Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Paulaner Oktoberfest 2009

The Irish may be the stout kings of thew world, but when it comes to beer the Germans know a thing or two about brewing. Specifically those clever folk in Bavaria. Luckily you don't need to go all the way to Bavaria to enjoy some of the finest German beers and foods. It's that time of the year again and Oktoberfest is upon us!

The annual Paulaner Oktoberfest kicks off next week on the 8th October and runs for a full 10 days until the 18th. This is the second year that the festival has travelled to Ireland is not to be missed. It's a free event, and is absolutely family friendly. You can experience traditional German fun, food and entertainment. Even better news, for those of us living in Ringsend, is that the Paulaner Oktoberfest will again be located in Dublin’s George's Dock. Perhaps even better news is that the festival will feature its famous marquee (representative of the Munich Oktoberfest), a host of German market stalls, and over 24 Munich barmaids, all aiming to share some German fun, food, entertainment and seriously tasty Bavarian beer. The Paulaner Oktoberfest will also offer visitors a taste of authentic Bavarian brass and dance music from the German group, Mostland Stürmer.

The traditional German market will feature over thirty German speciality food traders, all of whom are travelling to Dublin specifically for the festival. So make sure to try the speciality sausages, meat, Käsealm and candy and ginger bread hearts. The festival will also offer visitors the chance to try Paulaner and Paulaner Non Alcoholic, as well as the special Oktoberfest brew.

Last year over 70,000 people visited the festival and don't expect it to be any different this year. Whatever you do, don't miss this great opportunity.

For more information check out the Paulaner Oktoberfest website, or email

Alternatively, why not join the 190 festival fans already on Facebook?

For a taste of what's to come, check out this video of last years Oktoberfest:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I found this great video over on Engadget. A robot turning itself into a red car, how incredibly awesome is that!

This is the OmniZero.9, the latest iteration from Takeshi Maeda of a humanoid looking robot. The robot has wheeled shoulders and knees that allow it to drive around. Its head can also flip back to create a seat for a passenger. OmniZero.9 competed at ROBO-ONE in a number of different categories.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Interactive Advertising: Shelter - Be Happy At Home

These are two online ads for the housing and homelessness charity Shelter. The ads were launched as part of a suite of four different creatives for their “Be happy at home” campaign, promoting their online advice service, Know Your Rights. Each ad features a different scene of someone who is happy at home.

Each advert has the tagline “Be happy at home” with a scrolling ticker tape of things that Shelter’s Know your rights service can help you with, from your rights as a tenant to where to go if you are faced with homelessness.

Lean Mean Fighting Machine is the agency behind the campaign. The media plan concentrated on the social networking sites MySpace and Faceparty, with additional coverage across NME and MTV.

Imogen Wilson, Shelter’s head of marketing and brand, said: “Shelter’s Know your rights website is the only dedicated online housing advice service for young people. Since the site’s launch in 2005 we have successfully supported thousands of young people every year with housing problems. Lean Mean Fighting Machine has come up with a fresh, positive and engaging online marketing campaign which will continue to effectively target young people and make sure they get access to the advice and support they need to help keep a roof over their head.”

Know Your Rights, is supported by The Vodafone UK Foundation. It is the first ever dedicated online advice service for 16-25 year olds. It provides expert, in-depth and practical housing advice online on issues from rent arrears and deposit protection to preventing homelessness.

Axe: Day & Night

Spotted this over on AdGoodness. Great example of how to drive mobile engagement from Lowe Ginkgo.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fifty People, One Question

Ask as many people as possible the same question and see what answer you get.

Simple, right?

A nice simple idea, with really inspirational results. I loved this the first time I saw it, and it's just as good every time after!

