Friday, December 31, 2010

Guinness Dark Life (New TV Ad)

Last year Guinness produced a really cool New Year's Eve experience as part of their Guinness 250 campaign (posts here and here). In true epic form Guinness have again produced something new this year. You may have seen the new Guinness ad already in the cinema (where it went live from December 17th) but it won't be seen on tv until this evening when it will be aired in Ireland exclusively. The ad, entitled ‘Dark Life’, is all about Guinness's life and energy from its unique swirls and surges from a settling a pint of Guinness. The ad was shot in various locations including Hong Kong, Columbia and New York.

Speaking about the new ad, Head of Marketing for Guinness, Tanya Clarke said “Guinness is an iconic Irish brand that is celebrated globally and at the heart of our new ad is the idea that there is more life in the dark. Daytime scenes from around the globe are transformed by the coming of a magical liquid which brings on the night. The captivating film connects with consumers across borders and cultures.”

The Ad Storyboard:
From East Village in New York, the liquid swirl continues on a journey of vitality throughout the ad. Dark Life is unveiled as we see people gathering together in anticipation of something exciting. They begin to unite in field where they start to build a bonfire. As the stunning sky comes alive, darkness falls.

Then we see a woman happily sitting on a swing, waiting patiently as the magical liquid darkness appears. Then a couple are seen excitedly running through a field chasing the liquid darkness. We then see a flash of a steel works station on the edge of a remote town. Then quickly it pans to an urban scene where we see a train heading into the striking sky line. From there we are transported back to East Village where the young guy is seen joining his mates in a bar.

As the energy builds we are presented with a bicycle light in Hong Kong, As the camera pans out it reveals hundreds of people cycling with their lights beaming and creating a sense of occasion and togetherness. From there we are taken back to Hong Kong where a beautiful colourful light scene is formed as the day turns into night

As the liquid surge in the sky unveils magical scenes we see people celebrating and enjoying life in the dark. By the bonfire, in a field, on the busy street of Hong, all bringing to life the unique energy of the Guinness surge.

And here's the ad itself:
‘Guinness: Dark Life’

Some interesting facts about the ad:
  • The street drummer at start was found on youtube.
  • The surge effect was achieved by constructing a special tank into which pieces of wood matching the shape of buildings in the specific shot were placed. Then liquid was injected and shot at very high speed. This replicated the liquid night descending around the buildings.
  • Bicycles Scene: 75 cast members were recruited on the street. Streets cannot be closed for filming in Hong Kong, so the ad was shot around the constant busy traffic.
  • The New York Fire Department assisted by opening the fire hydrants for shooting the street dancing scene.
  • The cornfield shoot was shot through the night and only stopped shooting when dawn light prevented us from continuing.
  • The ad was shot on a traditional 35 mm film and Canon 5D. The 5D gave great freedom when shooting on the streets as it is light and easy to transport.
  • The skyline shots were all shot from the top of buildings. Over many hours the skylines were captured as darkness fell and these different exposures were then combined in post production.

Production Info:
The music track used in the ad is entitled ’10 mile stereo’ by the band Beach House. The American indie rock duo from Baltimore recently played a sold out gig in Vicar Street. Their third and latest album released this year, received positive critical and commercial reaction. Their track ’10 mile stereo’ was chosen as it “perfectly carries and enhances the magical, uplifting energy of the ad” said Irish International BBDO’s Mark Nutley.

The ad was directed by the award winning French director, Frederic Planchon and was joint production between the Guinness marketing and BBDO teams of both Ireland and Great Britain. Frederic is a prestigious French director, whose work has been recognised globally including the Masters of Advertising, where he won Director of the Year and at Cannes where he picked up a Silver Lion for Jeep Treacherous Terrain. He continues to be a prolific, and much sought after director worldwide.

Frederic Planchon about the new Guinness ad, “The different parts of the ad combine to create an atmospheric arc that starts at the end of a normal working day around the world, and culminates in a New York bar where the surging of a freshly pulled pint mirrors the urgent buzz and anticipation of a New York City night getting underway outside”.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Last Minute Shopping...

As someone who's definitely going to be doing last minute shopping I thought I'd share this...

[Press Release]
Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre has confirmed that it has extended its opening hours due to the challenging weather conditions over the last few days, to allow for some last minute Christmas shopping!

Speaking earlier today, Greg Devitt, Manager, Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre said; “The challenging weather conditions have made it very difficult for people to go about their Christmas shopping, so we have decided to extend our opening hours until 10pm tomorrow, Thursday, 23rd December, to give people the opportunity to do some last minute shopping”.

Footfall to the Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre is up 15% when compared to the same week last year, which would suggest that consumers are making a last minute dash to get their Christmas shopping done.

“Dublin City Council has worked very hard overnight to clear the footpaths in the city centre, which has made conditions underfoot much better. We look forward to welcoming last minute shoppers through the doors tomorrow and we will also be opened until 6pm on Christmas Eve”, continued Mr. Devitt.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Buzzword Bingo

I got an email today from the folks at Modea, a digital ad agency in the US, about a new app that they have just developed, Buzzword Bingo. Modea describe themselves as being different in their approach and culture, and decided to create a free app instead of a regular 'Agency Christmas Card'.

