Sunday 18 August 2019

Marketers on prowl in the urban jungles

Kay McCarthy
Kay McCarthy

Michael Cullen

As brands try and get up close and ever more intimate with consumers' beliefs and behaviours, marketers look to research and planning experts to understand what really motivates them. In a bid to dig below the surface on Ireland's city culture, planning agency MCCP developed a five-stage programme for Heineken to discover what motivates urban consumers upfront and subconsciously.

First off, a list of everything cultural doing the rounds in the four cities of Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast was compiled. From there, interviews were held with event organisers to get a take on trends, gaps in the market and any openings for brands to tie in with the cities' social scene.

City dwellers were asked to write accounts about their environment, what part, if any, they played in cultural goings on and explain how local culture could be improved.

Stage four showed how citizens interact with a city in real-time. Using social media, people posted about urban experiences as they happened in words and images. It painted a picture of how residents relate culturally to a city. Finally, the client, research team and interviewees got together to mull over the findings and generate ideas for Heineken brands in the cities.

Heineken's head of insights, Sheila Cunningham, who along with MCCP's Guy Perrem and Shane Doyle, presented the 'Unearthing the Cultural Fabric of Irish Cities' case study at the recent Esomar research world congress in Dublin's Convention Centre, said the findings delivered personalities, truth and tensions in each city and formed a cultural picture.

For instance, Desperados' 'Raid the Jail' promotion opened access to Belfast's Jailhouse - which had previously been off limits, a no-go area.

Heineken's #OpenyourDublin wanted to shake consumers in the capital out of their 'head-down' city routine of going to the same old entertainment spots by urging them to be curious and check out the many other, newer choices in the city centre.

Cunningham says the programme showed that while Irish cities inevitably share similar cultures, various urban characteristics shine through in the research. So, although similar, the cities are not all samey and a toast should be made to the little differences.

MCCP, run by Kay McCarthy, main picture, also works for Brown Thomas, Coca-Cola, Irish Ferries, Kildare Village, Life Style Sports, Meteor and Tourism Ireland.

* Rothco is on a bit of a roll these days. Having won the Tesco account earlier this year without a proper pitch, Ireland's most talked-about independent agency has now added Fáilte Ireland, the State body charged with encouraging holidaymakers go on staycations.

The account moves from DDFH&B. Cawley Nea\TBWA and Publicis also presented. The media business was up for review, with Initiative, Starcom and the incumbent in the running but the winner was Group M's Mindshare. A decision on the Axa insurance media review is imminent. Mindshare is the incumbent and Accenture is the pitch doctor.

* A decision on the Dublin Airport Authority - DAA - review is not expected until the end of November, AdLib has learned.

A team from DAA, comprising head of consumer marketing, Sinead Quish, head of marketing Louise Bannon, head of insights and planning Jan Richards and consultant Brenda Thoms, has seen agencies.

MediaVest, Mindshare, Vizeum and the incumbent, PHD, pitched for the media. DAA also saw presentations from creative agencies, where the incumbent is Cawley Nea\TBWA. Both contracts run until next May. Five digital agencies are in the running.

* The All Blacks may have convincingly won the Rugby World Cup (RWC) but the world's most famous lager, Heineken, was Ireland's top RWC sponsor. Daragh Persse's The Brand Fans' rugby impact tracker says 80pc of Irish adults readily associate the Dutch lager with the RWC. It also scored the highest social listening aggregate at 7.4.

Guinness peaked at 36pc, followed by Aer Lingus and MasterCard. Despite not being a RWC sponsor - but perhaps because of its close ties to club rugby on the island - Bank of Ireland was linked to the tournament by one in four Irish adults.

* The old Cadbury's Dairy Milk poster beside the northbound platform at Dublin's Pearse Station has been restored. While the poster was never a proper paid-for ad - it was created as a prop for Neil Jordan's 'Michael Collins' movie - Cadbury's owner Mondelez has brought the poster back to its original look. Pictured below next to the poster in the city station are Colin O'Toole, Mondelez Ireland, Kevin Moore, FleishmanHillard and Simone Parfrey, PHD.

* What will life in Ireland be like in 10 or 20 years' time? Through the prism of families, careers, life stage and generations a morning seminar to be held in Dublin next Monday will discuss what's on the agenda for various cohorts in Irish society. Co-hosted by media agency OMD and Ulster Bank, speakers addressing 'The Future of Ireland' topic are Tim Griffiths OMD; Paul Stanley, Ulster Bank; Gerard O'Neill, Amárach Research and Carolyn Odgers, OMD, pictured below.

Michael Cullen is editor of

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