The film was shot on an Canon HV20 with a 35mm adapter, using Indifocus rails on a Matthews M25 tripod. he lens is a Nikon e series 50mm 1.8 Shure PG81 with a Zoom h4 unit.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

'Rage' Premier

Thursday will definitely be remembered as Arthur's Day but there was another pretty special event taking place across Europe on the 24th. Last Thursday saw the world's first multi-venue interactive premier take place for Sally Potter’s new movie ‘Rage’. The film was broadcast from London's BFI Southbank, live via satellite, to a host of cinemas across Europe, including Dundrum here in Ireland. The film screening was then followed by a live questions and answers session with the film’s writer and director, Sally Potter, and the film's cast. Simon Abkarian, who plays Merlin, and Riz Ahmed, who plays Vijay, were both present with Sally Potter, while other cast members including Eddie Izzard, Lily Cole and Jude Law, all of whom were in New York, participated live via Skype.

Although the film was first shown at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year, and was nominated for the coveted Golden Berlin Bear award, it also saw another interesting digital first as an episode of ‘Rage’ was then given a general release exclusively on mobile phones. As well as being premièred in the various cinema venues, people were also invited to watch the movie on their computers or mobile phones on the 24th. These audience members were then able to ask Sally Potter and the cast members questions via text message, twitter or live on Skype.

Sally Potter explained "[that she] instigated this method of having an interactive premiere because I wanted to make going to the cinema a more exciting place, I was inspired by my experience of 'the intimacy of blogging'".

The movie follows the story of a schoolboy who uses his mobile phone to shoot interviews with people working at a New York fashion house. He then secretly posts the videos to the internet. However when an accident on the catwalk leads to a murder investigation the videos and the boy are put under the spot light. Interestingly, none of the cast actually met while the film was being shot due to the one-on-one nature of the interviews. The film was produced by Andrew Fierberg
and Christopher Sheppard, with Steven Fierberg as director of photography. The film was edited by Daniel Goddard.

Friday, September 25, 2009

To Arthur!

17:59 ticked over and all across the country pints were raised and toasts declared to one of Ireland's most prolific philanthropists. 'To Arthur!'

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Changes In The Media Landscape

I have a huge list of things that I want to write about but the simple truth is that there are not enough hours in the day to do all of them. So in going through this extremely long list I realised that at least three of the items fitted together into a nice three-in-one post. So here is a little snap shot of three of the most important changes that I feel have gone on in the media landscape in the last couple of weeks.

Google's Display Ad Exchange

After much speculation and talk following Google's purchase of DoubleClick (two years ago!), it has finally happened - the Google Display Ad Exchange has launched. Coupled with the usual over-exagerated boasts, Google tell us that the system "will change the way advertisers buy ad space". The move represents one of the most open challenges that Google have made against Yahoo! and Microsoft's display ad marketshares. Up until now Google had relied on its Display network to counter both YAhoo! and Microsoft's display offering, both of which were real 'display' networks.

Having said that, the new DoubleClick Ad Exchange is modelled directly on the AdSense and AdWords systems. Neal Mohan, vice president of product management at Google, said "the exchange is a real-time marketplace that will help publishers, ad networks and agencies buy and sell display space. We want to democratise access to display advertising and make it accessible and open, like search advertising. By bringing publishers and advertisers together in an open marketplace in which prices are set in a real-time auction, the Ad Exchange enables display ads and ad space to be allocated much more efficiently. This improves returns for advertisers and enables publishers to get the most value out of their online content."

Facebook's Beacon Is Gone

Folling the $9.5m settlement of a class-action lawsuit launched against Beacon, Facebook has finally confirmed it will completely shut down the advertising service. Although Facebook has been gradually phasing out the system, it has continued to be used by a number of websites up until very recently. The service, which was originally launched in late 2007, suffered from immediate controversy by utilising the browsing habits of its members while they were on other websites.

In December 2007, very shortly after launch, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, issued a personal apology for what he called "lots of mistakes in the way the system was handled". In reality, the whole system was a complete PR disaster. The web virtually exploded with concerns over Facebook invading the privacy of its users without their prior consent or knowledge. The result was that Facebook introduced more controls and ultimately made the system opt-in for members.

The settlement itself, which is still pending approval, will also pay $9.5m to create a foundation to fund products that promote online privacy, safety and security. Facebook has said that "we look forward to the creation of the foundation and its work to educate Internet users on how best to control their privacy [and] engage in safe social networking practices."

