pc share of Ireland's analgesics market. Among the agencies credited for the campaign were Edelman PR, which also handles Ryanair. Never has having a client who makes headache relief tablets proved more useful.
Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie; email@example.com