Sunday 22 April 2018

Creative feeding frenzy at Sharks

Jean Claude van Damme
Jean Claude van Damme

Summer can't be too far away as the call for entries and 'free thinkers' to show up at this year's Sharks creative festival in Kinsale in September has gone out to agencies. The Sharks is a showcase for the world's top creative campaigns and attracts some of the best exponents in advertising, film and design. Media agencies are invited to submit award entries in eight categories, including return on investment and best targeted work.

Chairing this year's print jury and hosting a masterclass in art direction is Alex Taylor.

As well as being one classy lady - resembling a thespian straight off the 'Mad Men' set - Taylor's talent has seen her clock up 200 entries in the coveted D&AD awards, bagging four Yellow Pencils.

She's held top agency positions, not least as head of art and joint creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi. Taylor will encourage delegates to produce ad ideas through inventive art direction.

A talk by British radio expert Paul Burke in Kinsale Yacht Club on how to write radio ads with the wow! factor was a highlight last year. Burke presented an insightful and witty talk on the medium often dubbed 'the theatre of the mind'. Problem was, his talk was too short and so he returns this year to present an extended workshop.

The awards show in Acton's Hotel marks the climax of the festival. Last year, Sweden took home the grand prix for Volvo Trucks by Gothenburg-based agency Forsman & Bodenfors. In the ad, top, pop culture hero Jean-Claude Damme does his famous splits between two reversing trucks accompanied by Enya's 'Only Time' track. The Young Sharks will again highlight up-and-coming creative talent.

As Jack Nicholson says in 'The Shining', "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". Apart from the more serious task of attending workshops and getting up to speed on award-winning ads, Kinsale is a great place to network and have some fun. As Ireland's gourmet capital, the town and its environs has more fine restaurants and watering holes than one can fathom. Details on delegate fees are available online. The closing date for campaign entries is August 8. The festival gets under way on Thursday, September 10, and runs for three days.

Q WPP boss Martin Sorrell has confirmed the group wants to take a stake in Dunnhumby, Tesco's consumer behaviour tracker.

Dunnhumby began with the creation of the Clubcard loyalty scheme, now valued at £2bn. The move by WPP signals a growing focus on data-driven advertising and marketing as the troubled Tesco tries to repair its balance sheet.

WPP, whose companies in Ireland include ad agency Ogilvy and research firm Millward Brown, made 64 mergers and acquisitions last year. They plan to spend up to £400m on M&As this year, but the deals will centre on equity-based deals rather than all-out takeovers.

Q Kathy Troy, pictured, has been promoted to strategy director at MCCP, the planning agency run by Kay McCarthy. A highly-respected marketing analyst, Troy heads up the agency's Trendstream product, which informs future brand innovation and positioning. She also leads on brand and communication strategy for various MCCP clients, including An Post, Tesco, Communicorp, Electric Ireland and Muller.

A graduate of TCD with a BA in English, Troy joined MCCP almost three years ago from Facebook, where she was a specialist in operations. Prior to that, she worked with the Rothco ad agency and in Diageo's customer contact centre.

Q TV3 has become Ireland's first broadcaster to have a +1 service on the Sky platform. TV3+1 is now available on Sky channel 117. It follows the rollout of the service on UPC channel 119 in December. TV3 itself is on Sky's channel 103, 3e on 105 and the 3player is available on catch up. TV3 HD is due to be launched in August, ahead of the Doughty Hanson-owned station showing exclusive live coverage of all 48 games in the Rugby World Cup tournament being played in England and Wales in September.

Q While Aer Lingus spokesman Declan Kearney says the airline has still some work to do before finalising a review of its PR services, the airline has decided to extend the publishing rights for its Cara in-flight magazine. A new deal has been agreed with Image Publications which sees the contract run until the end of 2017. The business content in Cara has been increased to 16 pages and the expanded section is called On Business.

Q Sharon Murphy, director and head of consumer at Wilson Hartnell Public Relations (WHPR), is the new chairman of the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA). A native of Cork, she joined the agency in 2000. Her clients include Bord Bia, Diageo, Eason, Electric Ireland and Unilever's Lyons Tea. She graduated from DIT with a master's in PR.

Michael Cullen is editor of

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