Buzzword Bingo is a free iPad app designed to
"end the workplace buzzword epidemic by turning meetings into an interactive, social game experience that allocates crucial attention toward inauthentic ad speak".

Definitely an interesting idea and something I thought worth sharing. You can find it at here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

1,000 Posts

No trumpets or fanfares but I did think it was worth a post of its own. This is the 1,000th post on Digitology. Yay! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Helena Christensen’s Top 5 Photographic Tips

At the beginning of November I posted about Baileys ‘Let’s Do This Again’ Facebook photo competition to give one fan a chance to attend a VIP party in NYC. Helena Christensen, an accomplished photographer, is the personality of the competition and photographed a day in her life as part of the campaign for Baileys. Today, I'm delighted to post Helena’s top photography tips for the competition.

Helena’s top five photographic tips are as follows:

  1. Shooting family and friends is all about capturing the natural moment, pieces of action as they happen. Staged photos and orchestrated set-ups really make people feel unsettled.
  2. Always carry a camera / camera phone etc with you - don't be scared of shooting snap shots - these are the best, in all lights and at all occasions.
  3. Don't be scared of dark lighting conditions, I love photographing people and places in dim light - just capturing the image without being too obvious, shooting in the overhead light of midday is far too harsh and you get very varied results.
  4. Mixed weather is also very cool to shoot in - the rain against the window or a dark stormy sky, you'll look back on the severe weather conditions and remember the moment instantly, it’s like listening to an evocative piece of music.
  5. Just be brave, with digital there is no pressure not to shoot - with film we always had to think about the number of shots we were going to be able to take, but don't let digital make you lazy or think less about what you are going to shoot, just because you can shoot hundreds of shots it doesn't mean you should or you need to, use your gut instinct, once you feel you have the shot, move on.

According to Helena; “Capturing these special moments on camera is very important to me, because those are the ones that stay with you forever, so to be able to look back at them for the rest of ones life is something to be grateful for and look forward to.”

The competition will give one lucky person in the Republic of Ireland the chance to attend an exclusive party in NYC co-hosted by Baileys and Helena. Facebook fans can simply upload a picture of themselves and their friends sharing special moments with Baileys onto the Baileys Facebook page before the 16th December to be in with the chance to win.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

10 Years of the Guinness Storehouse

10 years ago on 2nd December 2000 Guinness Storehouse first opened its doors to the public. Those humble beginnings weren’t all that humble either, with former US president, Bill Clinton being the first in a long line of famous faces to pay a visit. Today the Storehouse is recognised as Ireland’s No.1 visitor attraction and has received over 8 million visitors.

Managing Director, Paul Carty, speaking about the auspicious milestone, said “We are delighted to mark 10 years since we first opened our doors back in December 2000. We have welcomed millions of people from countries all over the world, and this year we were particularly delighted to see a 25% increase in Irish people coming to visit Guinness Storehouse, to learn more about their own genealogy and an important slice of Irish culture.”

Paul continued “2011 promises to be another exciting year for Guinness Storehouse as we will be undertaking a €2 million investment in a new restaurant and catering facilities on our fifth floor. We’re obviously hoping that plenty of Irish visitors also take the opportunity to come and enjoy a great meal here, accompanied by the fantastic views we have out over Dublin.” Further details of these exciting plans will be made available in the New Year.

Beyond Mr. Clinton, some of the other famous faces to make up the 8 million happy patrons that the Guinness Storehouse has enjoyed over the past decade are Chris Rock, Will Ferrell, Susan Sarandon, Dermot O’Leary, Adam Sandler, Beyonce Knowles, Pink and Sean Penn. Each of whom had the pleasure ofa complimentary pint of Guinness the Gravity Bar, the highest viewpoint of Dublin City.

Interestingly, it is estimated that in total over 7,086,142 pints of Guinness have been served up in the Gravity Bar over the ten year period.

If you’re somehow unaware, the Guinness Storehouse is a seven storey treasure trove of everything Guinness –allowing visitors to gain an understanding of why Guinness has become one of the world’s most iconic and best loved brands. For further details on Guinness Storehouse visit

Guinness Storehouse Over the past 10 years

  • Has welcomed approximately 8,336,638 visitors
  • Over 1.6 million visitors have tasted Guinness for their first time
  • Over 400,000 visitors have learned how to pour a pint of Guinness
  • The Guinness Archive has collected over 7,500 linear meters of paper records
  • Has provided nearly a quarter of a million servings of Beef & Guinness stew

General Guinness Storehouse Facts
  • General building was erected between 1902 and 1904 for use in the fermentation process
  • The building is 125 feet high, 170 feet long and 151 feet wide.
  • It would take 14.3 million pints of Guinness to fill the giant glass atrium in centre of the GUINNESS STOREHOUSE building
  • Gravity Bar is the highest bar in Dublin located 46 metres off the ground
  • The interactive genealogy pods contain the records of nearly 20,000 former Guinness Brewery employees dating back to the 1880’s.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Absolut's Drinkspiration Home Edition

About a year ago I wrote about Absolut's iPhone 'Drinkspiration' app. There was a huge amount of interest and I thought that you’d be interested to know that there is now a 'Drinkspiration Home Edition' app available exclusively for the iPad.

