Guinness, King of Marketing

Guinness, King of Marketing

Creating marketing activity that has global synergies

In January 2020, I was fortunate enough to take a trip down to Dublin’s fair city. I visited some tourist attractions including Trinity College and St Stephens Green, but for me the highlight was the infamous Guinness Storehouse.

Since its opening in the year 2000, the Guinness Storehouse has had over 20 million visitors walk through its doors. Now that’s a lot of fuss over one beer. What an experience it was. I was educated in the origins of the beer, its history and the lengthy process of creation. One thing that stuck out to me on that visit was the marketing. As PR student, I was fascinated at the impressive collection and history of advertisements that one brand had to offer.  A whole floor. Solely dedicated to the history of their advertisements. The space was filled with interactive materials of both their printed and video advertisements. Including campaigns and merchandise. It was highly enjoyable and definitely a must see.

Getting to experience the vast and historic display of advertisements really got me thinking of the organisation’s success. Guinness has a huge global footprint. It is brewed in almost 60 countries and is available in over 150. How did a beer become so globalised to the extent that it is arguably an Irish icon? The very key to its success is that Guinness are creating marketing activity that has global synergies.

Guinness advertisements have been shown on television, radio, posters, billboards, newspapers and various social media platforms. Over the years, they have had many different advertising campaigns that include different themes, genres, mascots and several taglines. Guinness has several taglines to its credit which have helped to increase its brand visibility like ‘Guinness is good for you’ and ‘Made of More’ to name a few. Their advertisement material completely different from year to year. A noticeable difference in their more recent campaigns from the last 10 years, is the change from persuasive, to emotive language.  In the past, advertisements would have focused on persuasion and information about the beer. However, they modern ads are based on pure emotion and focus on selling feeling. For example, Guinness are the official sponsor of the six nations rugby. One of there ads focus on Shane Williams, who plays rugby professionally for Wales. He was told all his life that he would never play rugby due to his height as he was only 5 foot 7 inches. The advert focuses on the strength of his determination and character and that is why he is such a successful rugby player, and despite the odds, he plays professionally for Wales. Other adverts from the ruby campaign include Gareth Thomas, captain of the Welsh rugby team, and his strong of his struggles with mental health. He was afraid to come out as gay to his teammates and the rest of the world. But despite his fears he was met with an extremely positive response from his team. The campaign promotes the morals of being “Never alone” and “Always a part of a team”. These adverts create an emotive response for the audience. The stories are relatable and inspiring to large audiences of all age groups. The stories are heart warming and create a beautiful picture of the morals that Guinness brand has and the ability it has to bring people together.

Guinness take a diverse approach. Their marketing strategies work hard to create and provide a great customer experience across cultures. Guinness often make their beer a symbol of unity. Something that can bring everyone together despite their differences. As they are a global brand, they successfully recognise and show empathy towards a diverse customer base. There advertisements have varied themes and another modern campaign called “The Sapeurs” shows just that.

A group of humble and refined gentlemen, called the Sapeurs, use their flair, creativity and sense of style to express their own unique identity and code of honour. The advert focuses on the sense of community created by the beverage as it brings people together. The ad displays a weird and wonderful range of people and personalities, but they are all gathered together to enjoy one and others company with a Guinness. This campaign takes place in Africa but was aired globally. A further demonstration of their marketing diversity, fitting for their global audience.

Guinness focus on bring people together however during this global pandemic that is not an appropriate message to spread. Guinness still continue to promote positive messages such as their infamous illusion posters, this time the pint of Guinness creating a sofa to encourage the public to practise social distancing. Guinness also donated Guinness Easter Eggs on World Health Day to the doctors and nurses in Dublin who are treating patients with Coronavirus. This kind gesture was a creative way of demonstrating appreciation and gratitude for the essential workers on the front line, while receiving positive publicity for the Guinness brand.

Even at a time when customers can’t access their products in bars, Guinness still finds a way to stay relevant and in the minds of the public. Now that’s what I call effective marketing.

Ciara Hughes is a final year student at Ulster University studying BSc Communication Management and Public Relations. She can be found on: Twitter, LinkedIn, and on her website: ciarahughespr.wordpress.com

WFH? 6 Steps to elevate productivity levels!

WFH? 6 Steps to elevate productivity levels!

*Inserts Covid-19 related quote along with sentence on how the world has been turned upside down, back around and discuss the fear of uncertainty.*

I’m as optimistic as they come but I can’t be 100% honest in saying lockdown 1 was a walk in the park…it hasn’t for any of us by any means but I think I speak for many people when I say we’re now just riding the wave, waiting to get back to shore – no one is deep diving and breast stroking their way faster than others, we’re all in the same boat.

Working from home has been a breath of fresh air for many and a nightmare for others. Connectivity issues, loud pets, lack of motivation and distractions are some of the many barriers people have had to eliminate in order to find themselves performing at an efficient and effective level.

I’ve been lucky to have a mixture of both, after returning back into the office in June I’ve now had a staggered schedule which include a few days at home, a day to catch up with university work and the rest spent in the office (socially distanced of course).

