Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bushmills Voted Best Irish Whiskey in the World

A huge congratulations to everyone at Bushmills on a fantastic win at the prestigious 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Bushmills swept the board winning Best Irish Whiskey in the World, two double gold and four gold accolades. Bushmills is now one of only a few international spirit brands ever to scoop 100% gold in the competition. This is pretty spectacular considering that it was only a couple of months back that Bushmills won three World Whiskies Awards in London.

Bushmills won the top award for its entire range, with the Black Bush and 1608 blends each winning double gold, and the Bushmills Original, 10, 16 and 21 Year Old Single Malts all winning gold. Ultimately though it was the Bushmills 1608 that was named Best Irish Whiskey.

Colum Egan, Bushmills Master Distiller, said, "This is an incredible achievement for Bushmills. We like to think that we make the world’s finest Irish whiskey – it’s great to hear that the experts share that opinion and the team at the distillery are absolutely thrilled. We’ll definitely be cracking open a bottle and raising a glass to celebrate our wins!"

With Sarah Miles, Bushmills Global Brand Director, adding, "The awards are further recognition of the outstanding quality of Bushmills. It’s a real achievement to be placed at the forefront of the fastest growing international spirits category in the world today. Irish whiskey is obviously a competitive market and so we’re delighted that the excellence of our liquid has been recognised by our peers."

Again, congratulations to the whole Bushmill team - well done folks!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Want To Work For Ogilvy?

Are you an advertising hack? Do you want to work for one of the largest, most recognised, well respected agencies in the world? Ogilvy are now hiring! Kinda ;)

Ogilvy have just launched a campaign to find the 'World's Greatest Sales Person'. So if you think you can peddle sand to Arabs or convince an Eskimo to buy snow, you may be in with a chance. Beware though, this is not a competition for your average 'Del Boy', Sunday market, car boot sale geeza. The challenge here is to sell a brick!

The common everyday brick can be found almost everywhere. The brick was invented during the height of the Sumer empire between the 4th and 6th Millennia BC. In the 7,000 years since, mankind has made literally billions of them. However, they are still one of the most important things ever invented; the bona fide building blocks (pardon the pun) of civilisation.

So we know what the product is, a common Red Brick. The challenge is to convince people to consider it, to use it, to buy it. You need to create a pitch to someone who can actually make the purchase for good reason. Obvious choice is construction, but who else might want to buy a brick? That's the real challenge. Make people think, “Wow, I didn’t think of the Red Brick in that way. Maybe I need it.”

So what's the measure of success? You have several options of how you want people to respond so long as it is measurable. This could be by phone call, SMS, email, website or joining of a social network.

Now the only question is: are you the world's greatest sales person? If you think you are then you need to make a 1-2 minute long video of your sales pitch and get it submitted to by May 16, 2010.

For more information, follow the fun on Twitter, join the Facebook Fan Page or email the guys here:

Alternatively, check out this video...

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Future Of Photoshop

One of the biggest requests that Adobe have had for the new Photoshop is to make adding, removing, moving or repairing items faster and more seamless. This count be as simple as retouching to completely reimagining an image. To say that Adobe have taken this on board doesn't even begin to detail what is coming in CS4. Here's an early glimpse of capability that you may soon have access to...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What's Next For Apple?

There's no question that Apple are innovators. The iPod revolutionised portable music players. iTunes instantly became a firm favourite for organising your music and creating playlists. The iPhone has jumped ahead of every other mobile phone manufacturer as a leading mobile device. And on the horizon the iPad looks set to become just as popular. So what's next? What's Apple's next big innovation?

Well, if a new Apple patent is anything to go by, it may be the sun-backlit Macbook!

The idea would appear to hinge (pardon the pun) on a mirror magnetically attached to the the top lid that would illuminate the screen of your macbook by reflecting the sun. The benefits would be a huge saving on power consumption and, most likely, a greater ability to use the device in direct sunlight i.e. no screen glare. At the moment it's difficult to imagine how this would be carried off and still look awesome (as Apple products always do), but I have no doubt if anyone can do it, Apple can.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Last Agency On Earth

I was sent a link to this video on the Ogilvy Blog (Blogilvy) by Brendan. Brilliant stuff, well worth a watch...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Social Media Roles

It seems that almost every week a new Social Media Expert or Guru springs up to offer us their superior knowledge and ability. They selflessly put themselves forward to fix all our Social Media woes, and ask for nothing in return except a giant fee. Thankfully these charlatans and would be hucksters are invariably easy to spot and quickly outed as what they truly are. The most annoying thing about these "Twitter Kings" and "Dr.s of Social Media" is that they tear down the good work being done by people across the digital landscape.

