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Super Bowl 2018: the ads everyone is talking about

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 7 February 2018
Updated: Tuesday 6 February 2018

The Super Bowl might be a US sports event, but marketers around the world know to keep an eye out for some of the year’s most awaited display of creativity in advertising. This year again brands brought out the big guns with plenty of celebrities, special effects and a whole lot of jokes (at $5 million for a 30 second ad slot, you better stand out). Unlike last year, this year’s ads steered clear of politics and most of them just went for straight up innocent fun. Let’s have a look at the ads that caught everyone’s attention, whether they were hilariously clever, unapologetically different or went crashing down in flames.

Tide – It’s a Tide ad

Every ad is a Tide ad in this extremely clever campaign for the detergent brand. The company bought an ad slot in every quarter for a running joke where Stranger Things actor David Harbour crashes a number of famous ads arguing that they are in fact… Tide ads. Bonus points to the mother company Procter & Gamble for getting free advertising for other P&G brands such as Old Spice and Mr. Clean.

Amazon - Alexa loses her voice


The premise: Alexa loses her voice and someone needs to fills in. And that’s when a number of celebrities come in, giving quite an edge to Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant. Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos even makes an appearance! And that’s not all, Amazon thought of everything, and used “acoustic fingerprinting technology” to make sure the ad didn’t trigger Amazon Echo in consumers’ homes. Now that’s a job well done.

Doritos Blaze Vs. Mountain Dew Ice

Another great use of celebrities comes from sister companies Doritos Blaze and Mountain Dew Ice. Because who wouldn’t enjoy watching Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman lip sync Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott in a nod to A Song of Ice and Fire?

Budweiser - Stand by You

Budweiser caught everyone’s attention by breaking its years long tradition of Super Bowl ads featuring the Clydesdale horse. We'll forgive them however, as they instead used the ad to spread awareness of the brand’s initiative to provide clean water to US populations impacted by natural disasters. 

Ram Trucks

And now for the biggest backlash of this year’s Super Bowl. When Ram Trucks featured a Martin Luther King voiceover to promote their product, it didn’t go down too well with the public (especially when M.L.K. criticised advertising in that same speech). This is just another example in a series of brands misusing good causes in their ads in the past year, and it should serve as a reminder for marketers that consumers always recognise when a brand’s attempt to rally behind a cause is inauthentic.

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Marketing Sentiment Survey 2018

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Mediacom & The Irish Times, Wednesday 24 January 2018
marketing sentiment survey 2018

L – R Tom Trainor, Chief Executive,The Marketing Institute; Laughlin Rigby, Head of Marketing, The Irish Times; Gillian Hennessey, Head of Marketing Boots Ireland; Orlaith Blaney, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, ‎Ervia; Liam Kavanagh, Managing Director, The Irish Times and Peter McPartlin, CEO Mediacom.

Marketing spends to rise in 2018 but are still below average  

Over one third of companies in Ireland say that they plan to increase their spend on marketing in the year ahead, according to a new survey of marketing decision-makers by the media agency, MediaCom Ireland, The Irish Times and the Marketing Institute of Ireland.

However, total spend on marketing only represents an average of 8% of company revenues, according to the survey, and Ireland lags major markets such as the UK and US where the comparable figure is around 11%.

The 2018 Marketing Sentiment Survey is designed to capture the views of the people who shape Ireland’s marketing budgets. These in turn will ultimately determine the fortunes of media companies, agencies and the broader marketing communications community in the year ahead.

Almost half of marketing managers plan to invest more in ecommerce or ensure their website is fit for transactions, 30% in advertising and 25% in PR and Communications.

The five highest rated media channels for increased investment in 2018 are all digital ones: 49% saying they will invest more in social media, 28% in content marketing, 25% in search, 24% in digital video and 24% in online display / programmatic advertising. 

In terms of top priorities for 2018, marketing decision-makers cited their most prominent as generating increased brand awareness (49%), using social media to drive sales (33%) and expanding into new markets (32%). 

The research was conducted for MediaCom Ireland by iReach using their online panel of business people across small, medium and large enterprises, as well the MII’s membership database. The primary results from this survey are based on 249 individuals with direct involvement in marketing budgets, across a range of different industry and service sectors, as well as governmental and semi-state organisations.