With shorter days, colder weather and the threat of a second lockdown in December looming over us, the motivation levels have also got shorter and colder to say the least. When it comes to relating to specific quotes and motivational speeches, I’ve kept it pretty basic and there’s really been one that resonates with me this time round = JUST DO IT!

Do it to get the job done, do it to reach the word count, do it to finish that report, do it to make yourself feel better.

JUST DO IT!

I’ve found making slight changes in my routine & staying consistent has helped me keep focused and follow the day through with productivity at an all-time high so I thought why not share this with some of you. It might help, it might not but it’s worth a shot – if you do anything different that you can recommend, let me know I would love to hear your recommendations.

  1. Consistent Morning Routine

Try waking around the same time every morning, you may start work at 8AM so maybe it’s best to not wake up at 7:55AM…yes you might get an extra few minutes in bed but we all know you wake up flustered, groggy & generally not prepared to take the day on. If you really love your extra time in bed, maybe pick a Friday to lay on. (Treat Yourself)

2. Get Dressed

Now when I speak about this point, I’m guilty of being miss professional on zoom from the waist up and miss loungewear from the waist down. After all, comfort is key so make the effort…even if this means changing from one pair of pyjamas to the next.

3. Make a list

This is one I swear by, in office and at home. I prefer the old fashioned way of writing down a list into my diary and ticking off as I go along. Many people prefer doing this on their devices and that’s perfectly fine, whatever works for you. Anything to keep track of what you have to do, this not only keeps you accountable for your actions but also allows you to reflect on what has been accomplished at the end of each day.

4. Network with others in your industry

As I’ve said, we’re all in the same boat looking for great ideas and recommendations to make our lives just a little bit easier. Share your best tips on LinkedIn or on your own favourite platform, even if it helps one person you’ve done a great job! Speaking with others within your industry will also give you an insight into what’s out there at the minute in terms of free courses, webinars & podcast episodes which will help you level up.

5. Go the extra mile…it’s not as long as it seems

All this extra time at home gives you the perfect opportunity to improve your skills. We’ll never (hopefully) get this chance to be at home with nowhere to go again, so take it in your stride and get productive. There are SO many free beneficial courses available, industry specific ones too that will look great on your CV along with your LinkedIn channel. REVISE – UTILISE – STRATEGISE.

6. Be authentic to your true self

If something does not feel right or you feel like you could add to a campaign by sharing your ideas = do it. You don’t ask you don’t get; you don’t contribute you don’t get featured. Even on the other end of the scale, if you feel pressured with work and need to take some time to catch up, speak out, this is NOT a sign of weakness or a sign that your incapable of handling your work load. If you have a strong & caring support group around you they will be more than happy to help you out…trust me.

I really could go on all day about there being so many tips, guides, and resources out there which can help all of us in many ways:

  • Those still working from home who need extra motivation.
  • Those transitioning back to office wanting to find their groove again.
  • Those who are seeking for new opportunities & want to add to their CV and personal brand.
  • Those looking for new job roles who want to increase their social media presence on a professional basis.

Of course I had to add in a few courses and free E-Books which I’ve found beneficial and valuable…you might too!

Thanks for reading!

Domilia Timonyte is a final year BSc Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Fundraising through a Pandemic – The Power of 4

Fundraising through a Pandemic – The Power of 4

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. – How I wish this quote didn’t reflect traits of my character, unfortunately, it does.

Who doesn’t love coming into work on a Monday morning to hear your manager has set up a gruelling 48 mile fundraising campaign in order to raise funds for the company’s charity partners – NSPCC Northern Ireland. I was leaning towards participating BUT waited for someone else to take one for the team until I heard “Are you sure you would be able to do this, it is 48 miles?” *characteristic traits kicking in.*

Putting my pride aside I knew the significance of this campaign and the difference we could potentially make for hundreds of children and young adults across Northern Ireland so all in all that’s one of the main reasons why I wanted to endure those 48 miles.

Having worked with the NSPCC for over a year now I’ve seen and experienced the hard work that goes on behind the scenes from a fundraising perspective to ensure there are enough funds and donations generated to ensure capacity for calls to be answered around the clock from NSPCC & Childline’s selfless volunteers.

Since COVID-19, NSPCC NI have lost a huge fraction of their funding. With big events cancelled such as the London, Belfast and Edinburgh Marathon which was estimated to bring in over one million pounds in sponsorship not only this, but the charity also saw their volunteer numbers drop drastically by 30% following the pandemic. Large investments were needed to provide IT equipment for volunteers to work from home in order to meet rising levels of enquiries from vulnerable children and young adults who were ultimately ‘trapped with their abuser.’

Before I began creating the brief for this campaign, I wanted to delve deeper into the spine-chilling statement ‘trapped with their abuser’ in order to really emphasise on the urgency of this campaign that we were promoting. 48 miles meant nothing and everything at the same time and that is where ‘The Power of 4’ was created.

  • 4 Participants.
  • 4 Miles every 4 hours.
  • £4.00 for NSPCC volunteers to answer a child’s call for help.

