Monday, August 29, 2011

Guinness Cork Jazz Festival 2011

Back again for the October Bank Holiday weekend (28th-31st October 2011), tickets for the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival are now on sale, and this year's festival is set to be bigger and better than ever, with something to suit every music lover’s tastes.

The most interesting announcement around the festival, in my opinion, is the news that the opening act this year will be none other than the exceedingly talented Damon Albarn. Sometimes Blur frontman Albarn will be joined by his band, Another Honest John’s Chop-Up. Another Honest John’s Chop-Up is a collective of musicians who take inspiration from jazz funk and southern soul.

Another outstanding act who will be performing at the festival is the Kyle Eastwood Quintet. Kyle, who is also known as son of actor/director Clint Eastwood, has made a name for himself on the jazz scene, producing eight studio albums and composing the scores for many of his father’s films including Gran Torino and Million Dollar Baby.

Other noteworthy acts on the schedule include; Randy Brecker, the acclaimed trumpet player, Tia Fuller, the saxophonist, who not only has her own highly successful band but also plays alongside Beyoncé and Richard Galliano, the renowned accordionist. Galliano’s performance at the festival will be inspired by the work of Coppola and the music from The Godfather.

Barry Fitzpatrick, Brand Manager, Guinness commented, “We are very excited to introduce this year’s line up. The Guinness Cork Jazz festival maintains its jazz soul, but the line up includes some unexpected talent which will definitely appeal to all musical tastes. We will be announcing more acts in the coming weeks on”.

The Guinness Cork Jazz festival will not only have music hosted in more venues than ever before, but ticket prices have also been reduced this year. Tickets can be purchased through and more information on all aspects of the festival can be found at

Friday, August 26, 2011

Facebook User Stats For Ireland

A great infographic from the lovely people at Edelman:

Thanks to Piaras Kelly for this. Piaras credited help from Dave Molloy and Damien Mulley, so a thanks to you dudes too :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kildare Village Celebrates Reaching 20,000 Facebook Fans

Kildare Village, who are just 163 fans away from a milestone 20,000, today announced that they will be giving away a treat for all of their loyal followers when they hit the 20k mark.

When their Facebook Page reaches 20,000 likes, Kildare Village will offer fans the opportunity to receive an additional 10% off the already reduced prices in over sixty boutiques.

Simply like Kildare Village on Facebook and make sure to keep checking in for your chance to receive extra discounts.

Kildare Village is open seven days a week and has late night shopping on Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 7pm. For details of opening hours and more information just visit

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Three Jersey Trade-In Scheme

From today, Wednesday 24th August, Three is calling on all Irish fans to ‘Go green with pride, pull on the jersey’. Three is giving fans the chance to Go green with pride and trade-in their old Republic of Ireland football jerseys in any Champion Sports store nationwide and get €20 off the brand new Ireland home jersey. The Three Trade-In scheme will run in Champion Sports stores nationwide until 30th September 2011. For every eligible trade-in Three are also offering fans a €10 discount voucher on selected Three handsets and price plans.

Three we be collecting the old jerseys donating them to Friends in Ireland, a charity that cares for orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa. The charity, founded by RTE’s Marian Finucane, has Sean St. Ledger as an ambassador.

Sean St. Ledger said, “I have been an ambassador for Friends in Ireland for the past year and have been looking for a way to help them with the fantastic work that they do in their South African centres, Three and Champion Sports have launched the Three Trade-In scheme that allows people to donate their old jerseys to Friends in Ireland and are asking fans to Go green with pride. I will deliver the jerseys in person to the centres next year in time for South African’s bitter winter. I know that everyone has an old Ireland jersey lying around at home that they could trade-in for one of the new jerseys, so I would encourage everyone to make an effort for a good cause, and show your support for the team.”

“We are truly indebted to Sean St Ledger, Three and Champion Sports. The Children of the Eastern Cape in South Africa, whether they play football or not, will be delighted with a warm jersey to wear in their freezing icy winters. The poverty and vulnerability of the victims of the HIV AIDS+ pandemic is sadly an all day, every day reality. Every bit of help counts,” Finucane said.