Where the mobile Drinkspiration was the perfect going-out bar companion, the iPad Drinkspiration app is the ideal at-home entertaining tool. With more than 3,000 drink recipes and images, six pre-installed drink collections, drink suggestions based on ingredients, a shopping list creator, social media sharing, and even 'how to' videos the home edition app is a totally inspirational resource for all party hosts and bartenders.

Fredrick Tallroth, Senior Manager Interactive Marketing, at The Absolut Company, said: "At ABSOLUT, we continuously want to make the most out of new technology, and learning to mix drinks has never been this fun. With its large high-resolution display, and multi-touch functionality, the iPad is the perfect platform for making drink mixing a social happening at the party."

Check out the app's promo video below and go here to download the app.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Smirnoff 'Be There' - Nightlife Exchange Project

So last night..... WOW! I couldn't even begin to tell you how brilliant last night was. I was surprised last week by being invited to host a Smirnoff warm-up party. As is tradition in Argentina before a big night out, people through warm up parties for all their friends to get together and plan out what's happening, listen to a few tunes and enjoy a drink or two. Well I was lucky enough to be one of 3 people invited by Smirnoff to host such a party.

So last night basically kicked off in my apartment with 12 close friends and I. We enjoyed a few, extremely tasty Smirnoff Mules (Argentina style - see below) expertly mixed and served by a Smirnoff barperson and listening to a little mix that I put together. From here we all boarded taxis and set off for The Wright Venue in Swords.

To say that The Wright Venue was spectacular would be a grievous understatement. Upon arrival we were greeted by pyrotechnics, a mechanical horse and a venue that begged to be entered and explored. We were welcomed inside by our Smirnoff hosts and shown to a private suite overlooking the dancefloor. The thing is, as difficult as this may sound, the rest of the night just got better and better.

As well as having our own room and bar to chill out in between nightclub expeditions, we also got to sample the best of Argentinian nightlife as selected by the people of Argentina and curated by DJ Ale Lacroix. From cocktail glasses of fresh fruit to Argentinian BBQ delights to free-styling football skills, we spent the rest of the evening having a thoroughly wonderful time. For me personally, a huge part of this was the opportunity to meet the folk from Smirnoff and really get an understanding of why all this was done, what the inspirations were and how they themselves were enjoying the event.

As an extra bonus I also got the chance to catch up with the Irish curator, Siobhan O'Dowd. While I'm sure Siobhan would have loved to join her crate in Argentina, she was definitely as excited as all of my guests and I to experience an amazing Argentinian night out.

And with all of that said, I for one am very, very happy to be able to say that I was there. And there, was very, very fun and exciting. I'm not sure what Smirnoff will do next, and I'm not even sure I can imagine what will top this, but I said that before about the their Wedding Night and the Masquerade Ball. So basically, I don't know what is next but you can be certain I will be waiting in eager anticipation.

Serious hat tips to all involved. You've got a fan for life :)

Smirnoff Mule Argentina
35.5ml Smirnoff Vodka,
20ml Pomelo juice,
2 fresh wedges of lime
and topped with ginger ale.
Fill your glass with cubed ice before pouring all the liquid ingredients. Squeeze your fresh lime on top and stir well to mix all the ingredients together and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Miwadi - Miwadifesto

Yesterday, Monday 22nd November, Miwadi launched its brand new packaging and branding. To celebrate the event, Miwadi is calling on Irish kids to tell them what they would do to make our island a more fun place to live in!

Miwadi wants kids to join in the “Miwadifesto”!

Through a brand new website kids can upload their suggestions for and ideas. Of course as being kids these ideas don't exactly need to be too grounded and anything goes...
  • Little boys could be given super powers
  • Girls provided with fairy wings to get to school
  • Buses would be replaced with pretty pink carriages drawn by unicorns
  • Trains would provide special areas for kids to host a Teddy’s Bear Picnic, and
  • Every shopping list could include magic dust!

Miwadi is looking for all fascinating and magical suggestions to be collated into a Miwadifesto containing the most colourful suggestions - ideas that fill a dull moment with colour and make the mundane fantastic. With the help of their Mums or Dads, kids can enter their Miwadifesto, for the chance to ultimately see their own suggestions up on the site and perhaps win a family holiday or a host of other prizes.

Speaking about the Miwadifesto, Miwadi Marketing Manager, Christine Keohane said “We are delighted to introduce our new look Miwadi and what better way to celebrate then asking our biggest fans, kids, about their world. The aim of the the Miwadifesto is to tap into the imagination of children and to capture how our world might look if it were run by kids!”.

The campaign was launched with the help of Lucy Kennedy yesterday morning outside Government Buildings on Merrion Street. A rather fitting location considering everything going on right now.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Meteor and Barnardos Launch Christmas Text Appeal

Last Thursday Meteor CEO Fergus Finlay and actress and Barnardos Ambassador Sarah Bolger launched the Meteor Christmas text appeal for children's charity Barnardos. This is the first time that this type of appeal has been run between the two organisations although they have shared a strong partnership for the past number of years. Through simple texting, Meteor customers can donate directly to the charity.