Everyone will agree with me when I say Covid-19 has affected all of us in one way or another, most people will have been affected financially to the point in which charitable donations fell to the bottom of their ‘must do\must pay’ list, understandably so. I knew this was going to be a barrier that we would have to knock down, how? = CONTACTLESS PAYMENTS VIA QR CODE COLLABORATING WITH JUST GIVING.

Cash Card is king, especially during lockdown where everything has been done within a click of a button, QR codes are somewhat new to us and recently been introduced to nearly half of all restaurant and cafe menus across the UK so we’re slowly becoming very familiarised with the concept.

PR events that we would have hosted in our efforts to increase donations as a pre-cursor to an event in the past were no more…thanks Covid-19. Taking this in my stride, I knew ultimately that if there was ever a time to heavily convert and promote to cashless donations, that time was now.

We set up a Just Giving page and went from there, we got ‘The Power of 4’ t-shirts embroidered with an unmissable QR code in an attempt to entice passers-by to contribute. £4.00 for NSPCC volunteers to answer a child’s call for help was highlighted in everything that we did. As we were asking for £4.00 as a starting point it was important that we considered people’s financial positions were, to no surprise the correlation did not add up – the less we asked for, the more people chose to give. A good strategy to use as it eliminates the aspect of expecting people to give a higher amount than what they are comfortable with, leaving them to only negotiate with themselves.

The generosity of local businesses across Belfast was so overwhelmingly beautiful, seeing people come together and contribute different items was very much appreciated by our team who went out and informed them of our campaign. I know I said above we went cashless; however, we didn’t go 100% as all of the items donated by Taboo Donuts, Lidl NI and many more generous companies had to be put to good use and realistically if you work in Belfast or any other city for that matter following lunch hour nearly everyone has a pounds change lying about somewhere = RAFFLE.

Alongside our promotions as Charity Partners, NSPCC NI were also re-sharing and promoting our campaign to their audiences. Our promotional efforts got the attention of some key people who we wanted to reach out to, you can see below prominent campaign features which really boosted exposure levels.  

  • Having NSPCC NI Fundraising Manager on as a podcast guest.
  • Having David Tait, NSPCC ambassador who climbed Mount Everest five times in aid of the NSPCC and raised over £1,000,000 send us a video message of support.
  • NSPCC Trustee Lady Brenda McLaughlin write us a letter of achievement post event.
  • Full coverage on the ‘Love Belfast’ site in promoting of the event.

Ultimately, I can confidently say…I will never run 48 miles in 2.5 days ever again (and have not ran since) but the tremendous feeling of achievement is something I’ll probably remember for a long time. The blood, sweat and tears (no joke) were all worth it in the end up, not only did we exceed our £5,000 target and end up raising £10,282 but our efforts will see over 2,000 additional calls being answered when children are in their time of need and that’s the only thing that matters.

Thanks for reading, don’t forget to help out a charity that’s close to your heart, everything is appreciated and nothing is too little.

Domilia Timonyte is a final year BSc Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on Instagram and LinkedIn.

The impact of going Viral on Tiktok for a Small business

The impact of going Viral on Tiktok for a Small business

While Tiktok was launched in 2016, it has recently become extremely popular, and this popularity has allowed it to become a great advertising method for many small business who cannot afford to pay large amounts on advertising.

Time and time again, we see small businesses on Tiktok going from reaching an audience of sometimes less than a hundred people to reaching thousands of people and selling out their products. This has been an extremely successfully method for people who are selling art, clothes sellers, jewellery and makeup, including eyelashes and lipglosses. I have even bought jewellery of a seller after seeing their products advertised on Tiktok, as I liked the look of their handmade earrings, and I never would have purchased from that seller if I hadn’t seen the business on Tiktok.

Many of the small businesses who advertise on Tiktok focus on Customer Service and add an extra touch to their packages such as personalised thank you notes, packinging and treats such as scrunchies or sweets. This helps them stand out to consumers even if they are selling the same products as larger businesses, and usually at a higher price than those same businesses as their customer service allows them to charge that extra bit. Many businesses also show themselves packaging people’s parcels if requested and these videos alone are capable of reaching tens of thousands of people, and some people buy with the hopes of getting their product packaged on Tiktok, as they are interested in the experience of buying from these smaller businesses.  

A Small business I have seen apply these tactics is an American brand, is Beauty_holics who sells an assortment of products including  a bundle which is two pairs of eyelashes, and applicator, a spoolie and a scrunchie for $30.00. This item is regularly sold out despite being very expensive compared to competitors.

Examples of packaging brands like Beauty_holics use

This is mainly because of the packaging – the products are put into a miniature suitcase instead of a box which is fun and exciting to people and makes them want to buy the product. One of her videos has received 9.1M likes and has been viewed by 62.1M people which is an astonishing reach for someone running a small niched business out of their home, and immediately following this video going viral she completely sold out on her website.

Another reason a lot of Videos from small businesses go viral on Tiktok is because people are generally interested in a glimpse of other people’s lives and businesses and this is why brands that do ‘come to work with me’ or show people how they make some of their products are so successful.

