Postscript - Profit is king at IAPI advertising awards
What makes a marketing campaign effective? The answer all depends on what you determine "effective" to mean. For years advertising awards lauded creativity and flair above all else, says John Fanning, Smurfit Business School marketing lecturer and former managing director of creative agency McConnells.
The Advertising Practitioners of Ireland's ADFX awards, taking place on September 4, have different criteria. Running every two years, they reward the country's most successful campaigns based on how much profit they bring in for the client. "It is admittedly difficult to disentangle the profit effect of a campaign from other sales influences but it is crucial - because at the end of the day, clients' profits are what drives the industry," says Mr Fanning.
Some of the most impactful campaigns of the past year appear on the awards' lengthy shortlist. Liberty Insurance's American-themed campaign, heralding the company's entry into the post-Quinn insurance market, makes the list. It was created by Rothco and MediaWorks.
The Gathering's digitally-led campaign also appears. Created by PHD Ireland and DDFH&B, it drove the largest tourism initiative the country has ever seen.
"What's very clear now is that digital is a standard part of any campaign," said Mr Fanning. "One of the side-effects is that this has levelled the playing field for smaller advertisers." Murphy's Stout and the Jack and Jill Foundation both make the list in the small budget category.
Kerry's Low Low parody campaign also makes an appearance. It featured three female stereotypes commonly seen in diet ads - smug girl, ditzy girl and muffin-obsessed girl - enthusiastically eating yoghurt, seeing cupcakes everywhere and struggling to fit into their jeans. The campaign by a diet product calling out the diet industry for its advertising was covered as far away as the US by the Huffington Post. It was designed by Chemistry and Viseum.
We won't pay to avoid online ads
Nearly all internet users (98pc) would be unwilling to pay the estimated €175 that it would cost if the internet was not supported by advertising, new research has revealed.
Based on responses from 1,400 people, ad platform Ebuzzing found consumers are prepared to accept ads to avoid a fee roughly equivalent to the TV licence fee.
But that does not mean consumers have warmed to internet ads. Nearly two-thirds (63pc) skip video ads "as quickly as possible", the survey found, while 16pc of all internet users employ ad-blocking software. Advertisers must improve formats, it concluded. "We need to get better at engaging, not better at interrupting," said an Ebuzzing spokesman.
Sea swimming sponsorship deal
Ireland's sporting success this year means sponsorship deals for athletes have never been more popular, with more and more once-ignored sports finding backers. The latest to secure a deal is open water swimmer Chris Bryan who has signed an 18-month deal with Limerick-based data management company Asystec to fund his path to Rio.