Commenting on the research, Peter McPartlin, CEO of MediaCom Ireland said There is  a range of challenges which is  shaping contemporary marketing. But the primary one is that the levels of marketing investment in this country are still relatively low and this is being reflected in the ‘low-no’ growth forecasts for media spending too. The industry needs to collectively work on proof of marketing return on investment to boost this.”

Tom Trainor, CEO of the Marketing Institute said, “Whilst the survey results reflect the ongoing pressures on marketing leaders, it is apparent that there is scope for marketing to argue for greater authority and investment. The challenge for the profession is to ensure we have the leaders in place with the requisite skills to win the confidence and support of the CEO and the board.”

Eimear Moran, Media Solutions Director of The Irish Times, said “The Irish Times has been working to highlight the value of advertising within trusted environments, on trusted platforms, and with trusted audiences for some time.  The Marketing Sentiment study shows that the issue of brand safety and media trust continue to be ones which challenge the marketing communications industry.”

The research findings were presented at a special breakfast hosted by The Irish Times this morning (January 24th at 7.30am at their offices in Tara Street). A panel of senior marketing people from Boots Ireland, The Irish Times and Ervia also gave their perspectives on the marketing year ahead.

Download Sentiment Survey results here.


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Young Lions 2018: Young Marketers Competition

Posted By IAPI, Wednesday 24 January 2018

Young Marketers 2017 WinnersPaddy Carberry and Rachel Crawley from Vodafone, 2017  Young Marketers winners

A competition for young marketers in marketing departments around the country

The prize is an all expenses paid trip to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in June 2018.
Cannes Lions is the largest global event in the world of advertising. There are prestigious awards, for the most creative communication campaigns, and also fantastic speakers, workshops, showcases and events that run for a week in Cannes. One third of the 17,000 delegates are large advertisers.

How does it work?

Teams enter in teams of two. The brief will be for a non-commercial project.
For young marketer competition, when a team enters, they answer the brief as the brand they currently work for.  The competition requires that you apply the brand you work for to whatever brief is on the table. So for example, last year’s team from Vodafone answered  the brief from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland using the Vodafone brand to tackle the issue.

Next steps

IAPI organise a formal briefing open to anyone planning to enter the morning of  Friday 16 February. Save the date!
Participants will have a number of weeks to answer the brief. Once they do, entries are short-listed.  Finalists present their pitch to the judges in person, who then select a winner to go to Cannes. Presentations will be organised w/c 19 March date TBC

More info on the competition here:

Register for the briefing event here:


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Foresight Factory's Consumer Trends for 2018

Posted By Foresight Factory, Wednesday 24 January 2018
Updated: Tuesday 23 January 2018

Foresight factory Trending 2018

Global Consumer Trends 2018

Foresight Factory's summary of the new global consumer trends themes that promise to impact the consumer experience in the year ahead and thus demand our clients’ attention.

Ranked best 2018 Trends Report by Forbes Magazine!

Trending 2018 The Report

Nearly ten years on from the 2008 crash, we’re living in a world of #NeverNormal. Where despite the unprecedented abundance of information, the consumer remains harder to understand and predict than ever.

Yes, in reality, trends refuse to fit neatly into calendar years (trends analysis is, after all, a continuous, and not a once-a-year, process) but what promises to rise in 2018?

Read on to discover more about three of the nine themes set out in our global consumer trends report.

Meabh Quoirin, CEO & Owner at Foresight Factory will be speaking at DMX Dublin on 14th March 2018.


Zeitgeist: Welcome to the #NeverNormal

A decade ago, Foresight Factory recognised that the then rapidly-unfolding drama of the Global Financial Crisis would have a long-lasting impact on the B2C landscape.

In the New Normal (2009), we summarised the consumer response: cautious and careful, yes, but refusing to be victimised in volatile times, using new smart tools and approaches to budget finances, maximise purchases and favour “cheap treats” as priorities shifted.

We foresaw a coming decade of consumer empowerment, a New Normal in which the commercial landscape would need to creatively innovate (via price, via customer experience, via new business models) to retain consumer affection.


A new manifesto of B2C disruption

How to characterise the next decade of B2C experience? Certainly, many of the trends we monitor will retain a presence in consumers’ lives. And the core needs they carry – for recognition, for wellbeing, for cost-effective living – will remain just that, core.

#NeverNormal describes a world in which so many of the things once considered fixed, immutable, certain… face serious disruption from fresh forces stalking lives and markets.

Expect a decade of disruption – to trends, to business models, to established truths.