Fans are also being encouraged to log on to the Three Football Facebook page and upload their Go Green With Pride images. This could be anything from dying your hair to painting your house – something that demonstrates pride in the green jersey. For everyone who does upload a picture, there will be the opportunity to win prizes including match tickets. There will also be an overall winner who will be selected for a money can’t buy prize.

Robert Finnegan, CEO of Three, said “As proud sponsors of the Irish National football team, Three is delighted to work with Friends in Ireland and Champion Sports to offer fans a discount on the new Ireland jersey that will benefit a great cause. We want to drive support for the team ahead of two crucial and exciting up coming games so we are asking fans to Go green with pride. Three is committed to football at all levels in Ireland and the fans are central to this.”

Emily Barry, Marketing Executive of Champion Sports, said “Champion Sports are delighted to be partnering with Three and Friends of Ireland for this very special offer. The Three Trade-In scheme is in aid of a great cause and we look forward to seeing the new Three Ireland jersey on the fans at the next match. Champion are behind our boys in green 100% over the coming soccer season”.

Sean St. Ledger also commented, “It also makes a huge difference for the players to see a sea of green when they come onto the pitch and we need everyone to get behind us ahead of these crucial qualifier games next month.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Velvet - Can Music Grow Trees?

Following on from my posts on ESB Electric Ireland and their Electric Picnic activities I thought you might find Velvet Toilet Tissue's announcement interesting. The luxury toilet tissue brand has announced that their Velvet Luxury Toilets will be making a return to Electric Picnic and they will be joined by a campaign to answer the question, "Can music grow trees?"

Velvet Toilet Tissue have taken three Leylandii conifers and equipped them with their own headphones and MP3 players. The three trees have been planted in the Velvet Greenhouse at Newlands Garden Centre and are currently being played three genres of music (rock, folk, dance) in an effort to see how well the trees respond to music. The trees can be viewed and monitored through an application on the Triple Velvet Facebook page. Fans are also asked to vote for their favourite music type to be in with a chance of winning tickets to Electric Picnic. All three trees will also be on display at the Velvet Luxury Toilets this year for guests to see and the winning tree will be announced.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

ESB Electric Ireland Electric Picnic Tweet Hunt

Last Wednesday I wrote about The ESB Electric Ireland Park at Electric Picnic. Beyond being the Official Energy Partner to Electric Picnic, ESB Electric Ireland are also running an energy generating adult playground full of over-sized playground favourites. The twist is that each of the playground items contributes to generating power to help charge participants' phones while they have fun. The playground will also be supported by a host of Ireland's top comedians who will be charged with generating as big a crowd of participants as possible.

This weekend I found out about ESB Electric Ireland's upcoming competition to promote its Electric Picnic partnership.

From Monday, ESB Electric Ireland will be giving away 25 tickets in Europe's first real time treasure hunt using Google Maps and Social Media. The #ShareTheEnergy Tweet Hunt, which is being run through Electric Ireland Facebook Page, gives would be festival-goers the chance to win tickets to Electric Picnic using a Facebook App with a Live Google Map that combines a live Twitter feed to reveal five secret locations around Ireland where tickets are hidden. The Tweet Hunt begins on Monday 22nd August at 9am and ends on Friday 26th August, with one lucky person having the chance to win five tickets to Electric Picnic each day.

To find the secret locations, participants need to tweet #Sharetheenergy. The more the hashtag is tweeted, the closer the map zooms in to where the tickets are hidden. Then, a special code word is revealed along with the exact details of the secret location where the Electric Ireland Sparkheads are waiting with the tickets. After that the first person to find the Sparkhead, and tell them the daily code word will receive five tickets to Electric Picnic.

Ken McKervey, Commercial Manager, ESB Electric Ireland commented, “The ESB Electric Ireland Tweet Hunt is a new addition to our Electric Picnic sponsorship this year. Tickets are like gold dust and we hope would be festival-goers will enjoy this innovative competition using social media channels in a fun and unique way to try to win tickets to this fantastic festival.”

For more info on the campaign or any other details of ESB Electric Ireland's Electric Picnic activities, pop over to the ESB Electric Ireland Facebook Page.