So what of the folk out there that aren't pushing themselves as an Expert or Guru? What of the people who offer their advice or genuine expertise to those who want it. These people do exist, and they can help your business, but the difficulty is realising who they are and what they can do for you. I started considering some of the people that I know personally and what they are great at, what they can offer businesses. I realised quickly that there are several different distinct roles that exist within the Social Media Sphere, and while a person may cross over several of these roles, there is ultimately no such thing as a single Social Media Expert who can single handedly tick all boxes and requirements. So here's an initial list of Social Media Roles:

Social Media Instructor
This is the person who has the ability to sit down with anyone; explain what Social Media is, why they should be using it, how to best use it and what the benefits are. This person knows how to use the various different Social Media tools on the market and keeps abreast of all the latest developments in the Social Media Sphere. As with any teacher or lecturer, however, this is the role that is the hardest to learn - teaching comes naturally and the best instructors have an ability that can't be learned or faked.

Conference Speaker
In my opinion the Conference Speaker is essentially the same as the Instructor but where the Instructor may not have the ability to stand up and speak in front of large crowds, the Conference Speaker does. Similarly, the Conference Speaker may find themselves unable to sit down and create meaningful one-to-one communications. Beyond this though, both roles are almost identical with the Conference Speaker being just as versed in the cutting edge of Social Media as their counterpart. They know what Social Media can do and how to use it best. Most importantly they can also put this into captivating and engaging presentations.

Content Manager
At the heart of all Social Media is content. Fresh, engaging and unique content. The Content Manager both creates and curates, and ultimately drives Social Media. They may have the most important social media role of all, and with an ever escalating amount of new data and content being created everyday, their role will become ever more important. They will be the people who streamline online content into manageable categories for user consumption. They will be essential to the prevention of data overload.

Event Organiser
Summits, Seminars, Streetups, Tweetups and Conferences; the Event Organiser provides the key role of facilitating the offline interactions that create the content for our various Social Media channels.

Community Manager
In the last 12 months every major Social Media Platform has created Community Manager roles. These are the people who drive conversation and interaction between brands/businesses and the public. They provide the voice of these organisations and will most likely be a natural networker and "people person". They understand how to communicate personally with their users and facilitate the organic development of brand ambassadors - users who will promote the brand/business on their own.

Marketing Consultant
Finally there's the Marketing Consultant. This is the person who understands what Social Media can do for an integrated marketing programme, and how to use it effectively to achieve strategic marketing objectives. A Marketing Consultant will understand how to use Social Media in coordination with the full modern digital marketing mix; driving heighten interaction and engagement rates with online display advertising, Social Media advertising, Search Engine Optimisation, Digital PR and Pay Per Click Advertising.

These are the 6 Social Media roles that I see in the Social Media Sphere, but it is very much an initial list and I would envision it changing and possibly growing as Social Media matures and develops. If there are any glaring absences here please feel free to let me know. I'd be very interested to know what roles other people see.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Tribute to Merton

Last Thursday I wrote about the internet's latest fad, Chat Roulette. I posted the awesome video of self taught piano player Merton with his improv piano sessions with random chatters. Just two days later in front of a live audience at Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina, Ben Folds Five performed a tribute to Merton...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Whose View 6 Months On

Back in September I wrote about 6 months on I thought it would be nice to take another look at the site and see exactly what has happened in the last 180 or so days. are now averaging 60k unique visitors a month and have reached 2,600 site members. The site has also surpassed 6,300 reviews with an average of 60 to 100 reviews posted every day. The guys have also been working tirelessly to optimise the site and have fixed over 300 different bugs and implement a host of new functionality driven directly by user experience feedback. Finally, has also been striving to increase its all Ireland offering with Galway and Cork now representing almost 25% of all reviews being posted.