Meteor customers just text ‘Barnardos’ to 57502. These texts cost the customer €2 and every cent goes directly to the charity. For the appeal Meteor are waving all costs.

Meteor’s Chief Commercial Office, John Penberthy Smith, said: “Our Meteor Christmas Campaign this year is focused on ‘Spreading the Christmas Spirit’ and we really hope to do exactly that for people who need it the most at this special time of year. We have been charity partners now with Barnardos for a number of years and really hope to raise lots of funds for this very deserving charity. Our sponsorship of The Spirit of Christmas Ball and The Today FM ‘Us2’ book which will be launched later this month are just some of the other projects that we’re working on together over the coming weeks. We hope that our customers will join with us in supporting Barnardos this Christmas. Every cent will go to making Christmas special for families and children that are suffering the most, especially at this time of year.”

The text activity is also being supported with a range of other fundraising activities taking place over the next couple of weeks by Meteor staff. These will include a collection day in Connolly station, volunteering at Barnardos Christmas project parties and the ‘Give a Gift Campaign’ where staff members buy gifts for Barnardos to distribute to children this Christmas.

Speaking at the launch, Barnardos’ CEO, Fergus Finlay said: “We truly appreciate the support of Meteor. For many of the children and families we work with, Christmas is an exceptionally difficult time. It’s great to know that every cent of the two euro donation will go directly to the children and families that we work with. Support like this will help us to continue our work with more than 5,500 children and hopefully bring them some comfort this festive season and it really couldn’t be easier to help out, simply text ‘Barnardos’ to 57502.”

The Meteor Barnardos text appeal is fully live and available to all Meteor customers.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Guinness 'This Is Rugby Country' TV Ad

Ahead of their support for the Guinness Series and the upcoming 2011 RBS 6 Nations Championship, Guinness is launching their latest advertising campaign. The highlight of which is the new TV ad entitled 'This is Rugby Country'.

The ad, which is part of a bigger ATL campaign, will air for the first time tomorrow evening (Friday 19th November), during the TV3 News at 5.30pm and also during 6.1 News on RTE 1. The ad will also air during the rugby coverage on RTE 2 tomorrow night, and again on RTE on Saturday evening during the broadcast of the Ireland V All Blacks game.

While the initial ad, launched tomorrow, will be a 60 second version, there will also be a 40 second TV edit for the 2011 RBS 6 Nations, and Leinster and Munster specific edits for airing around key provincial games. Finally it will also feature as a prominent cinema ad aired in support of the 2011 RBS 6 Nations.

Thankfully though there's no need to wait until tomorrow. Here's the full 60 second version of the ad for your enjoyment...

The ad was directed by award-winning photographer Alex Telfer. Alex is widely recognised for his powerful, realistic and emotive imagery. The 'This is Rugby Country' ad was shot in various locations around Dublin and Wicklow. The most interesting thing about the commercial is that it features real rugby fans as opposed to actors. The aim was to allow each fan to have a role in bringing 'This is Rugby Country' to life through the anticipation and build up to the drama of the game.

Speaking about the campaign, Guinness Senior Brand Manager, Stuart Kinch said, "With This is Rugby Country, we want to show that rugby is part of who we are, it is embedded in our communities across the country, which is why we feel there is a real value in featuring genuine fans in these ads, not actors. This is one of the key ingredients of the campaign. The main stage for international rugby might be in Dublin, but it’s roots are spread across the country."

Director Information:
Alex Telfer is an award winning photographer, known for his strong portrait photographs. His has previously has work commissioned by Nike, Sony Music, the BBC, and Royal Bank of Scotland, amongst others. He works globally with agents in Milan, London, New York Paris and Hong Kong.

The full cast for the ad is as follows:
  • Slattery's Pub – all locals: Tadhg Kennelly, Pat Scully, Alex Cordero (manager), David Keenahan, William Griffith, Cian Duggan, John Fahy, Jane Fitzgerald, John Boyle, Neasa Ni Dhurcain
  • Fishermen from Howth: David Doyle, Dougal Cousins, Tadek Wagiel, Cathal Lafferty, Terry Kelly, Benedict Byrne, Michael O’Brien, Pierce O'Shea, Michael Farren, Ivan Wilde
  • Office Cleaners - Dublin: Larissa, Charlie Thompson, Bernie Ward, Bernadette McCoughlin, Tiago Palma de Castro
  • Firemen - Dublin: David Murray, Chris Beregen, Paul Marsh, Brendan Magratan, Tony Devoy, Neil Mcabe, Eddie Duffy
  • Club Rugby Players: Marcus Stewart, Lucas O'Ceallachain, David Campbell, Damien Hall
  • Farmers - Wicklow: Ruth Henderson, Elga Fox, Mark Cunnane, Rory Murphy, Patrick Gill, David Tyrell, Michael Behan
  • Scientists - Shot in the Mater Hospital: Lyndsey Kane, Maggie Smith, Stewart Williams, Patrick Heavney, John Byrne, Patrick Smith, Therese O'Sullivan, Ben Griffin,
  • Munster Pub - all locals: Lisa McCarthy, John Hennessy, Anthony Kavanagh, Michael Goggin, Joy Neville, Ian Hanly, Donal Mulcahy (manager)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

FUSE@GN1 - Pop-up Shop

Two weeks ago I was asked to pop along to the launch of something really cool. A friend of mine, Danielle Mac Innes, who runs the Dublin-based furniture and design company FUSE Interiors has partnered up with Gallery Number One to transform the space into a mid-century, vintage and recycled furniture exhibition and shop. The shop launched on October 29th and will be open for 4 weeks.