A small business near me, XXI ice in Dundalk, reached an audience of 5.2 million people on one of their 1 minute long videos showing how they make their strawberry rolled ice cream, and has reached a similar audiences on more of their videos, and this advertising reaches places all over the world – not just in Ireland, and has left an impression on all of them from watching such a simple video. There is very few Social Medias which let you easily gain 5.2 million views, as easily as can be done from going TikTok viral.

Chicken Nugget ice Cream from XXI Ice Tiktok video

 The account also makes ice cream with other stranger items such as chicken nuggets which is controversial enough that it helps keep people intrigued as to what they will do next, and so people will be encouraged to follow them on Tiktok.

Many people who promote their business on Tiktok also offer a personal touch such as a mystery pack option. People like these products as it is exciting to get a package in your style but you don’t actually know what you’re getting. The business asks for a few of your likes or dislikes and works from there to personalise your product. One brand who does this well is ‘hissyfitclothing’ who has different kinds of mystery packs, such as pastel, dark, and rave themed ones, her brand is sold out of the mystery packs on a regular basis because they are so popular. The brand is also very responsive on tiktok so it is very popular for their customer service, and she is very open about how she sources and makes the clothing and so it popular for her ethical clothing. She was also able to turn a customer compliant into a viral video, she had a customer go viral by making a video complaining about how the 3 items in her mystery pack didn’t go with each other – which they hadn’t been marketed to do. In response to this she made a video called ‘styling that mystery pack’ where she styled the items from that pack in many different ways.

There is, however, is a downside to Tiktok as a marketing device as while you may get a lot of attention for a while after going viral, it is a very fast moving app and you need to work very hard to keep the attention as the spotlight is very quick to move onto the next viral videos and so it is very difficult to receive sustained attention, and you have to be prepared for the constant up and down of views and sales you receive from advertising through Tiktok.

Aoife McCreesh is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on: Twitter and LinkedIn.

Coronavirus crisis; how brands are successfully addressing it

Coronavirus crisis; how brands are successfully addressing it

I know we’re all sick of hearing about Covid-19; I won’t bore you with statistics or point out your wrongdoings. Instead I wanted to share my fascination with the way in which brands, big and small, have reacted to the global crisis. Not only is it worth taking note of their crisis management but also their crisis communication and marketing. Sparks of creativity and brilliance were keeping us sane as organisations developed impactful ways to demonstrate how much they cared. They’ve been addressing customer concerns, trying to unearth solutions and attempting to create solidarity whilst promoting a physical separation. Others just graced us with humour during some of the dimmest days.  

Many would argue that brands were faced with a sink or swim dilemma. The options were to think on their feet; either physically changing the product or the service they provide, remaining relevant through crisis marketing or suffer irretrievable losses.

  1. Addressing customer concerns

By early March it became apparent that this virus was here to stay. Every day we were faced with unprecedented decisions taken by the government, impacting on every aspect of our lives and rapidly heightening our stress levels. Companies were keen to express empathy, acknowledging the impact Covid was having on so many. Stockpiling became a daily ritual for those fortunate enough to do so. Toilet paper became a hot commodity; I’m still unsure why. Panic buying led to stretched supply chains and the resultant shortages meant brands were faced with backlash from the self-same panic buying consumers. Cottonelle, one of the leading toilet paper brands, developed a campaign encouraging consumers to “stock up on generosity” and #shareasquare.     

2. Finding solutions

Companies quickly responded to the urgent requirement for medical equipment and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). The demand was for hand sanitiser, ventilators, scrubs and masks. Large brands, such as Smiths Group, LVMH and Brewdog, were in a strong position to pivot their manufacturing in order to develop prototypes or products. Smiths Group worked with the VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium securing a contract to produce 10,000 ventilators for the UK. Additionally, world renowned company LVMH converted their perfume factories to produce hand sanitiser. LVMH are famed for their high-end luxury products, however, we all learnt very quickly what the real luxury in life was; our health.

Closer to home, we experienced similar adaptations. Groups were popping up everywhere producing thousands of scrubs and other PPE. In fact, I do recall chuckling at the sight of doctors or consultants working in princess-themed scrubs made from children’s bedsheets. With regards to businesses adapting to the new normal and providing a new service, I am sure the majority of us jumped at the opportunity to pick up a takeaway from our local restaurant. For many restaurants this was a completely new experience and hiccups in services were inevitable. But let’s face it, at this point we had the time to wait for our dinner. Restaurants such as Shu in Belfast created an online menu of recipes and ingredients which customers could choose from, collect and cook at home. This ensured that they still managed to stay afloat in uncertain times and continue to provide a product and service to their loyal customers.

3. Sense of solidarity

Brands and organisations took responsibility for spreading awareness and encouraging people to observe social distancing. Brands wanted to demonstrate their understanding of our wish to remain united despite the physical barrier between us all. Coca Cola placed a billboard in Times Square which read “Staying apart is the best way to stay united”. Nike also jumped on the bandwagon, generating a catchy slogan “play for the world, play inside”. Portraying the world as a smaller place with a shared identity, and striving to engender a kindred spirit, became a common theme. The most touching one for me was the St Patrick’s Day Guinness advert. Despite gatherings and celebrations being slightly different this year, Guinness found a way to intensify our sense of camaraderie, yanking on the strings of our national identity.