An overview of site traffic

Recent Site Landmarks
  • On Sept 25th we were shortlisted in 3 categories at the 2009 Irish Web Awards.
  • On Oct 27th, we were shortlisted in 3 categories at the 2009 Golden Spider Awards.
  • On Nov 1st, we rolled out our service to Galway, adding 4,000 businesses to the the existing 38,000 Dublin businesses listed on
  • On Nov 10th, we surpassed the 100,000 visitor since opening the site to the public on July 17th 2009.
  • On Nov 19th, we won the Best Indigenous Website at the 2009 Golden Spider Awards.
  • On Nov 20th, we signed a content partnership with Google to launch in Jan 2010.
  • On Dec 18th, we signed up our 1000th member.
  • On Dec 21st, our members have posted close to 2,500 category reviews and comments.
  • On Dec 23rd, we launched our iPhone V1 app, allowing our members search and browse local businesses in Dublin and Galway while on the move.
To quickly recap, for those who aren't familiar with the site, is a review site based entirely on user generated review. You review whatever you want to review and you review it exactly as you want to. The most important thing is that WhoseView assures unedited reviews just as the member intended. This, coupled with the functionality of the site itself, makes it a real winner. The site is driven by a principle of user facilitation and user functionality. Members can use the site more like a social network. Add friends, comment on reviews and engage with people who have similar tastes/likes. In my mind this makes perfect sense. You actually get to communicate with other members and get can share your opinion - essential for a review service, and yet this is the first time someone has really done it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Online PR With Damien Mulley

First I'd like to apologise for the lateness of this post - I don't really have any excuse. Back at the end of January I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to join a small group of individuals to participate in Damien Mulley's first Online PR Training Course. As would be expected with anything that Damien does, the initial session had over 80 requests to attend for the 30 places that he had to offer, so I was extremely delighted to be able to attend. The event would act as a sounding board and "staging environment" for Damien to put together a full publicly accessible version for Digital and Public Relation professionals.

For the session that I participated in there were 6 fundamental areas that Damien covered:

While this may seem like the lazy way out, and I hope you'll be convinced that it isn't, I decided that the best recap I could possibly write up on the event wouldn't surpass the excellent write up and video that Leo Fogarty wrote. So with that in mind, please have a look at Leo's recap and stay tuned to for news of an upcoming course that you could take - I highly recommend it!

Chat Roulette

When it comes to fads, memes, virals and trends, the internet has given us some real crazy stuff over the last decade. In my humble opinion though, this may just be the craziest so far. Chat Roulette is a new internet fad that put you in touch with a random stranger for videochat. You can click "next" any time, or stay with the person that was randomly selected. Be warned, however, this is a realm of completely unfiltered, unmonitored human nature. Anything goes!

This could be as inoffensive as people in masks dancing around, Chinese users giving virtual high fives or a puppet psychotherapist who will sit with you for hours and help you solve all your problems.

Unfortunately you may also find yourself looking at a man holding up a sign that reads "Assroll?". To immediately become a naked man rolling over backwards. In many ways this is YouTube with a whole heap more nudity and exhibitionism.

There are people out there, however, who are doing some cool things with the service. The most famous is self thought piano player Merton with his
awesome improv piano sessions with random chatters...

---- Update ----

Unfortunately Merton's video was removed by YouTube “due to terms of use violation.” Thankfully he did an edit and got it back up...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Display Ads: Amnesty International

I saw this, and for the first time in a very long time I was stopped in my tracks by an online ad. This is just the most recent in a great line of online work that Amnesty have done. Serious hat tip!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Display Ads: Toblerone & Twitter

When Toblerone noticed how many people post about Toblerone on Twitter, they asked themselves, why not use these experiences in their advertising? These were people describing their Toblerone experiences in real-time. What better way to support their new 'Lost in the Toblerone Triangle' campaign?

The following banner features words commonly used to describe the experience. Users can interact by selecting different words and reading the tweets. They can even tweet about Toberlone themselves, and see it in the banner! User-generated content that shares the Toblerone taste experiences of the world.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Heineken: Real Madrid vs AC Milan

The video really explains it all - Heineken's offline activation for last years UEFA Champion's League Real Madrid vs AC Milan match.

Absolut Drinkspiration 2.0

You may remember last July I wrote about the iPhone App launched by Absolut: Absolut Drinkspiration. The post got a huge amount of traffic and I thought you might be interested in an update of the campaign. Drinkspiration version 2.0 is now available for download and it features a host of updates including even more drinks based on mood, time of day, bar vibe, drink colour, etc. However, this time around Absolut has also launched an Android version of Drinkspiration for non-iPhone folk.

Drinkspiration by Absolut
A sophisticated drink application combining the latest mobile technology with GPS, Twitter and Facebook. Drinkspiration by Absolut is an interactive encyclopaedia of recipes, that helps you find and share personalized drink recommendations based on taste, weather, time of day, bar vibe, sound volume, real-time drink trends and much more. The application gives you a glimpse of the international nightlife scene, allowing you to see what drinks are ordered in real time across the globe and highlights in global drink trends and top lists – all made possible by GPS technology.

