Wednesday 21 February 2018

AdLib: Radio 'can follow Scandi TV lead'

Dan Healy of RTÉ’s 2fm told an industry event Ireland can be at the forefront of world audio
Dan Healy of RTÉ’s 2fm told an industry event Ireland can be at the forefront of world audio

Michael Cullen

RTÉ 2fm boss Dan Healy can normally be relied upon to liven up a radio conference with some feisty quotes. And at last week's Choose Radio cross-industry sales pitch to media agencies, he didn't disappoint. The fact that Healy's PR minder from the Radio Centre, Maureen Catterson, was in the audience to ensure that he didn't overstep the mark when discussing running a radio station, didn't stymie him.

"I lost everything," the iRadio founder said with a grin, "that's why I'm in RTÉ." Referring to relations between the national broadcaster and independent radio, Healy said the two had more in common than what separates them. "What we share is a love of radio", he added. Our model works - it's tough, but we're alive and kickin'. We owe our income to the JNLR, but we shouldn't give our content away for free."

Healy said FM can readily migrate over to the digital platform. Ireland should be at the forefront of world audio, in the same way as the Scandinavian countries have created a niche in rolling out trademark TV dramas. After all, Ireland is a country of storytellers and wordsmiths. He said Ed Sheeran had to visit stations when he came to Ireland because he knows they're important.

Healy said there's no need for the radio industry to be overly concerned about Spotify's impact. For years, people went home and listened to their personal choice in music, so nothing's changed. As regards RTÉ placing more commercial content in shows, Healy said its public service remit prevents it: "I can't really see it happening in the middle of Sean O'Rourke," he added.

"Dan (Healy) always gives good copy," Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) chairman and ceo of KCLR 96FM John Purcell remarked and insisted he doesn't hate RTÉ at all. "We work together," Purcell said, while adding the caveat, "competition keeps us sharp". Communicorp's Keith McCormack said it will take several JNLR reports before the new Today FM branding campaign featuring the presenter line-up makes an impact.

FM104 CEO Margaret Nelson said radio stations weren't making money from social media but they do it out of necessity to keep young audiences onside. Nelson said that for years they would offer a car as a competition prize. But these days they are also expected to do lots of social media activity around the giveaway, with presenters sharing their test drive experiences.


Not too many marketers who work with a multinational get to go it alone and roll out a new food brand from their kitchen, but that's what Erica Sheehan did after she quit Coca-Cola HBC to launch Homespun Foods Quinoa Crunch. Sheehan has just seen her brand's listing with SuperValu jump from 20 to 200 stores nationwide. She features in the latest SuperValu Food Academy TV ad, with Happy Pear twins David and Stephen Flynn.

Retailing at €5.99, Homespun is also available in Avoca, Donnybrook Fair, Cavistons, Fresh and in Harrod's in the UK. Produced in Cork, the granola blend of gluten and wheat free popped quinoa has a mix of seeds, raw nuts and berries. It won two gold awards at the 2017 Free From Food Awards. Sheehan, a former TV3 presenter, plans exports to the Middle East and hopes to launch an on-the-go bar.


Getting an 11-month-old toddler to maintain eye contact with a camera is not easy. The crew at Piranha Bar had to use some tricks of the trade to choreograph the gangsta nappers in

Danone's Toddlebox TV ad created by Chemistry. As director Richard Chaney says, herding cats has nothing on shooting lively toddlers under three. To achieve the feat, Piranha Bar used an old favourite of documentary makers, the 'Interrotron', which allows the baby to see the director's face through the camera lens. During post production, Piranha Bar made the toddler appear to sing by animating all but the baby's eyes. Various combinations of 3D and 2D animation were used.

For the record, the ad's 11-month-old toddler is played by identical twins.


Carat has won the Aer Lingus media account, previously with Mediavest, following an International Airline Group (IAG) pitch involving Publicis, WPP and Dentsu Aegis. British Airways media and creative went to WPP. On the PR front, the Applegreen petrol stations network has appointed Hume Brophy, with Sheena Horgan servicing the account.


JCDecaux will soon announce a sponsor for the highly successful DublinBikes scheme.

Coca-Cola Zero has backed the initiative since 2014. Talks have been ongoing with brand owners about signing a new three-year deal. The popular bike scheme is run in return for Dublin City Council (DCC) granting JCDecaux permission for ad screens.

Marty Cowman has left TBWA\Dublin after 18 years to set up in business as a freelance creative. Among his most celebrated agency work were campaigns for Calor Gas, the Irish Defence Forces and McDonald's.

Michael Cullen is editor of;

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