Web Metrics Reinvented

When it comes to digital audience measurement there are only two options: comScore or Omniture. So the news that these two rivals are planning to launch a single, combined digital audience measurement system is absolutely huge. The companies have revealed that they hope to design a platform that will bring more clarity and confidence to the online advertising market. Essentailly, the system will give both websites and advertisers a unified source for measuring how many visitors hit their sites, how often they visit and exactly who the visitors are.

Specific details of system are as of yet unavailable, however industry experts predict that it will most likely combine Omniture analysis tools and comScore's internet user panels. The question remains however of how exactly they will gather their raw data set. In the past, the two companies have almost always shown different sets of data due to the fact that they have always set out to achieve relatively different goals. This is the main area that it is hoped will be addressed, and that the current disparity between the companies will be resolved.

Interestingly, last week also saw Omniture in the news as it was taken over by Adobe for $1.8 billion (£1bn). Adobe has said that the deal will ultimately help digital marketers increase their ROI through a more accurate measurement system. As any Digital Marketer will tell you, flash is fantastic for (pardon the pun) flashy "nova-style" microsites (short lived, hyped up and ultimately forgettable), but an absolute nightmare for longterm projects due to the inability of search engines to truely index the flash contents. A recent takeover may spell the end for this, however.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

TED: Jonathan Zittrain

This is Jonathan Zittrain's TED Talk from TED Global 2009. Here Jonathan discusses the notion that the world feels like it's becoming less friendly. As a Social Theorist, Jonathan thinks the opposite is true. He believes that "the Internet is made up of millions of disinterested acts of kindness, curiosity and trust".

I for one agree. I believe the internet's greatest strength is that people are willing to help other people for no profit or gain whatsoever. People go out of their way to share their own knowledge and expertise just because they now have the tools to do it. The internet is the great facilitator of 'helping'.

Starbucks: iPhone Apps

Today Starbucks have launched two new iPhone Apps: myStarbucks and Starbucks Card Mobile. Both are free to download and are designed to enhance the Starbucks experience. Have fun creating your own Starbucks drink or use your iPhone to load your Starbuck's Card or even look up the nutritional information of their beverages. The mobile team in charge of App development for Starbucks have hinted that an online ordering app may not be too far away either!

More information and both downloads are available here.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2010

With the recent launch of Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2010 range, the internet has become a flurry of Merc related ads and videos. Like the recent C and S classes, the new E-Class is promised as a return to what people always loved Mercedes for: solid, safe, comfortable, and reliable cars which you can be bought with utter faith.

The two best examples of the online work that Merc have pushed out, imho, are this 300x250 interactive display ad and their full 2min 53sec promotional video. The ad is featured on a large range of international sites, while the video (which has primarily been pushed out through YouTube) seems to be mostly featured across the Asian and American markets.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2010: Interactive Display Ad

Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2010: Promotional Video

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Obama's Digital Marketing

It may be tough to imagine Barack Obama not getting elected, but only 4 years ago he was virtually unknown both domestically and certainly internationally. So how did this unknown Junior Senator from Illinois get elected as the 44th President of the United States?

The folks behind Obama's Digital Marketing Strategy were Blue State Digital. They were responsible for designing and running all online marketing, and ultimately in charge of directing the technology and digital elements behind the campaign. Baring in mind, it was a campaign that generated record-breaking fund-raising and drove 13 million followers.

Here, Blue State Digital's Managing Partner, Thomas Gensemer, discusses the digital tactics behind the success of Obama's marketing campaign. All four clips come from Silicon Valley Insider as part of their Innovation video series, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz.

How Was E-Mail The Most Successful Tool Of The Obama Campaign?

How Did The Obama Campaign's Marketing System Work?

What Were The Three Keys To Success In Marketing The Obama Campaign?

Are Republicans Catching Up With The Obama Campaign's Marketing Tactics?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Darklight 2009: The Trailer

Darklight X is nearly upon us! Ireland's premier celebration of art, film and technology will be taking place in a number of different venues in and around Dublin's Smithfield from 8th to 10th October. Tickets went on sale last Friday and the full programme is available online now.

This is the Darklight trailer, created by Morten Vinther and the guys at Piranha Bar.

You can also follow Darklight on Twitter or Facebook.