4. Humour

Humour effectively executed can reap excellent rewards for brands. It creates emotional arousal and promotes the release of anxiety or worry through amusement. Through efficacious humour, organisations can take important rules and regulations set by higher powers, make light of them but also inform their customers. When brands allow us to see their ‘funny side’ we open up more to them and, on occasion, their marketing ploys can become the most memorable to us. In keeping with Covid-19 guidelines, KFC removed the “finger lickin’” part of their famous slogan “it’s finger linkin’ good”, much to my amusement. Another which caught my eye was Connswater Shopping Centre’s sign, making light of the fact they were insisting on customers wearing a face covering.  

We will never forget the year 2020, each of us for slightly different reasons. Despite the difficult times we’ve faced, I know I’d be speaking on behalf of so many when I say it’s been a hugely insightful time. Particularly for me as I begin my career in communication and public relations. I have been inspired by so many organisations, watching as they harness their creativity in every aspect of business life. Learn from them, take chances, be bold, and prosper.

Lydia Killen is a final year BSc Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on Instagram and Twitter

Why Out of Home Advertising is Still Valuable in a Digital Era

First off what actually is it? Put simply, out of home (OOH) advertising is any form of advertising you see in public places and therefore ‘out of your home.’ Examples of this can be found in train stations, grocery stores, on bus shelters etc. 

Living in a fast-paced, diverse and continuously evolving digital era means that we can sometimes become blindsided to the benefits that traditional OOH advertising can offer. Some may feel that OOH is dying in an age of digital media and online campaigns. Some may believe that with such a focus on social media and with the population spending more time on their phones and less time focused on the outside environment that it can be a waste of time and resources. However, for me this is not the case.

Every week 98% of the population see some kind of OOH advertising in the UK. It has the potential to reach commuters, students, business people, busy parents, shoppers and the list goes on. Basically, it can reach everyone. Therefore, throughout this blog I will provide five compelling reasons as to why OOH advertising is so valuable and not ‘old-fashioned’.

The present and most definitely the future of OOH advertising is digital. As technology evolves and becomes smarter and more sophisticated OOH mediums will too. Digital out of home (DOOH) advertising will help create more ways to engage and share messages with potential prospects. DOOH is able to build upon the traditional advertising mediums with the added digital benefits of flexibility and addressability. This will to help to create a more powerful, advanced and influential industry helping to inspire prospects and therefore aid goal achievement for brands.

 

1. It Reaches People

As I said before, it doesn’t matter if you’re walking your dog, driving to work or going out to the shops you are exposed to a huge variety of physical media formats. These formats cannot be blocked, skipped or deleted but are noticed by people every day in the real world. They provide the perfect opportunity to achieve a mass reach within your market on a regular basis at a rapid rate. It’s thought that on average we spend 3 hours 10 minutes in public places each day. This means that there’s a huge opportunity for brands to provide multiple highly targeted messages in the right context. This will therefore, aid audience engagement as people go about their daily lives and will consequently influence their purchasing decisions in the future. As we see population, traffic and urbanisation increase so does the prospect to communicate with audiences via OOH advertising.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. OOH Drives Online Engagement

Majority of those who are viewing billboards (traditional / digital), adshels or transit advertising for example tend to be young, urban and affluent consumers. According to Route the “urban clustering” of digital screens means that 37% of all DOOH are seen by 15-34-year-olds and 63% by ABC1s. These individuals are constantly on the move, highly social and most importantly digitally connected. This means that these cohorts of the population are more likely to share and engage with an advertisement via word-of-mouth and social media. They are also more likely to complete a mobile search after seeing an OOH advert compared to any other type of media.

OOH / DOOH advertising works naturally with mobile and both are complementary of each other. Utilising both mediums intentionally together means that message frequency is higher. This can result in greater engagement, click-through-rates and therefore campaign success.  

 

 

 

 

 

3. OOH Media Formats are Highly Targeted

The key to an effective outdoor media campaign is DATA! This means knowing where your audience is and understand their behaviours. Digital out-of-home media formats enables brands to take advantage of this by strategically selecting specific locations that would reach their desired audience most effectively.

The use of geolocation data for example allows brands to create a ‘roadmap’ of the top sites to buy and the best times to run their targeted ads to reach the right audience at the right time in the right place.

DOOH ad campaigns can have heightened relevance and customisation through the use of dynamic creation optimisation (DCO). This means various digital media formats can make use of the time of day, traffic, weather and temperature to engage with your audience during certain moments of their day. In short, DOOH can enable a wide reach with a narrow focus.  

4. Always On

OOH advertising mediums are on display 24 hours a day. They can be viewed at any time… whether it’s first thing in the morning or last thing at night they are always on display, waiting to grab people’s attention. They have no switch off time. Outdoor advertising cannot be missed as Clear Channel states, “it’s always on, always being seen.” This leads nicely to my final point…

5. It’s cost-effective

If you know you want / need to raise awareness of your brand however, you are concerned about your budget… OOH is the perfect cost-effective platform. Depending on the audience you wish to reach and your objectives you can decide to advertise on one adshel or 500 billboards… The power really is in your hands.   