Additional information about the ESB Electric Ireland Tweet Hunt:

  • The innovative Facebook App and social media mash-up was developed by Tequila Ireland and
  • The App features a live Twitter feed so users can check the tweets to the hashtag and see the 13 zoom levels as each is revealed.
  • The Facebook page will show pictures of the winner each day and announce the race for that day is over with the next day’s Twitter Hunt commencing at 9am.
  • The Twitter Hunt is open to residents of the Republic of Ireland aged over 18.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Smirnoff Night Life Exchange & Madonna

Today, 18th August, Smirnoff made the announcement that the next iteration of their Night Life Exchange project will not only attempt to
get 10 million people to discover, share and swap the most original nightlife experiences in 50 countries but also to find the best dancer from their fans for an opportunity to join Madonna on her next tour. To mark the announcement the Smirnoff Ireland dance troupe were on the streets today for a number of impromptu performances all over Dublin City Centre to spread the word.

The initial goal sees Smirnoff fans worldwide invited to co-create and participate by contributing ideas on what makes their local nightlife distinct in the categories of drinks, dance, fashion, music, places, and more, creating a nightlife cocktail of unique events. The most inspiring suggestions from each region will then exchanged with another country in November. Participating fans will have the chance to win a place at one of the global events or experience another country’s party at a Smirnoff NEP event in their own city.

The second part of this years NEP, focusing on the importance of dance, offers fans the opportunity to showcase their own style and flair through an exclusive online dance competition. Starting today, fans just need to submit a 60 second video demonstrating their best moves. The best dancers from around the world will then be chosen to compete for the grand prize at one of the NEP venues. On hand on the evening, Madonna will judge the final herself and select a winner to join her on her next tour as one of her dancers.

Talking about the project, Madonna said, "What attracted me to the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project is the combination of participating in the celebration of nightlife around the world and the opportunity to discover the world's best unknown dancers. The best dancers are always in the clubs looking for the most original experience, just like Smirnoff is doing."

Simon Burch, Global Brand Director for The Smirnoff Co., said, “Smirnoff mixes original nightlife from around the world and gives everyone the chance to be there through extraordinary, one-of-a-kind experiences. Who better to decide the best in the dance category than Madonna herself?”

The 50 countries participating in the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project include: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Dubai, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Romania, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, Trinidad, Turkey, Uruguay, United States, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months and pop along to the

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The ESB Electric Ireland Park at Electric Picnic

This week ESB Electric Ireland announced what they have in store as the official energy partner of Electric Picnic. Teaming up with comedian Karl Spain, ESB have revealed their energy-efficient playground for grown-ups where festival goers can play and use the energy they generate to charge their phones. The playground will feature an adult sized merry-go-round, a giant hamster wheel and see-saws, all of which generate energy that people can share and use. For those that prefer something a little less childish, there will also be fifteen bikes in the Park to help generate power.

To help get everyone into full power-generating swing the ESB will have a number of Irish and international celebrity MCs on hand, including Karl Spain, Andrew Stanley, Damian Clark and Gearoid Farrelly. These guys will be tasked with recruiting festival goers to make use of the playground and also to find volunteers to get on their bikes! On top of this, the MCs will also host a number of small challenges throughout the weekend and may even take part in some of these challenges themselves.

Speaking at the launch, Karl Spain said, “Yes, ESB Electric Ireland has brought an even crazier element of fun to the EP line up this year and I’m looking forward to trying the playground out for size! It will really show people how much energy it takes to power even small things like a mobile phone. From see-sawing to merry-go-rounding and peddling there’ll be even more ways to generate energy at this year’s Picnic. It’s a great initiative and I can’t wait to share my energy with fellow festival goers in September.”

Ken McKervey, Commercial Manager ESB Electric Ireland commented “As the Official Energy Partner to the festival, ESB Electric Ireland is delighted to show festival goers how much fun sustainability can be. We are well aware how important having a facility to recharge phones is to festival goers so it’s great that we can provide this in an entertaining way! We are delighted to have the comedians back this year to MC and between the comedians, the bikes and the playground it will be a fully sustainable festival of fun.”

Outside of their energy-generating playground, ESB Electric Ireland's position as official energy partner of Electric Picnic sees them providing 6 km of energy efficient festoon lighting around the camp sites and walk ways to the main arena, and providing e-cars to transport artists around the festival site. All of this will see the festival’s lighting emissions reduced by 80%.