David LaChapelle

If there's one thing you do in the next 6 weeks, this should be it!

David LaChapelle, one of if not my favourite photographers of all time, is here in Dublin with his “American Jesus” collection. The exhibition is at the Sebastian Guinness Gallery until the end of October and offers the chance to experience, first hand, one of the greatest photographers of the last 50 years.

Lachapelle is widely regarded as one of the best fine art photographers working today, particularly for his treatment of iconic celebrity images for some of the world's most renowned fashion magazines. His work has featured in Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and Vogue. LaChapelle has also directed music videos for artists such as Christina Aguilera and Moby.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Don't Stop Believing - Sam Tsui

You probably already saw Sam's Michael Jackson medley/remix which has been doing the internet rounds during the last couple of weeks, but it's worth checking out his other stuff. There's quite a few videos that I've come across on YouTube and they're all pretty good.

This is his version of Don't Stop Believing by Journey, with his customary approach of providing all vocals and musical accompaniment.

The Arthur's Day Petition

I wrote on Thursday about Arthur's Day and one of the things I mentioned was an on-line petition that is currently running on the Guinness 250 Facebook page. The petition is calling on the public to help make Arthur’s Day a national holiday!

Following a number of different pushes on Thursday, Friday was jam packed with coverage. All in there were no less then 6 high profile mentions of the petition; including The Irish Times,,, The Evening Echo, The Irish Examiner, and Sunday Business Post

But what effect did any of this have on the campaign? As of 17.59 on Thursday there were:

  • 26,795 fans on Facebook
  • 6,618 signatures on the online petition

As of today at 12noon, it looked like this:
  • 35,089 fans on Facebook
  • 8,804 signatures on the online petition

That's an increase of 8,294 fans and 2,186 petition signatures in less then 66 hours! That is absolutely amazing. My only question, as it was on Thursday, is why have only a quarter of fans signed the petition? Seriously folks, all you have to do is click on the tab that says 'Petition' and enter your name. There's no other details required - just a name.

Arthur's Day is only four days away now - lets break the 10,000 mark on the petition. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell your co-workers. This is a big deal people - SIGN UP NOW!

Display Advertising: Utilising Twitter

This is an example of an that pulls in two customised Twitter feeds, based on keyword searches of the micro-blog. It was created by Weapon7 for the charity FAS Aware.

The banner aims to increase awareness of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. It pulls in live tweets that includ the phrases ‘I need alcohol’ and ‘I am pregnant’. The call to action is: Block Alcohol. When clicked, the message "When alcohol is removed, so is the risk of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome" is displayed.

What's really interesting about the ad is that you are accessing content that has actually been generated by the general public, and is always updating and refreshing itself. From a technical point of view it was necessary to create a tool that would search Twitter for tweets containing the phrases required.

Weapon7 describe the digital strategy as creating connections with young women, and, as Twitter has got sa large and continuously increasing usage, they thought it would be a powerful tool to tap into to make the point. They started with it in mind to find a way to use authentic tweets, as they have stand-out and authenticity.

Creative Director at Weapon7, Jeremy Garner, said "[The campaign] was about real people and how alcohol and pregnancy fits into their lives. We wanted to create an ad that made people think, and allowed them to draw their own conclusions".

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Avast Ye Scurvy Doggs!

Ahoy lan'lubbers, unless ye be sailing the murky waters of the underworld, it shud be known to ye that this day, Saturday the 19th day in September, be International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Gar. What'ever business ye be carryin' on with be sure to remember that ye must do it in proper tone and language.

All the words that'd be there to explain it all can be found here, me hearties. Or if ye be not with the smarts to read, listen to Cap'in who be responsible for dis gran' day.

Aaarrrrrr for those first mates what be on the Book o' Faces, listen to me words carefully. Go to the bottum o yer page and look for the secret clicker that be marked with words 'English (UK)'. Press yer cursor over these strange words and a pop-up will appear there right before yer eyes. Find the place that be sayin' 'English (Pirate)' and press it. Then ye be seeing yer Book o' Faces in a whole new light. Good luck ye scurvy doggs. Garrrr.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Interbrand's Top 100 Global Brands 2009

When it comes to the world's biggest brands, the interesting stuff usually never involves the top 5. It's far more interesting to look at midtable battles. The ribvalries and one-up-manships that go on between 50th and 20th places. This year it looks like Google have scored the biggest rise in brand value, with a 25% increase on 2008 estimated brand value. Google now sit at 7th place with a value of nearly $32bn. Not far off them, Amazon grew an wxtremely healthy 22% to almost $8bn.