As described earlier OOH media formats can reach a huge national audience at a rather reasonable price. When you combine the mass reach with scalability and the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) it is evident that OOH is an extremely cost-effective option.

Moreover, deciding to advertise using digital out-of-home media formats can be even more cost effective. Unlike traditional OOH media formats printing, installation and maintenance expenses are eliminated. This means there are no printing, manual labour or recurring costs. DOOH media formats be can installed rapidly with only the cost of screens and setup required.

Overall, brands are likely to have a greater return on investment (ROI) with their advertising campaign using OOH media formats while ensuring maximum engagement.

Hopefully, I have managed to convince you that out-of-home advertising is not dying in this digital era. It is only evolving and becoming more dynamic to adapt to the diverse and rapidly changing digital world that we live in. It’s obvious that digitisation is not here to replace traditional advertising. Instead, it provides an opportunity for the two mediums to work together and complement each other in order to adapt to and meet the expectations of consumers. The past performance of traditional OOH advertising highlights how influential OOH can be. Today, various locations, formats, data and technology provides an exciting possibility to make a meaningful difference for brands.

 

Alice Byrne is a second year BSc in Communication, Advertising & Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be found at – Linkedin: Alice Byrne and Twitter: @alice_byrne

The brands giving us lockdown laughs

The word “unprecedented” is everywhere. Cardi B warbling “Coronavirus” is on repeat in my head. Each day is rolling into the next and every now and again, I have to forcibly relax my jaw after realising I’ve been anxiously clenching my teeth.

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I’ll stop there… while quarantine has been an unusual transition, I’m definitely feeling very grateful for my health and loved ones during “these strange times” (another *very* popular phrase).

Something that has been helping though, is seeing the creativity and innovation that has been sparked by brands as a result of lockdown. Humour can be tricky to get right during a crisis but can also be a great outlet and distraction from all the scary news that’s clogging up every social media platform at the moment.

Here are some brands I think have nailed it on the head with humour and creativity.

Ryan Reynolds & Mint Mobile

Filmed in the style of many Zoom quizzes and virtual meetings now taking place across the world, this gave me a proper chuckle. The ad titled “New ManageMint” opens with Reynolds appearing to be recording from his laptop as he introduces a slideshow, poking fun at himself and his movies throughout.

The actor sarcastically tells us “instead of using the magic of film, I’m gonna use the magic of slides!” I love this light-hearted ad and how it gets the brand’s message of low-cost mobile service across in a fun and creative way. Definitely worth a watch!

Since purchasing a majority ownership of Mint Mobile at the end of 2019, Reynolds has created lots of brand awareness, not least by taking a dig at brands paying up to $5m for an ad in the Superbowl this year. Mint Mobile took an ad out with the New York Times, titled “An Announce-Mint”, offering 3 months of free service to 100,000 people if they signed up during the Superbowl, which they claim would equate to the same amount of money as paying for a Superbowl ad.  

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Whassup Bud

“WAZZZAAAAA” was to 1999 what the Go Compare opera man is today. It’s one of the first ads I remember seeing as a child. I don’t think I even knew it was from an ad at the time? I just remember everyone shouting WAZZZAAAA at each other, quite often in a context that didn’t make sense (E.g. Q: “Well, what’s new with you?” A: “WAZZZAAAA”). Turns out it was an ad for Budweiser! And now, the beer brand has repurposed the ad to reinforce the message of staying home and social distancing during the Coronavirus lockdown.

 

Emily Crisps

It isn’t a fantastic time to launch an outdoor advertising campaign, given that no one is leaving their house these days. This was the problem snack brand Emily Crisps faced when they realised their first OOH advertising campaign was going to be seen by a lot less eyes than they had initially planned. Despite the challenge, the brand turned it into an opportunity to express humour and get their personality across by changing the creative a little.

Initially, the message was to “ditch dull, eat bold” referring to the fact that most crisp brands look similar to the standard red, green and blue packaging. Instead, Emily Crisps have kept he “eat bold” slogan for their OOH campaign, while making fun of themselves too. One of the digital executions reads “Our first ever poster, seen by a runner and one pigeon. Typical.” Another says “Do an ad when it’s warmer, they said… more people will see it, they said. Pffft…” and “Hmmm… maybe we should have made a TV ad instead”.

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Coronavirus (cue the Cardi meme) has altered our lives in every way imaginable and it has been a really difficult time for a lot of people. Seeing brands harness their creativity and rise to the challenge that lockdown has brought, has been incredibly inspiring.

I do believe that a pinch of humour (when used in the right way) is a great way for a brand to show their personality and ultimately create a unique form of engagement with their customers. It lets us see the human faces behind the Big Corporation mask and in this case, reminds us that these brands are going through the challenges of Coronavirus along with us.