To stay up to date on all of the campaigns details and upcoming competitions, just head over to the ESB Electric Ireland Facebook Page.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Guinness 'Five' - The Guinness Food Experience

Yesterday evening, Thursday 11th August, I had the absolute pleasure of popping along to the Guinness Storehouse to experience their brand new Guinness food experience. Adding to its already top class offering, the Guinness Storehouse unveiled an incredible new food experience which sees the entire fifth floor dedicated to Guinness and Food.

The €2 million investment in the heart of St. James’s Gate has been fittingly named “Five. Guinness and Food Experience”. The new experience includes an authentic Irish Bar called Arthur’s Bar, an 18th Century inspired Brewers Dining Hall, a restaurant named Gilroy’s inspired by the iconic Guinness advertisements by John Gilroy. Beyond this, however, there will also be live cooking demonstrations where foodies and Guinness drinker’s alike can see an unique Guinness gastronomical experience driven entirely by the Irish tradition of wholesome, local produce. Finally, there is also an interactive recipe sharing bank that allows visitors to take Guinness recipe cards home to try the recipes for themselves and also share their own Guinness inspired recipes with others.

Speaking about “Five” the new Guinness and Food Experience at the Guinness Storehouse, Managing Director, Paul Carty said “We are delighted to officially open the doors to our new Guinness and Food experience which marries the best of Irish produce to Guinness, an iconic Irish brand. We have a dedicated team who have been working on this specific food project for over a year now, so we are thrilled with the results which we look forward to sharing with our visitors from all over the world, show casing the best of Irish produce”.

The Storehouse team have carefully selected a number of key local suppliers to work alongside with and their produce can be seen on the menus at “Five” including Ardsallagh goat’s cheese, Irish mussels from Carlingford and MD Bakery in Waterford who supply the Waterford Blaas.

Executive Chef at Guinness Storehouse, Justin O’Connor, said, “Certainly the most recognisable and popular Guinness dish in the world is Beef and Guinness stew; in fact, since we opened our doors in 2000, we have served over 400,000 portions of Beef and Guinness Stew. We have refined this traditional dish as part of our project using Hereford beef from Nenagh in Co Tipperary. The meat is marinated for 24 hours in Guinness and aromatics and then slow cooked for succulence and taste.”

Full outlet details...

Brewer’s Dining Hall
The Brewer’s Dining Hall takes inspiration from the 18th and 19th century dining room of the same name. This traditional dining hall catered for the hard working at St. James’s Gate Brewery, who wanted to eat well. The Brewer’s Dining Hall is an informal dining experience served buffet style featuring the freshest and most wholesome ingredients. All of this is experienced with full views of the working kitchen which is on show through a large glass viewing area.

Gilroy’s Restaurant
Gilroy’s restaurant is inspired by the artist, John Gilroy, who was the artist and creator behind the “MY GOODNESS, MY GUINNESS” marketing campaign. In Gilroy’s you will be greeted with a warm setting surrounded by the wonderful animal characters created by Gilroy, all of which are displayed prominently overhead to add to your dining experience.
Gilroy’s is a waiter style bistro restaurant offering a premium food experience serving traditional Irish food complemented by a contemporary twist.

Arthur’s Bar
The Irish Pub is an integral part of Irish life and always has been. The pub is the focal point of community life where music, sport, literature and family occasions are all celebrated.
Arthur’s Bar is a modern twist on a traditional Irish pub, taking elements of a traditional Irish pub, and showing them in a contemporary manner.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Captain Morgan's Caribbean Adventure - The Captain's Island

Sun, sea, surf, Captain Morgan and a chance to win €15,000….. where do I sign up?

Simples. Just pop over to the Captain Morgan Ireland Facebook Page and start your adventure for a chance to join Captain Morgan, Mena Suvari and 13 other teams of aspiring buccaneers in a contest to win a €15,000 share of the Captain's legendary bounty on The Captain’s Island (from 9th – 14th October) in the Caribbean.

Before you get the chance to prove yourself against these other teams you first need to be selected to go - not everyone can get to The Captain’s Island. First you need to show Captain Morgan that you have traits befitting of a Captain – leadership, camaraderie, bravado (without recklessness), clever thinking and determination. To prove yourself, you will need to complete a number of different challenges on the Captain Morgan’s Facebook page to earn ‘keys’. ‘Keys’ are also available on promotional Captain Morgan packs in supermarkets & off-licenses, in bars, at events and in a number of other secret locations. You will need to collect five keys in total.