Upon one thing we can rely: the consumer’s ongoing refusal to be victimised by the end of certainty. An ongoing opportunity exists for commercial partners that promise to protect their interests in novel ways.


Forces driving #NeverNormal


 Engineered Empathy

Prediction: Cold brands = given the cold shoulder

Emotional intelligence – an ability to empathise and engage on a human level – will become a core and advocacy-building consumer expectation, as well as a valued everyday life skill demanded by workplaces and personal relationships alike.

Engineered Empathy will be boosted by new drivers in 2018: an intensifying battle to perfect scalable AI bots with EI sensibility; a growing ability and freedom to capture/share emotion; desire for human interaction in tech-saturated times; and calls for greater empathy in polarised times.


Expecting a warmer, human embrace in the digital space

DATA: 56% of global consumers are interested in using an online shop assistant that I could talk to for advice as I was browsing products online.


Next generation: sharing to show how they feel

DATA: 36% of US Gen Z social networkers “share posts on social media to show how I am feeling” (same is true of 18% of GB Gen Z).


Voice interfaces: requiring human sensibility?

DATA: 1 in 3 global consumers have used voice commands on their smartphone/

wearable/tablet (e.g. Siri, Alexa, Cortana).


New ways to signal our emotions = new triggers for real-time emotion-reflective messaging?

34% of global consumers use emojis every day as shortcuts for emotional expression. In September 2017, Apple announced that iPhone X owners can use “animojis”: customised, animated emojis that use the device’s FaceID functionality to track the user’s facial movements, enabling them to “share and express whatever you want to express”. In response, the possibility of emotion-based programmatic ads has been raised by the advertising sector.


Custom at all Costs

Conversational POS triggers price elasticity

Price sensitivity remains a key and determining feature of the consumer landscape, and recent years have seen much price elasticity innovation to appeal to consumers (even the relatively well-off) engaged in a daily battle against unnecessary largesse in the aisles.

In 2018 and beyond, anticipate further dismantling of RRP and a growing tendency to permit flexible, time-sensitive, lifestyle- and lifestage– personalised, progressive pricing models to differentiate and entice.


Supporting Trends

Price sensitivity remains a key and determining feature of the consumer landscape, and recent years have seen much price elasticity innovation to appeal to consumers (even the relatively well-off) engaged in a daily battle against unnecessary largesse in the aisles.

In 2018 and beyond, anticipate further dismantling of RRP and a growing tendency to permit flexible, time-sensitive, lifestyle- and lifestage– personalised, progressive pricing models to differentiate and entice.


Professionalised budgeting

An uncertain economic climate prompts a control-seeking approach to household finances. Appetite for non-conventional pricing, especially where the customer stands to gain, is buoyed in this context.


The Me me World

A one-size-fits-all approach to consumer engagement is rapidly being dismantled as loyalty programmes, messaging and interactions of all kinds are revitalised with one-to-one activity.


Recommended action: Personalise and contextualise price

Some brands will balk at the prospect of endangering a hard-won premium positioning with newfound pricing flexibility. But we suspect that more will warm to offers that complement fixed prices with innovation that: invites a pricing dialogue (on- or offline); that, using collected data, proactively respects the customer’s particular context or lifestyle circumstances; that allows the buyer to avoid headline prices in favour of a pay-as-you-use approach (as explored in Latchkey Loyalty).


Download Trending 2018 THE REPORT on


Download the full Trending 2018 report to discover more about all nine critical consumer trends themes, plus data, analysis, predictions, examples of innovation and recommended action for companies, brands and their agency partners.


Meabh Quoirin, CEO & Owner at Foresight Factory will be speaking at DMX Dublin on 14th March 2018.



We’re the consumer trends and data expert. We help household name companies, brands and their agencies own the future through turning complex consumer data into actionable intelligence.

Our expertise is understanding what consumers worldwide want now and in the future and translating this into recommendations for brand management, product development, loyalty, customer service delivery and other key touch points on the consumer journey.

Foresight Factory publishes 300 pieces of content every month, made up of reports, innovations, data charts and commentary from our network of Trendspotters to our trends platform FFonline. Subscribers get a dedicated client analyst team, as well as access to Foresight Factory’s proprietary data. Ready to talk to us about how Foresight Factory could help your business?

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A Day in the Life of… Jonathan Dever, Sponsorship & Events Lead at PwC

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 24 January 2018
Updated: Tuesday 23 January 2018

Jonathan Dever PwC

The Marketing Institute: What does a Sponsorship & Events Senior Manager at PwC do?