As has been the trend over the last decade, technology companies have seen huge growth, however it may be the retail brands such as Zara and H&M that are the biggest surprises, both increasing their brand value despite the recession. That said, the recession has had a negative effect on many brands; including Morgan Stanley, HSBC and American Express, who all saw major drops.

Sitting in the revered top five sector, Coca-Cola remains the world's most valuable brand for the 9th year in a row, at $69bn.

RankBrand2009 Value $m%change 08Country
1Coca-Cola687343% US
2IBM602112% US
3Microsoft56647-4% US
4GE47777-10% US
5Nokia34864-3% Finland
6McDonald's322754% US
7Google3198025% US
8Toyota31330-8% Japan
9Intel30636-2% US
10Disney28447-3% US
11Hewlett-Packard24962% US
12Mercedes-Benz23867-7% Germany
13Gillette228414% US
14Cisco22303% US
15BMW21671-7% Germany
16Louis Vuitton21120-2% France
17Marlboro1910-11% US
18Honda17803-7% Japan
19Samsung17518-1% S. Korea
20Apple1544312% US
21H&M1537511% Sweden
22American Express14971-32% US
23Pepsi137063% US
24Oracle13699-1% US
25Nescafe133172% Switzerland
26Nike131794% US
27SAP12106-1% Germany
28Ikea12410% Sweden
29Sony11953-12% Japan
30Budweiser118333% US
31UPS11594-8% US
32HSBC10510-20% Britain
33Canon10441-4% Japan
34Kellogg's104287% US
35Dell10291-12% US
36Citi1025449% US
37J.P. Morgan9550-11% US
38Goldman Sachs9248-10% US
39Nintendo92105% Japan
40Thomson Reuters84341% Canada
41Gucci8182-1% Italy
42Philips8121-2% Netherlands
43Amazon785822% US
44L'Oreal77483% France
45Accenture7710-3% US
46eBay7350-8% US
47Siemens7308-8% Germany
48Heinz72449% US
49Ford75-11% US
50Zara678914% Spain
51Wrigley673110% US
52Colgate65502% US
53AXA6525-7% France
54MTV6523-9% US
55Volkswagen6484-8% Germany
56Xerox64311% US
57Morgan Stanley6399-26% US
58Nestle631913% Switzerland
59Chanel640-5% France
60Danone596010% France
61KFC57223% US
62Adidas53976% Germany
63Blackberry51387% Canada
64Yahoo!5111-7% US
65Audi510-7% Germany
66Caterpillar54-5% US
67Avon4917-7% US
68Rolex4609-7% Switzerland
69Hyundai4604-5% S. Korea
70Hermes4981% France
71Kleenex4404-5% US
72UBS4370-50% Switzerland
73Harley-Davidson4337-43% US
74Porsche4234-8% Germany
75Panasonic4225-1% Japan
76Tiffany & Co.40-5% US
77Cartier3968-6% France
78Gap3922-10% US
79Pizza Hut3876-5% US
80Johnson&Johnson38477% US
81Allianz3831-5% Germany
82Moet & Chandon3754-5% France
83BP3716-5% Britain
84Smirnoff36983% Britain
85Duracell3563-3% US
86Nivea35575% Germany
87Prada3530-2% Italy
88Ferrari35270% Italy
89Armani3303-6% Italy
90Starbucks3263-16% US
91Lancome3235 N/A France
92Shell3228-7% Netherlands
93Burger King3223 N/A US
94Visa3170-5% US
95Adobe3161 N/A US
96Lexus3158-12% Japan
97Puma3154 N/A Germany
98Burberry395 N/A Britain
99PoloRalphLauren394 N/A US
100Campbell's381 N/A US

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Countdown to Arthur's Day

16th September, 17:59 - the countdown is really on now folks. In just one week’s time, Dublin will be transformed into the epicentre of music, celebration and excitement for Arthur’s Day. Across Ireland thousands of people will be coming together to enjoy live music in over 33 venues across Dublin; including a special concert at the St. James’s Gate brewery itself.