Captain Morgan commented: “The chance to have a three day legendary experience on my Caribbean Island and a share of a €15,000 bounty - why wouldn’t you want to be part of that adventure? Sign-up for The Captain’s Island and if you’re lucky enough it could all be yours. Oh, and did I mention that you’ll get to hang out with me, the Morganettes and get interviewed by Island reporter Mena Suvari too? What are you still reading this for – enter now!”

Mena Suvari added: “But you’re going to have to impress Captain Morgan to stand a chance here. If you can’t show leadership, camaraderie, determination, bravado and clever thinking then you can kiss goodbye to an Island adventure and a share of his bounty. He doesn’t just give this away – you have to earn it.”

The contest is open now to everyone in the island of Ireland above legal purchase age and challenges conducted via Facebook require a fun-loving Buccaneer who has a passion for adventure, creativity and a winning spirit. The closing date for crews to sign up and collect five keys is 18th September 2011.

About Captain Morgan:
In 1654 a young Henry Morgan left his native Wales for the West Indies. He never looked back. A born leader, he quickly made Captain and became famous as a legal pirate or Buccaneer, defending British interests and generally rocking the Caribbean. His awesome exploits on the high seas earned him a knighthood and by 1680 Sir Henry Morgan was a plantation owner and Governor of Jamaica. There he lived out his final days until his death in 1688.

Centuries later he became the figurehead for a company that became as famous as the man himself… The Captain Morgan Rum Company.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Three launches ‘S’Up’ Campaign

Three have just launched their latest campaign with everyone's favourite music and reality crazy kids, Jedward. The campaign, which announces Three's new “All you can eat” data on Prepay, will hit TV screens tomorrow evening (5th August) and run for five weeks until 11th September 2011. The campaign uses 30 second placements on RTE, TV3, 3E, Sky packages, Comedy Central, MTV E!, Living and E4. Aside from the TV slots, the campaign will also run online rich media banners on yahoo, MSN, Ryanair, Facebook, and Skype. Finally, the campaign will also use targeted press advertising and special builds in Dublin’s city centre.

The campaign was developed by McCann Erickson and the TV ad was directed by Damien O’Donnell, who has directed the films; ‘East is East’, ‘Heartlands’, and ‘Inside I’m Dancing’, and produced by Russ Russell of Russell Curran Productions.

The TV ad features Jedward calling, texting and tweeting each other all day long. This may not appear unusual given the close bond the twins share, but what is different about Jedward is that they call text and tweet each other even when they’re in the same room, because it costs them nothing on Three Prepay. They can call each other to say hello or in Jedward’s case ‘S’Up?’ and make sure they don’t miss what’s going on even for a minute.

So we have TV, online and press so far, but the most interesting part of the campaign is the in-store POS and PR activity, which will focus on recruiting a third member of Jedward via on-street and social media auditions to spend a day with Jedward at a secret Three Ireland Jedward gig on 16th September. Lucky Three Prepay customers will receive a special Jedmail inviting them!

Commenting on the launch, Sales and Marketing director, Elaine Carey at Three, said: “We at Three are very excited to be launching ‘All you can eat’ data for our Prepay customers, marking another important first in the Irish market for Three. From Friday the 5th of August, Three Prepay customers can avail of the exclusive ‘All you can eat’ data price plan for the first time, giving unlimited mobile internet access, free any network texts, and free Three to Three calls, all for just €20 a month minimum top up. To celebrate this we are offering the Samsung Galaxy Europa on Prepay for just €49, an amazing price for a great Smartphone, with the ‘All you can eat’ data plan allowing Three Prepay customers to make the most of its enhanced social media functionality.”

Commenting on the launch, Emma Sharkey, McCann Erickson, said: “Jedward’s star power and their ubiquitous popularity will help Three to reach a larger prepay audience. Jedward’s youthful energy and innate sociability are a natural fit with the brand’s Prepay proposition. Three understands that people want the ability to stay in constant contact with their closest friends through texts, social sites and calls, without fear of burning through credit.”

For further information on Three, the new offer or the handset, just visit and be sure to follow Three on Twitter and Facebook.