Jonathan Dever: My role is to support the achievement of PwC’s 3 year strategy by reinforcing our position as the leading professional services firm in Ireland while enhancing our client experiences. Through our sponsorship and events portfolio our goal is to enhance our reputation with clients and potential employees to increase consideration. Our thought leadership and networking events offer us a unique opportunity to engage with our clients and demonstrate our expertise in Tax, Assurance and Advisory services.

Therefore how we execute events is extremely important to us, we host over 150 events a year ranging in size from 40 to 400 people. In February we will be activating our Ireland U20s Rugby sponsorship as they face into their Six Nations campaign and onto the World Championship in France in May. Our focus will be on digital activations for 2018. I am lucky that I have a strong team behind me who I can rely on to execute our events to a very high standard.


MII: What were your key career moves to get to your current role?

J.D: Gaining international experience was key. Prior to joining PwC, I worked in Shenzhen, China for 3 years as the lead Marketing Manager for PCH, a supply chain manufacturing company. That exposure to new business cultures and insight into global professional operations gave me a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing a global brand like PwC.

Starting out in my career, the five years I spent as a Sales & Marketing Executive with the Irish Greyhound Board were formative, the culture there very much “all hands on deck” when it came to getting a job done and this stayed with me as I progressed into management. It’s an ethos I foster within my own team.


MII: What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

J.D: As a busy marketing department in a global professional services firm, balancing competing demands for our time and expertise, from across the business, can prove challenging. Planning and communication are key to ensuring that my team and I focus our efforts on campaigns that support the firm’s strategic priorities.


MII: What key skills do you need to be effective in your role?

J.D: Adaptability – PwC operates in a complex, highly competitive environment. Events and opportunities can arise at short notice and it’s our job to ensure that we are in a position to maximize them, every time. With over 150 events annually and a growing portfolio of sponsorships effective time management is also crucial. Commercial acumen, not so much a skill as a trait is a huge benefit in a firm like PwC. We pride ourselves on bringing insight and expertise to our clients and I encourage my team to always strive to understand the “why”. Doing this ensures we deliver products, events and campaigns that exceed our stakeholder’s expectations.


MII: Describe a typical working day.

J.D: It’s a cliché, but the nature of the work that we do means that no two days are the same. An example of this is the fact that I have just returned from six days in Singapore for the PwC All-Stars tour.

Other days could start with managing a 7.30am client event in the firm’s corporate hospitality suite.  Most days I will sit with other senior members of the team, such as our PR, Content, Digital and Internal Communications leads to discuss one or more of our upcoming marketing campaigns.

We work closely with our global counterparts across the PwC network and are continuously brainstorming and sharing learnings.


MII: What do you love most about your role?

J.D: Without doubt, the variety. Every day is different and involves a lot of moving parts. There is always something new on the horizon and I love when we take on a new sponsorship, activate it and elevate it to something great.

Unsurprisingly with a firm whose reputation is built on excellence and professionalism, PwC has an amazing culture - the people here are some of the best I have worked with and working alongside so many capable experts is something I really value about the role.

It’s an exciting time to be part of professional services firm, the world is changing at a rapid pace and we are at the forefront of advising clients on how best to prepare for the future. Innovation is a key focus area and we have fantastic plans to introduce newer technologies such as augmented and virtual reality into our activations.


MII: Looking ahead, where might your career path lead to next?

 J.D: I thrive on the fast paced nature of my role and I definitely see myself staying in the marketing/sponsorship space. There are a lot of exciting projects in the pipeline over the next 1-2 years that I’m looking forward to managing and activating with my team. 


MII: To whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?

J.D: In PwC I am lucky to be surrounded by great colleagues who are invaluable when we execute our wider marketing campaigns. Two brands that I currently admire are AIG and Xiaomi. Obviously budgets are a factor when activating a sponsorship but I think it’s important to look what other brands are doing to differentiate themselves from their competitors. 

AIG have rolled out very creative activation campaigns for both Dublin GAA and the All-Blacks Rugby team over the past few years. Xiaomi a Chinese Electronics brand have really executed their brand ambassadors with great effect to increase market share. Now they have entered the European market it will be interesting to see what is in the pipeline for 2018. Where possible we will try to bring more innovative ways of activation over the next 1-2 years.

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