If you have any sort of interest in vintage furniture or design this will be a treasure trove of wonder that you need to visit. The pop-up shop has a wide selection of seating, tables, lighting, storage and cool accessories from a variety of sources and ages.

In case you're not familiar with Gallery Number One, it's located just beside Dublin Castle at 1 Castle Street, Dublin 2. The shop is open Monday to Friday 10am - 6pm (late Thursday) and Saturday & Sunday 11am - 6pm. And don't fear while the shop was due for a 4 week run, things have been going so well that it's now going to stay open until Christmas.

About Fuse Interiors
Fuse Interiors carefully source and select a mix of mid century investment pieces, flea market finds and restored vintage pieces. Through pre-owned vintage and re-cycled pieces, as well as seeking suppliers who use sustainable methods and materials, Fuse aim to bring responsible yet exciting design to their customers.

They work on large and small projects with both individual and business clients.
They offer a full range of design services which include floor plans, 3D drawings, sourcing and specification of furniture and finishes, colour consultancy and project management.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

iCabbi - The Taxi App

I was sent on details about a new iPhone App, iCabbi, and thought that it was definitely worth sharing. Essentially it is a virtual taxi dispatch that allows real-time booking of taxis directly from your iPhone. While many people may make regular taxi trips either personally or for work, and therefore use a regular taxi company, the real benefit, as far as I can see, with iCabbi is that whenever you are in a situation that you may not be 100% familiar with the area you are in, you can confidentially order a taxi without having to worry.

The app works by showing the 'iCabbi's on a map and letting you know exactly where they are. When we are fully national you will only need to press iCabbi on your smart phone to get a taxi wherever you are. While the system id currently only live in Dublin & Cork, they are aiming to have nationwide coverage by the end of 2011. Similarly, while iCabbi is only available on the iPhone at the moment, a Blackberry app is expected to be approved very shortly with a Nokia app coming in the next few months.

The company bills its biggest selling point as security for women. They say that the app will allow customers to always know who is coming to pick them up, as well as allowing easy record management of pick up & drop off locations and routes through emails sent to two accounts of your choosing.

About iCabbi
Quick & Efficient - iCabbi allows people to get the closest taxi to them at the touch of a mobile phone button & to track its progress in real time – no need to speak to anyone, no need to call directory enquiries for cab company numbers, for multiple calls on busy nights or to check when your car will arrive.

Safe & Secure - When you book an iCabbi the details of the car & driver coming to get you are sent directly to your mobile phone. Your journey is then recorded and emailed to two email addresses of your choosing, a particularly attractive feature to women. Giving you and your loved ones greater peace of mind when using taxis, particularly late at night & also makes finding lost items a little easier!

Environmentally Friendly – allocating the closest taxi to the fare makes sense from an environmental perspective as less fuel is being burned while going to the pick up location meaning lower CO2 emissions. In our test market of Cork City drivers reported an average saving of up to 20% when using iCabbi compared to the traditional radio model.

All Inclusive – people with hearing & speech difficulties can now book taxis wherever they are whenever they want without the need to seek assistance.

A Good News Story – iCabbi will create up to ten new positions in Ireland in year one alone with the huge export potential offering even more opprtunities for jobs in the future.

iCabbi also provides a lifeline to those with hearing and speech problems who may have had difficulties or even found it impossible to book a taxi at home or while on the move – now they can simply book an iCabbi at the touch of a mobile phone button.

For further information please contact:
Gavan Walsh on 086 839 6858, or, Bob Nixon on 086 604 3668

Monday, November 15, 2010

Guinness Rugby iPhone App

Over the weekend you may have noticed a lot of 'My Friend Finder Location' messages popping up in your Facebook Newsfeed. Basically last Friday saw the launch of the newly upgraded Guinness Rugby iPhone app. Guinness, who are a partner of Irish Rugby, updated their existing iPhone app to, what they describe as, "allow Irish rugby fans to be at the heart of the game".

The app, which was initially launched earlier this year and is a free download, is already a hit with a huge number of fans and was the number one free sports download in the App Store. Following its relaunch, in the space of 24 hours, the app ranked at number 5 in the same category.

The Guinness Rugby iPhone app features all the latest technology, providing information and news updates from the best sports sites with news stories from Irish Rugby, Munster and Leinster, Irish Times and Breaking News to name just a few. The app also pulls in regular updates from the Guinness Rugby Facebook team. Even though this results in a huge amount of information at your fingertips, you can easily toggle between sources to stay informed with up-to-the-minute news from inside the Irish camp with Jamie Heaslip, Tommy Bowe, Johnny Sexton, and John Muldoon.