 

Ciara Madden is a first year BSc in Communications, Advertising & Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be found on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ciara-madden-29ab7318a/

Great brands demonstrating social distancing

As governments around the world promote staying at home to curb the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak, brands are stepping up to help. 

With consumers staying at home, brands now have a unique opportunity to craft creative digital campaigns to showcase their products as well as their social responsibility. By spending all this time indoors, it is no surprise that creativity is booming around the world, with strong messages of hope, unity and forward- thinking gracing our social media timelines. 

Cleverly, Slovenia-based creative director Jure Tovrljan reimagined some of the world’s most iconic logos for the new age of social distancing. Tovrljan redesigned 12 logos from brands like Nike, Starbucks and The Olympics. Some updates were as simple as a play on words: LinkedIn becomes ‘LockedIn’, Nike’s famous ‘Just do it’ becomes ‘Just don’t do it’.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst these designs are just thought experiments, some brands have made actual changes to their logos to express official recommendations surrounding Covid-19.

Fast food chains have taken their own twist on this emerging trend. McDonalds has separated the Golden Arches that make up its iconic ‘M’, whilst similarly KFC adapts its logo with a strong tagline to reinforce its message.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile Coca-Cola widened the space between the letters in its iconic script with ‘Staying apart is the best way to stay united’ situated below it, promoting the stay at home order. Whilst it hasn’t touched its famous ‘Just do it’ tagline, Nike have also made an attempt to adapt the public obligation to stay at home as a personal challenge with their new ad campaign below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not forgetting the disruption automakers have faced to production from the outbreak, Audi and Volkswagen have also joined in temporarily redefining their logo:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, we ourselves at Allstate have applied our own light-hearted approach to this trend to visually engage with our audience and remind them daily of the recommendation we face:

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, whilst not all brands are adapting logos they are being mindful about the way they communicate.

ASOS was recently scrutinised for selling chainmail face masks during this outbreak. Since then, they made the decision to the withdraw the product, and have been more mindful about the way it is speaking about the pandemic on social media. Positively, ASOS is using gentle humor to encourage social distancing, speaking about it in a tone that appeals to its target audience of millennials:

 

 

 

 

It is clear to see that in these challenging times brands are destined to stay current whilst promoting social good. Do you think these are successful?

Stephanie Daly is a third year Bsc Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University currently on placement year at Allstate. She can be found at: LinkedIn – Stephanie Daly.

261 years into a 9,000-year lease

If you have been in Dublin for a day trip or a weekend before then I’m sure the Guinness Storehouse and infamous St. James gate was high on your to do list, for that must have Instagram snap or just to visit the home of the most famous thing to come out of Ireland since Westlife.

In 1759, 261 years ago, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease for the old abandoned St. James brewery and generations of the Guinness family have been brewing Guinness there ever since. It’s long been a part of Irish history and a key feature in Dublin’s tourism industry with total visitors of around 18 million people since it opened to the public in 2000, and just a tiny €361.2 million economic contribution in 2017, according to the Journal.ie.

On a typical wet Sunday afternoon in Dublin, I finally got the chance to go see the home of Guinness for myself. Even though I don’t actually like the drink (I’m more of a cider girl myself, sorry Guinness!) the Storehouse was always somewhere I wanted to visit. Not because of the free pint at the end but because besides being famous for the drinks, Guinness’ marketing and ads have given the brand a place in the history books and it has a floor in the Storehouse dedicated to ‘The world of advertising’.

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In this section of the Storehouse you can see the first newspaper advertisement for Guinness ever published in a newspaper (pictured below) which came out in 1929. You can see larger than life characters from some of the best ads from throughout the years, for example, a kangaroo, a seal, a tortoise and a fish on a bicycle.

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In this post I thought I’d run you through my top 5 favourite Guinness tv ads – some old, some new but all pretty legendary tv adverts.

 

  1. Tipping point

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Tipping point first graced our TV screens in November 2007 and was dubbed the most expensive ad in history. This tv ad was based in Argentina showcasing the most usual game of dominos ever witnessed. It begins with 6,000 dominos which leads onto paint, cars, books and tyres leading up to a column of books which open to resemble a pint of Guinness. The fall of the dominos takes about a minute and a half and ends in the slogan “Good things come to those who wait” because it takes around 119 seconds to pour the perfect pint of Guinness, which is a fairly long wait for a pint I suppose. This one takes 5th place for me due to its artistry and the effort that must have gone into making it.

 

  1. Surfer

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“Tik followed tok, followed tik followed tok” began the ad that was to be voted the best tv ad of all time. This ad again signifies the phrase “good things come to those who wait” and follows the story of surfers waiting for the prefect wave that they have waited their whole lives to ride. Launched in 1999 it was the first of a new trend in ads for Guinness. It wasn’t popular with research audiences at the beginning but the brand director and the director of the ad agency responsible for the idea both knew they were on to a winner. I put this surfer as 4th place on my list of favourites.