“We wanted to create the first interactive spirits application of its kind, combining top-of-the line mobile technology with social media interaction and user generated content,” said Fredrick Tallroth, “Drinkspiration by Absolut solves any drink dilemma quickly and in an inspiring way.”

- Drinkspiration by Absolut for Google Android is available for download in the Android Market
- Download the update of Drinkspiration by Absolut for iPhone here
- Please visit for more information

Sunday, March 14, 2010

St. Patrick's and the Guinness Grin

A cool offering from Guinness for St. Patrick's Day.

"St. Patricks is almost here and to celebrate, we want you to show off your finest Guinness Grin! Thats right, the one just after a sip of the black stuff, when your top lip and nose are covered in creamy Guinness. All you have to do is upload a photo of your Grin on our 'Guinness Grin' tab and you could win a once-in-a-lifetime prize! *Terms and Conditions apply."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Challenges & Opportunities

A short time ago I made the decision that it was time to make a subtle but important career change. While the previous two and a half years with Cybercom have been absolutely brilliant, teaching me more then I could have imagined and giving me incredible experience working with some of Ireland's top brands, I realised that I would be better suited to focusing all my attention on Social Media and Digital PR.

These are the areas of the modern marketing mix that I have the most fun with and, to be honest, the areas that I am best at, and ultimately this is where I want my career to go. So I started looking at the UK and Irish markets to see what was happening.

So [cue drum roll], having spoken to a number of different agencies and companies, I have accepted an offer from Simply Zesty and will start in two weeks as their Director of Strategy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 'Accidental Duet'

Every now and then you see an ad that just clicks. It works. It grabs your attention and really makes you pay attention. The following ad did just that for me. While I didn't feel compelled to go out and use the service promoted, I did instantly focus all attention on the ad and became fully aware of what the ad was for. It's kinda quirky and has a somewhat mushy sentimental feeling to it, but all that aside, I like the idea and the way it has been brought together. This is yet another example of some stunning work by Mother.

This is the first ad for following the retirement of the dating site's "Jack and Jill" animated lovers that have been used for the last five years. The new £7m campaign, which is called "Start Your Love Story", is the first major work on the account for Mother since winning it last October. The new ad sees a couple finding love while singing a duet in a small music store. Amid an impromptu musical "conversation" between the two people who also play instruments across the shop, they fall in love. The advert closes by reminding the audience that to start their love story, they should visit The campaign aims to "capture that butterfly moment you feel when you find someone special".

"This campaign aims to capture that moment when you realise you have met someone you have genuine chemistry with,” said UK Country Manager, Karl Gregory. “The moment you know that this could be the start of something, the start of a love story. In our experience, we’ve found that it is often the little things such as a shared interest or common love – like that of music - which sparks a relationship."

The song that is used in the ad, called "just like me", was written especially for the commercial and is available as a two-minute version. The ad was filmed using anamorphic lenses to give the look and feel of a movie. Shot by Academy Film’s directors Si and Ad, it features new acting talents Amber Anderson and James Connelly in the starring roles.

Media Agency: Initiative
Production Company: Academy
Director: Si & Ad
Producer: Lucy Gossage
Editor: Jonnie Scarlet
Post-production: MPC
Audio Post-production: Factory

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Pedal Project

DCTV’s new series, The Pedal Project, looks at the current thinking behind our city's transport system and is an absolute must for everyone who commutes to work. The series looks at the opinion and position of local authorities, universities and the residents of Dublin. The aim being to create a conversation both within and about the cycling movement.

The Pedal project is not a simple documentary or one sided analysis. This is an ongoing debate within the public view and an insight into the complexity and variety of opinion that currently exists. Foremost though, this is a collaborative endeavour and your opinion is wanted. Your contribution is wanted.

One Less Car

"When you go out onto the streets of Dublin looking for bikes, bring the footage you find back into the edit suite and re-mix it with some important words of advice from the past and good tunes this is what you get. Part snapshot of the zeitgeist part cycling agit-prop this is one of the best developed examples of Irish alternative television production."

Two Wheeled City

"As Dublin has grown wealthier we have become carcooned, basing our personal and city transport system on the car. We know this isn’t working – but what is the alternative and how do we get there. Speaking to academics and elected officials, council planners and staff, campaigners and cyclists – Two Wheeled City constructs a convincing case and viable plan to recast Dublin as a cyclable city."