Key Features of the Guinness Rugby iPhone app:
  • Live feeds to Guinness Rugby Ireland's Facebook page which features regular updates from the Guinness Rugby team
  • News updates from Irish Rugby, Leinster Rugby, Munster Rugby, The Irish Times, Planet Rugby, Irish Examiner, Breaking News and the Irish Independent
  • A unique and interactive Guinness Rugby Calendar, allowing user's access to the latest Guinness Area 22 Rugby Supporter Events, matches updates and key dates in the rugby international and domestic scene.
  • Guinness Rugby Map. This uses Google maps to allow fans access Transport Services (Dart, train stations, LUAS), a pub finder including details on Guinness Area 22 Venues in the greater Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road and Ballsbridge neighbourhoods and Stadium Map for all relevant venues (Aviva, RDS, Thomond Park)
  • A bespoke Guinness Friend Finder so fans can stay in touch with each other on match days. By selecting the friend finder option, fans can post their location on the Guinness Rugby map on match day and share their location with their Facebook friends.
  • Further upgrades over the course of the rugby season, particularly ahead of the 2011 6 Nations.

For more info check out and
Guinness Rugby Facebook Page.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Meteor's Christmas

There is so much going on with Meteor at the moment I'm not even sure where to start. Not only have Meteor fully embraced their new mantra of "your social network" with vigour and enthusiasm through there impressive product range and new business focus on data packages, but the mobile network has also made some serious inroads into bringing their services to the heart of Facebook.

So first up I'd like to mention the two new services that Meteor have added to their Facebook Page; their Facebook Top-up Service and Online Store. Both services sit directly within Facebook and allow users to take care of their mobile needs directly within the social network. In themselves both services are great examples of development work but more so it is the customer service element that I think is most important. While other operators are concentrating on driving visitors to their own sites, Meteor have recognised a core service that users should be able to access where they want to.

Next up is the two new Meteor ads for Christmas. Meteor have moved completely away from last years very popular series of ads and characters, and made this years theme all about the 'power of suggestion'. The ads show two sides of the same story and link up to create a brilliant little narrative. If interested, I have the storyboards here and here, but the best thing to do is to just watch the two ads...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Once upon a time with LG Optimus

LG have just launched a brand new campaign to highlight their two new mobile phones, the LG Optimus One and LG Optimus 7. The campaign features a brilliantly animated ad that pays homage to a kaleidoscope of Hollywood blockbusters.

Check out the ad here...

The campaign also features a Facebook element, calling on fans to tell their own mobile stories -!/LGMobileHQ

As for the phones themselves; For the Optimus 7, LG have partnered with Microsoft to create a windows powered mobile with an expansive 3.8 inch WVGA LCD display (800x480 pixels) and 16GB of internal memory. It also features an extra large 1500mAh battery for extended online and realtime activity. The Optimus One has been developed based on the consumer insight that first-time smartphone users have a strong want for advice and insight into the best apps to get. As a result, the LG Optimus One focuses on offering instant information search and versatile application packages such as the LG App Advisor, which recommends 10 highly rated applications every two weeks.

In other LG news I was lucky enough to recently get invited to an LG roadshow to view and demo their latest 3D TVs and home entertainment systems. Following this I was even more lucky to get asked if I would like to do a home demo of one of their systems. Needless to say I jumped at the chance. Stay tuned and I'll have a full insight for you into just what it's like to use a 3D entertainment system.

Monday, November 8, 2010, the online resource from Pfizer to help people quit smoking, has announced that for this week (Monday 8th - Friday 12th), smokers across Ireland have the opportunity to avail of an online GP ‘surgery’ for free. The GP surgery is open each day from 12.00-15.00 and 18.00-21.00, and is staffed by GPs to give instant professional advice on quitting smoking. During the online surgery, the GPs will answer all your questions via a private Instant Messaging service – no one else is able to view the exchange.

So basically it's like going to your GP except from the comfort of your own home/wherever you are online and, of course, it's free!

The campaign behind the online activity is fronted by former Munster and Irish International rugby player, Mick Galwey, and follows recent research commissioned by Pfizer which found that 90% of smokers believe they are addicted or would find it very hard to quit smoking. The research also found that smokers have actively tried to quit a number of times, with current smokers citing an average of almost four (3.95) quit attempts.

Mick said; “I never smoked and am very glad for that. As a sportsperson we are constantly reminded of the importance of health and fitness to reach your full potential. Smoking can really hold you back from achieving that potential; it affects your ability to be as good a sportsperson as you can be. If you smoke it’s never too early to stop to improve your health. This online surgery is a great idea as you can get the professional advice you need, in the comfort of your own home.”

Dr. Ronan Donohoe, one of the GPs involved in the online surgery, commented; “Many smokers recognise the harmful effects of smoking and want to stop, but stopping smoking is a very difficult thing to do and can often take several attempts. I urge people to avail of this free service and seek professional advice on how to quit, as it has been shown that getting help from a doctor or other healthcare professional can double a person’s chances of beating nicotine addiction.”