A 48sheet carrying a Guinness 250 ad
coupled with a digital countdown clock

To get into the spirit of the occassion, people all over Ireland have been adding their names to an on-line petition. The petition was born out out of the Guinness 250 Facebook page, where the suggestion was put to the public - make Arthur’s Day a national holiday!

The Facebook page already has 26,795 fans and the online petition has 6,618 signatures.

So do you know what that means?

Only a quarter of Guinness 250 fans want Arthur's Day to become a national holiday! Seriously folks, what's up with that? Get to the page and get signing now!

Now I'm more then willing to tip my hat to all the loyal fans who already joined the fan page, lets face it, there's been one fan joining every 30 seconds. That's three fans in the time it takes your favourite pint to be poured ;)

So come on fans - sign the petition, who doesn't want another public holiday, especially in honour of such a great man.

Arthur's Day 2009
So where will you be at 17:59 on 24th September? Where will you be for this once in a lifetime moment, to raise a pint of Guinness to Arthur. In fairness, Arthur Guinness and his family were responsible for some of the most well known acts of philanthropy in Ireland and to honour and continue this legacy Guinness have established the Arthur Guinness Fund. The Fund is to enable and empower individuals with skills and opportunities to deliver a measured benefit to their communities. So Guinness & Co. are donating €6 million to the Arthur Guinness Fund. Could there be any better reason to toast the Arthur Guinness?

So all you need to do to join in the Global Toast to Arthur at 17:59 on Thursday 24th September, is get to one of the following venues or pubs (if you want to enjoy world class music), or just get down to your own local, pause a moment, and raise a pint of the black stuff to a truly great man.

To Arthur!

Pubs and Venues
This is the full list of artists that are publicly confirmed for each pub or venue. Now I say publically confirmed because each Pub will also feature 1 or 2 surprise special guests that won't be announced. The only way to know is to be there! Get on to ticketmaster now and get yourself a ticket.

The Academy
Fionn Regan, Imelda May, Paolo Nutini, Richard Hawley, The Kooks

Calvin Harris, Jamie Cullum, Mongrel, Soul II Soul, Republic of Loose, Roots Manuva

Vicar Street
Black Swan Effect, OK Go, Razorlight, Reverend and The Makers, Sugababes, The Blizzards, The Magic Numbers

David Gray, The Hot Rats, Lisa Hannigan, Noah and the Whale, The Enemy, The Undertones, The Wombats

Jay Jay Pistolet, Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club

Born Blonde, Oppenheimer

Sin É
Concerto for Constantine, Dirty Epics

South William
David Kitt, The Infomatics

Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club, Cherbourg

Café en Seine
Leopold, White Belt Yellow Tag

Hoarsebox, The Chapters

Oppenheimer, The Infomatics

Dicey Reilly's
The Chakras

The Baggot Inn
Leopold, Nat Jenkins

The Auld Dubliner
Jay Jay Pistolet, Lumiere

The Palace Bar
Fiona Melady, Sharon Shannon

The Church
Spring Break

The Village
Golden Silvers, The Coronas

The Odeon
Dirty Epics, General Fiasco

Oliver St John Gogarty
Born Blonde, David Kitt

The Temple Bar
Johnny Flynn, Lumiere

Cherbourg, Concerto for Constantine

The Chakras, The Chapters

Sharon Shannon, The High Kings

Market Bar
Golden Silvers, Mick Flannery

The Foggy Dew
Noise Control

Eamonn Dorans
White Belt Yellow Tag, Noise Control

The Stags Head
Johnny Flynn, General Fiasco

Fiona Melady, Mick Flannery

Doheny & Nesbitt
Eoghan Colgan, Nat Jenkins

The Bank on College Green
Hoarsebox, The Coronas

The Brazen Head
Eoghan Colgan, The High Kings