Monday 17 December 2018

Newspapers still deliver for ads

The Killers, who have worked with producer Steve Lillywhite.
The Killers, who have worked with producer Steve Lillywhite.

Media & Marketing with Michael CullenThe

Ads in Irish newspapers are twice as effective in terms of influencing consumers to action compared to the industry benchmark, says an independent study by Research & Analysis of Media (RAM). A study for NewsBrands Ireland, the body representing national newspapers and online editions, looked at five press campaigns run over 10 days in March.

A panel of 1,300 respondents was asked questions around recall, recognition, engagement and action for ads for Ford, Lidl, Sky, Tui package holidays and Harvey Norman. They were also asked their opinions around trust, context and relevance.

Press ads were found to score twice and sometimes three times the industry benchmark in looking for more information, visiting the website, advertiser contact and buying the advertised brand. Newspapers also deliver best in terms of trustworthy news, scoring 45pc - compared to TV's 22pc, radio's 15pc, online 15pc and social media with just 3pc.

Agency client teams should regard monies spent on developing brands as their own and ought to act like an entrepreneur starting out. Addressing an Association of Advertisers in Ireland (AAI) seminar on 'The golden thread that weaves it all together' in Dentsu Aegis's offices, Dynamo MD Jamie Helly said a lot of brands get off the ground in a back room with the founder working from plans scribbled down on the back of a cigarette pack.

It all starts with an idea which resonates with consumers. Entrepreneurs see opportunities, take risks, insist on unrelenting attention to detail, have the courage of their convictions and staying power. They trust their gut feeling and it's often "seat-of-the-pants stuff". On the other hand, consumer insights count. So it comes down to economics versus emotion.

Helly pointed to two recent killer insights. Airbnb was started by "two dudes" in San Francisco who couldn't pay their rent. So they put air mattresses to work and brought a new sense of home to world travel. Bord Bia says millennials will account for 90pc of luxury brand sales by 2020. Deciem CEO Brandon Truaxe started a lab to develop an inexpensive skincare product called The Ordinary - a cult brand playing off the credo "Beauty doesn't rinse off". The Ordinary sold 12.5 million units in two years.

Cliona Hayes
Cliona Hayes

When mining insights, brand owners and their agencies must look beyond their own world and take heed of diversity and socio-economic differences. "Avoid taking consumer feedback too literally and don't lose your sense of humour," Helly added.

Cliona Hayes, senior global brand and advertising lead at recruitment group, claimed 90pc of human communication is non-verbal and nuanced. Most communication today is what's called meta-communication. Interpretation is more important than the actual message. Rewind to the John F Kennedy-Richard Nixon US presidential TV debate in 1960. JFK's handsome looks won out over Tricky Dicky's more robust but less seductive performance.

Viv Chambers, head of strategy at Bricolage, says most of the research work for clients nowadays is less two-way mirror thinking and more about getting down and dirty with consumers. His business has moved on from making consumers want things to making things consumers want. Consumers don't buy insights, they buy amazing brands, Chambers added.


Web Summit CEO and co-founder Paddy Cosgrave will be honoured for his "outstanding contribution" to business at the annual Event Industry Awards (EIA) in the Citywest Hotel on July 20. The award recognises Cosgrave's achievements in Ireland and overseas. The Web Summit started with 400 people in Dublin in 2010. As many as 70,000 people are expected to attend the event in Lisbon in November. The EIA award will be presented to Cosgrave by Anna May McHugh, the driving force behind the National Ploughing Championships and the award's first winner 10 years ago.


To formally mark Core's new offices at 1 Windmill Lane, the agency group run by Alan Cox has invited acclaimed British music producer Steve Lillywhite to talk about the methods, madness and magic of collaboration. Lillywhite's career spans more than 40 years, 500 records and five Grammys. He has worked with The Rolling Stones, Morrissey, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads and The Killers.


And finally... His Excellency Prince Ubele Katongi emailed me the other day to apologise for not being able to transfer €600,000 in funds to my bank account. He then asked if it would be OK if he could keep sending me emails following the introduction of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Sorry, your Highness, permission is declined.


  • Michael Cullen is editor of;

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