As well as the free online ‘surgery’, the site also allows visitors to follow the real life quit journey of Eddie, a member of the public who has successfully quit with the help and support of a GP. Eddie also features in the ‘Quit With Help’ public awareness campaign that is running on tv, radio and certain online media.

About Quit with Help
Quit with Help is a public awareness campaign developed and funded by Pfizer. The campaign aims to encourage smokers who are serious about stopping to seek help and support from a Doctor for any quit attempt.

In Ireland it is estimated that 7,000 people die from tobacco use every year costing millions of euro annually to the healthcare system for treating tobacco-related illnesses. Smokers have an increased risk of cancers, heart disease, strokes, low birth weight and many other diseases. Smoking is the single most important preventable cause of illness and death and can result in people losing an average of 10-15 years from their life expectancy.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Script Talk About The Arthur Guinness Fund

In just a short week's time applications will have closed for The Arthur Guinness Fund for 2010. The Arthur Guinness Fund has already pledged up to €1 million in funding to projects that are making a positive impact on their community, including the great work that I already posted about. So with only a week to go, do you have a project happening or even just a great idea which could fit benefit from the fund?

To see how The Arthur Guinness Fund could help you, click here (before Wednesday November 10th). For now though check out the guys from The Script talking about the great work social entrepreneurs do...

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Carphone Warehouse 2010 Appy Awards

Last night saw the inaugural Appy Awards take place at the Gibson Hotel at the Point Village in Dublin. The awards celebrate innovation and creativity in the app development industry, rewarding its best practitioners for their hard work and business achievements. The Appys are the only dedicated awards programme in Ireland for app development and design, and are open to anyone who developed or paid for the development of a mobile app, on any platform (iOS, Android, Bada, Symbian, Ovi, etc.). The awards featured 17 categories ranging from Best Branded App to Best Travel/Tourism App, as well as a Grand Prix to the best overall app from the last year.

The first ever Grand Prix winner from last night was the RTÉ News Now iPhone app. RTÉ, who were up against a host of innovative and creative apps, were judged to be the best app out of 170 entries.

“I’d like to congratulate RTÉ and the agency that developed the News Now app, DRG, on the Grand Prix win,” said Stephen Conmy, editor of Digital Times and co-founder of the Appys. “The competition for the top prize was quite fierce, there were some great apps entered and most of the apps that made the shortlist show the creativity and utility now abundant in the Irish app sector. I’d also like to thank all our judges for the hard work they put in.”

The full breakdown of category winners was as follows:

CategoryApp nameCompany
Best Augmented Reality / Location Services iPhone/iPad AppDaft Media Ltd
Best Branded appPaddy Power MobilePaddy Power
Best Business Solutions appSmartgridRedwind Software
Best Consumer Experience / Retail appBetfair for iPhoneBetfair
Best Entertainment / Gaming appMovie ChallengeRedwind Software
Best Media appRTÉ News NowDRG
Best Medical/ Healthcare appPocket HearteMedia Interactive Ltd.
Best Social Networking appAbsolut Fringeeightytwenty/interactive
Best Sports appRTÉ GAAFurious Tribe
Best Tourism/Travel appIreland's Blue BookIreland's Blue Book
Best Education / Learning AppFIS TrainingFurious Tribe
Best use of the Irish Language in an AppGreann GaeilgeMiranda Corp
Best DeveloperDaft - Ciaran MaherDaft
Best Andriod appToday FMCommunicorp Digital
Best Bada appMunster RugbyiMobile
Best OVI appMowbli's HalloweenAxonista
Best Apple appRTÉ News NowDRG

While each app was judged on seven different attributes including design, relevance to target market, utility and innovation, Des Doris, founder/organiser of the Appys and MD of Alchemy Events said, “We’ve been really impressed with the standard of entries for such a young media sector, and the app sector is a media sector in its own right now. While this year we’ve concentrated on mobile apps, next year we'd like to see tablet apps, social media apps and even Web TV apps entered. The app sector is changing the media landscape and the way many companies do business and the Appys with The Carphone Warehouse aim to showcase the best Irish apps and their developers.”

Edward Conmy, event director and co-founder, commented: “We’re extremely happy with the response, not just from all those who entered but also from our sponsors and the general digital media/marketing community. The app sector in Ireland is thriving and we hope the Appys will shine a bright light on this creative and energetic media sector. Well done to all those who made the shortlist, who won their categories and of course well done to the Grand Prix winner. For those who are a little disappointed on the night, there’s always next year.”

A huge congratulations to all those who were nominated and especially to all those who won.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Helena Christensen, Baileys & a VIP Party in NYC

Today Baileys announced the launch its new ‘let’s do this again’ campaign. To help out, Baileys enlisted the help of one of the worlds best-known supermodels, Helena Christensen. The campaign sees the renowned liquor brand offering a lucky Irish fan the chance to win an invitation to an exclusive New York VIP party co-hosted by the supermodel.

