Monday 9 December 2019

AdLib: So who's taking Liberty's account?

Media & Marketing

Glenisk has launched two TV ads with former rugby international, and now TV pundit, Shane Horgan
Glenisk has launched two TV ads with former rugby international, and now TV pundit, Shane Horgan

Michael Cullen

Liberty Insurance is all the talk in adland these days as the US giant tries to find a creative agency to replace Rothco.

Many of Dublin's top agencies are conflicted with ties to other insurers, such as Axa and FBD at Publicis and Aviva at Irish International. It means Liberty must now consider smaller agencies or - heaven forbid - look overseas.

Chemistry handled Irish Life before it moved to DDFHB but managing director Ray Sheerin has ruled out presenting for Liberty. Javelin used to handle Zurich before it was aligned elesewhere. Target McConnells is currently pushing out An Post's rebrand of One Direct as Post Insurance. Boys and Girls can't pitch as they have With financial services lines increasingly blurring, agencies with banks on their books have to think long and hard. Ogilvy handles Ulster Bank and Cawley Nea\TBWA has Bank of Ireland.

In a statement, Rothco said it was proud of its work for Liberty's launch in Ireland and during its first two-year 'bedding-in' period.

Market conditions and senior management changes left Rothco with little influence or impact on the brand's direction. As a consequence, Rothco's directors felt it was the right time to "bow out" and allow a new client-agency relationship kick start.

But AIB is a major Rothco client and it's said they may well have plans to roll out insurance soon. Conflicts posed by a crowded insurance market also have implications for media agencies.

Accenture invited pitches for Axa back in September. The incumbent Mindshare pitched, as did Havas Media, which handles Axa across Europe and in its home market of France.

The usual insurance suspects are riddled with head-on clashes. Mediaworks has Rothco, MediaVest Aviva, while Starcom looks after AIB and Post Insurance.

Carat has FBD, OMD is AIG's space buyer and Initiative partners Zurich. Mindshare handles and Axa on a rolling contract.


* Advertising may not produce anything that's tangible but it creates great ads which fuel business success, Core Media director and IAPI president Aidan Greene claims. Speaking at a talk on how award-winning ads contribute to the bottom line, Greene said great award shows like Adfx may fade into oblivion but the case studies endure as stories.

Paula Murphy, who heads up brand operations at Vodafone and chairs the Marketing Institute, says ad effectiveness is about getting a desired outcome. As marketing guru Peter Drucker says, you must set an objective and achieve something - otherwise it's pointless. Adlanders are often labelled 'the colouring-in people'.

On some days, you're colouring in with thinner pencils. Murphy, a former INM exec, says CEOs accuse marketers of living in la-la land, a place foreign to her. Ireland's mobile market has seen an explosion of competition and branding, with spend up by 45pc year-on-year.

Agencies must move from inputs to impacts. Campaign objectives have to be achievable and defined. Goals must be set and success measured by proving the plans that were put in place worked. Freelance strategic planner Karen Hand, who MC'd the event, said in creating campaigns agencies can be guilty of being in love with the 'how' more than the 'why'.

Aaron Keogh, a general manager at VHI Healthcare, says effectiveness is about knowing the game and how to get a result.

Marketers should ask themselves if they are doing the right thing and how well they are doing it based on the right metrics. Trade-offs between marketing and sales work, as both want to see the investment pay. Actuaries make financial people look like fun, Keogh added.

Pictured below at the Adfx breakfast talk in the Waterways Centre are Abi Moran, Target McConnells, Carolyn Odgers, OMD and Paula Murphy, Vodafone.


* With Ireland hoping to maximise points in its three remaining RBS 6 Nations games, Glenisk has launched two TV ads with former rugby international, and now TV pundit, Shane Horgan. The ads highlight the family-owned dairy brand's three-year deal as official yogurt to the IRFU's men's, women's, Sevens and under-20 Ireland squads. The #EatLikeThem ads concede that while most people can't play like rugby players, they can eat like them. Familiar rugby manoeuvres unexpectedly crop up in the ads.

Created by Irish International and produced by Sweet Media, the two 20-second ads air on video on demand (VOD) and on social media.

Glenisk will spend €1.5m on marketing this year, across media, in-store promotions, PR, events, digital and sponsorship.

Horgan - nicknamed Shaggy - who played wing and centre for Leinster and Ireland, is pictured above in one of the ads.


* AdLib wishes Geoff McGrath well in his move from Target McConnells to Starcom. With many a direct and creative campaign under his belt, McGrath will now focus on media buying and planning. Not alone that, he's Core Media's 'director of transformative change'. Makes Stephen Hawking's job as a physicist and cosmologist sound like a doddle. McGrath is pictured inset with RTE's Tara Farrell.

Michael Cullen is editor of

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