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Earth Hour 2010

Last year I wrote about Earth Hour and the campaign's goal to present the leaders of the world our feeling on glogal warming at the Global Climate Change Conference that took place in Copenhagen. Earth Hour called on all citizens of the world to switch off their lights as a sign to our leaders to do something to combat global warming.

This year Earth Hour takes place on Saturday 27 March at 8.30pm. The campaign again calls to action every individual, every business and every community throughout the world to stand up, take responsibility and get involved towards a sustainable future. Around the world Iconic buildings and landmarks will stand in darkness. People across the world will turn off their lights and join together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet. Show your support and sign up now to make 2010 the biggest Earth Hour yet!.

Earth Hour Channels

Earth Hour website
Earth Hour Facebook Page
Earth Hour Twitter
Earth Hour YouTube
Earth Hour MySpace
Earth Hour Blog

About Earth Hour

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The CN Tower in Toronto, The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.
Earth Hour - Chile

In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.

Earth Hour is organized by WWF. With almost 5 million supporters and a global network in over 100 countries, it’s one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and build a future where people live in harmony with nature.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wired Magazine On The iPad

A nice simple demonstration of what one of my favourite magazines will look like on the iPad...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Biorhythm: Music And The Body

Experimental musicians, musical neuroscientists, sound artists or acoustic engineers; it doesn't matter what you call yourself, the Science Gallery wants you! Dublin's Science Gallery is developing a new exhibition called 'Biorhythm: Music And The Body' and they are looking for submissions for gallery installations, creative experiments, events, workshops or performances. Their goal is to look into the relationship between art and science in allowing us to understand and enjoy the sounds and music of the world around us. Ideally all the installations and experiments will be interactive and participative engagements as well as stand-alone performances. For three months from 2 July to the 1 October, Biorhythm will also put on a series of high-profile talks, discussions and debates, and other musical and biological events, web-focused interactions and games.

Submissions must be received no later than Tuesday March 30 2010 to be considered for inclusion:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

VW PunchDub Ad

Sometimes I forget that if you don't work in Marketing, in one of it's many roles or functions, you may be completely unaware of some of the brilliantly creative work that is done every day. I say this because it was brought to my attention over the weekend that Volkwagen's recent Super Bowl ad and campaign went completely unnoticed by many Irish folk who are marketing types (or American Football fans). So for any of you who missed this excellent campaign, here you go...

For their 2010 Super Bowl ad, Volkswagen (US) reimagined the popular car game of “Punch Dub”. Most people will be familiar with the classic game of punching a friend's arm when you see a VW and for their campaign VW have updated the game to increase awareness and familiarity with the full 13 model range of Volkswagens now available. The “Punch Dub” campaign was launched with a 30 second commercial during the third quarter of the Super Bowl with cameo appearances by Tracy Morgan and Stevie Wonder...

Volkswagen also developed an online campaign about the creator of the game, Charlie “Sluggy” Patterson. As well as having a blog, Twitter stream and a series of videos on YouTube, the campaign was supported by an online game through the VW Facebook page. All elements went live on Super Bowl Sunday and encouraged people to explore the Volkswagen range with virtual slugs to friends and family. Essentially people were driven to hone their punching techniques and punch as many friends or family as possible. The more punches you got, the better your chances were of winning a weekly prize or the Grand Prize, a brand new Volkswagen. The campaign was developed by Deutsch, Los Angeles.

"Volkswagen is one of the most beloved brands in this country, but people have a misperception that it only sell cars for the young. We needed to find a way to let people know that Volkswagen makes thirteen different models, in a way that still felt right for the brand," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO/Chief Creative Officer of Deutsch LA. "Changing the game of ‘Punch Bug’ to the game of ‘Punch Dub’ and making it about all Volkswagen is the perfect way to do that. It tells you something nobody knows in a way that everyone can relate to."

"Punch Dub is a fun, engaging way to reintroduce Volkswagen and its growing product family to millions of Americans during one of the most watched television events of the year, the Super Bowl," said Tim Ellis, Vice President of Marketing, Volkswagen of America. "The campaign is a modern twist on a classic game that has been played on America’s highways for generations and will help consumers gain a new perspective on the breadth of our vehicle offerings, quality, performance and value."

As a taster, here is the first of Sluggy's videos...