The campaign revolves around a collection of never-seen-before shots of Helena as she goes about a normal day in her life. Interestingly Helena was also the photographer on the job so the result is a particularly unique reflection of herself hanging out with her close friends at her upstate New York home. To tie in to this, the campaign asks for fans to share their own unique moments enjoying Baileys with close friends by uploading their own photos to the Baileys Facebook page.

“My most memorable moments are often when I’m with friends because everyone is completely at ease, which makes the atmosphere relaxed and enjoyable. Capturing these special moments on camera is very important to me, because those are the ones that stay with you forever, so to be able to look back at them for the rest of ones life is something to be grateful for and look forward to", said Helena about what inspired her to be part of the campaign.

She continued, “Looking at the images also reminds you of how much great friends mean to you and how important it is to get them all together as often as possible. This is what the new Baileys campaign holds at its very heart, encouraging close friends to enjoy time together more often and I’m thrilled that Baileys joined me and my friends at home in New York for the day.”

Jennifer Kiernan, Baileys Brand manager said, “We’re thrilled to have Helena Christensen on board for the Baileys ‘Let’s do this again’ campaign and very excited about being able to give a lucky Irish person the chance to attend a VIP party in NYC co-hosted by Baileys® and Helena. Irish people love getting together and we like capturing those moments on camera so we can continue sharing them. We’re looking forward to seeing some of those moments where friends have come together to do something they enjoy again uploaded onto the Facebook page over the coming weeks!”

The competition runs until the 16th of December 2010 and is simple to enter. Just get over to Baileys Facebook page and upload a picture of you and your friends having fun.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Arthur Guinness Fund: 1,400 Computers For Reuse In Education

Diageo have just announced that Camara Education will be one of the companies to benefit from the Arthur Guinness Fund. Similarly to last year, the fund will be used to recognise the work of social entrepreneurs from all over Ireland. The aim being to highlight the positive and sustainable impact that these people are having on Irish communities.

For Camara Education the fund will be sourcing 1,400 used computers from all areas of Diageo business in Ireland to be reused by the company for educational use in disadvantaged areas both at home and in Africa. The machines, which had reached the end of their lives from a Diageo business perspective, will be cleaned and reconditioned with educational software before being shipped to African countries including Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Zambia and Uganda.

Earlier this year, €1 million was awarded by the Arthur Guinness Fund in Ireland and in 2011 funding of up to €1 million will again be made available as well as a comprehensive two year support programme for the awardees. The support programme includes additional expertise and practical support from Diageo Ireland and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s alumni network.

Applications are now sought for this second phase of the Arthur Guinness Fund and will remain open until Wednesday, 10th November, 2010. Interested applicants can download an application form here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kamchatka: Twitter As Your Website

I would have assumed that folks had seen this (or at least heard about it) but following a conversation with some people on Friday on the options for doing a 'website that's not a website', I found out that not everyone has.

Below is the promo vid for Argentinian digital agency Kamchatka's new website which is based entirely around Twitter. The company setup different profiles to represent different sections of their site and Tweets as the content. It's a brilliant idea and definitely way 'out there'. However, from a practicality point of view I'm just not convinced - especially when you consider Twitter's 4 Day Search Window.

Anyway, have a gander and judge for yourself...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Smirnoff 'Be There' - Nightlife Exchange Project

This evening I was extremely lucky to be invited to pop along to the Clarendon Bar for the next steps in the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project. This evening Smirnoff not only announced which cities had been paired up but also revealed a host of customised Smirnoff Mule cocktails for each location.

The big news is....... Dublin has been sistered with Argentina!

So, on the 27th November 2010, at The Wright Venue Swords, Ireland will receive the best of Argentinian nightlife as selected by the people of Argentina and curated by DJ Ale Lacroix. In exchange, the people of Argentina (Buenos Aires) will be sent the Shane O'Driscoll customised crate, which will be filled with the best of Irish Nightlife.

Of course we're now all wondering what is the best of Irish Nightlife?

Well, thanks to a community of over 40,000 people who made more than 500 suggestions, we can now confirm that the best of Irish Nightlife is...

  • To start with there'll be an entertainment extravaganza from DJ Dave DeValera
  • Irish food served up in the setting of a traditional Irish pub
  • and, a very specially mixed Smirnoff Mule featuring Red Lemonade - a truly Irish phenomenon
Of course the Irish curator, Siobhan O'Dowd, will be putting her expertise into action to ensure that everything that goes into the crate and is shipped to our Argentinian friends will be top notch. Without doubt the South Americans are in for a wild night!

For more information on the crate, and for a chance to win a trip to Argentina to 'Be There', just pop over to the Smirnoff Ireland Facebook Fanpage and get your details in!

The other countries in the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project were sistered as follows:
Australia (Sydney) - Brazil (Sáo Paulo & Rio)
Canada (Toronto) - India (Mumbai)
Great Britain (London) - USA (Miami)
Germany (Berlin) - South Africa (Cape Town)
Lebanon (Beirut) - Thailand (Bangkok)
Poland (Warsaw) - Venezuela (Caracas)

I'll also get a full list up of all the delicious, customised Smirnoff Mule recipes in the next couple of days. Until then, start brushing up on your Spanish!