 

  1. The Purse

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This adorable little ad came out earlier this year and ran throughout the six nations. It was based on a true story of two Welsh brothers who had recently lost their mother, but her dying wish was that they spend all that was left of her money on the six nations as she was such a fan of the tournament. The ad shows them honouring her wishes and her life by following their beloved Welsh team around Europe for matches and of course, using the same purse that she used as a kitty on match days, they enjoy a pint of Guinness. This makes it onto 3rd place on my list as I just think the story is so heart-warming with a little bit of humour thrown in there too.

 

  1. Congo’s Sapeaurs

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This ad is based on the Society of Elegent Persons of the Congo, better known as the Sapeurs and sheds light on a different side of African culture. It came out in 2014 and was praised for being hugely realistic and true to life. The people in the ad aren’t actors but actually real sapeaurs who believe in the power of dressing your best and showing your true style, flair and creativity. This ad stands for more than trying to sell a few more pints, but highlights the work these sapeurs do in their community, helping each other and their families and getting people back on track, symbolising their stand for peace, integrity and honour. The flair of the people, the music and the true to life setting are why I think this is my 2nd favourite ad.

 

  1. Even at the home of the black stuff, they dream of a white one

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Awarded the title of “Probably the best Christmas ad ever” by me, I think it’s fair to say a lot of people would agree. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas until you’ve seen the Guinness Christmas ad of 2011 and as that time of year is approaching once again I don’t think anything else could possibly have been at the top of my list. The fact that is ad is nearly 10 years old and is still shown every year shows that its up there with the best Christmas ads of all time. It’s an iconic ad, filmed in spots all over Ireland at the minute Christmas starts and the snow begins to fall.

 

Shannon Walsh is a final year BSc in Communications Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on twitter at @997_shannon or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/shannon-walsh-8a3b08172/

Battle Of The Christmas Ads

The shelves are stocked with mince pies and Mariah Carey is playing throughout the supermarkets but there’s nothing that says the holiday season quite like the battle of the Christmas ads. Halloween is over and just like that the festive advertisements, flood our TV screens. I think it’s fair to say that Christmas ads have now become an integral part of our Christmas.

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We wait with anticipation to see what extent our favourite retailers and brands will go to, to be crowned Christmas advertisement of the year, but what actually makes a good Christmas advertisement? Tear jerkers? Humour? Tradition? Celebs?

One thing for sure anyway, a lot of money makes a good campaign… BBC reported that last year these industry giants spent a record breaking 6.4bn on festive advertising. Wow!

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Here’s the low down on Brand Watch’s top 5 Christmas Ads of 2018;

  1. John Lewis (no surprise here)

John Lewis never fail to impress us, they are a strong contender for the best ad every year and you can be almost sure that before it’s even released it’s going to be a good one. It was reported that they spent 1 Million pound on the masterpiece.  I think they’ll find it hard to top it this year.

  1. Iceland

Ranked the most powerful Christmas ad of 2018, and probably one of the most talked about and shared on social media, after being banned from TV. Iceland pulled at our heart strings by showing the devastating effects of palm oil plantations and a tale of how an orangutan lost its home and family due to deforestation. To say it was controversial that this got banned is an understatement, hence why it was shared so widely on social media.

  1. Sainsburys

This was a personal fav of mine from last year. Bringing out the fun element and showing kids having ‘The Best Night’ at their school play. This ad generated the most positive reactions on Twitter.

  1. Aldi

It was the return of Kevin the Carrot for Aldi, we watched in anticipation as Aldi piggy-backed on the Coca-Cola ad, with Kevin on the road doing some deliveries in a very similar style truck to that of the iconic red Coca-Cola one. Aldi very cleverly got us all talking about their ad by leaving it on a cliff hanger.

  1. Heathrow

Heathrow brought back the beloved bears for what made a touching festive story that warmed our hearts.

So what’s the secret to having the most effective Christmas campaign?

It can be said that the most successful Christmas ads are the ones that take us on a journey with them. This is probably why John Lewis were crowned last year’s best, as they took us on the journey of ‘The Boy and the Piano’ we watched Elton John grow from a young boy who received a piano from his grandmother as a Christmas present, into a music icon.

Some Christmas ads have been slammed in the past for pushing products and not focusing on the Christmas spirit, but after all the main purpose of an ad is to increase sales and get people through the door, right?

Every year we see these brands very cleverly battle it out on twitter in response to each other’s ads and last year was no different with plenty of  ‘keyboard warriors’ creating parodies of the John Lewis Ad. We all like to see a bit of friendly banter between rivals. Round of applause for the creativity of these!

Lidl

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Iceland (ouch)

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Poundland

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eBay

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Oldies but goldies… 

Is there still room for the classics or is it time for them to up their game?

Personally I love the classic nostalgic ads.

I think it goes without saying that the all-time favourite traditional Christmas ad has to be, Coca-Cola ‘The Holidays are coming’? It is definitely mine anyway! The iconic red truck first graced our TV screens in 1995, and every year since we have tuned in to watch its return. Research carried out by the Advertising Association actually found that ‘The Holidays are coming’ was voted the best song to be played in a Christmas Ad.

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Who will get your vote this year?

Megan.

Megan Carton is a final year Bsc Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/megan-carton-351485182/