Thursday, January 31, 2013

Guinness Storehouse Welcomes Jasmine Guinness Home to Launch Ambassador Programme for ‘The Gathering’

Jasmine Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse

Yesterday, Jasmine Guinness launched the Guinness Storehouse Ambassador Programme as part of the year of ‘The Gathering’. The programme invites Irish residents to apply online for 1 of 50,000 exclusive ambassador cards entitling them to complimentary admission to the Guinness Storehouse throughout 2013. Friends and family who come home for ‘The Gathering’ will also receive a 10% discount off admission.

Paul Carty, Managing Director of the Guinness Storehouse commented that “during the year of ‘The Gathering’, Irish people are encouraged to invite family and friends ‘home’ to Ireland. We want to reward and encourage those who get behind this special year for Irish tourism by opening our doors to them, free of charge, throughout the year. The Guinness Storehouse is the ‘Home’ of Guinness, and in celebration of ‘The Gathering’, our 50,000 ambassadors are welcome to make our home theirs”.

Welcoming the announcement, Jim Miley, Project Director of the Gathering Ireland 2013 said “we’re delighted to see that the Guinness Storehouse is rolling out the green carpet for visitors to Ireland throughout 2013, the year of the Gathering. The concept of the Gathering is based on a personal invitation from the people of Ireland to our friends, family and connections overseas. The Guinness Storehouse ambassador programme will facilitate those of us hosting gatherings to offer our guests a unique experience at one of Ireland’s most popular attractions”.

Throughout the year, active ambassadors will be entered into a competition to win their own Gathering party for 100 of their friends in the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse with food, refreshments and entertainment provided. Card holders will also be offered a range of benefits during 2013 including exclusive competitions to win tickets to Guinness events, Guinness merchandise and a range of special Guinness Storehouse experiences to be won throughout the year.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bitbuzz Freedom a success in Dublin

Shane Deasy, Managing Director, Bitbuzz

Six months since the introduction of the complimentary Bitbuzz Freedom Wi-Fi service to Grafton Street, Bitbuzz is observing excellent user figures. Bitbuzz Freedom provides a fully managed complimentary Wi-Fi service to the public and is so far available on Grafton St, parts of Henry Street, Temple Bar and the Hibernian Way.

On Grafton Street alone over 1,500 people are using the service and downloading over 10G of data each month; Bitbuzz even recorded Wi-Fi users on Grafton St on Christmas Day 2012. The service is particularly useful for international tourists who use the service to check maps, research transport services, confirm bookings and research local shops, restaurants and tourist attractions on their smartphones, without paying roaming charges. Bitbuzz Freedom allows Wi-Fi access at full broadband speeds and does not have a speed cap.

Bitbuzz Freedom expanded its service to the Hibernian Way, Temple Bar and parts of Henry St just before Christmas and is now in the process of being deployed on further parts of Henry St.

Shane Deasy, Managing Director, Bitbuzz, said: “We are pleased with the take-up of the Bitbuzz Freedom service so far. Our aim last year was to introduce complimentary Wi-Fi to both Dublin City residents and tourists visiting the Capital and we believe the initiative so far has been a success. We look forward to rolling-out the service in other key cities across the country this year.”

Bitbuzz Freedom is an expansion of the Bitbuzz service and offers the same quality of service the Wi-Fi company currently provides in hotels and coffee shops. Designed for smartphone users, Bitbuzz Freedom provides multiple complimentary 20 minute Wi-Fi sessions. Bitbuzz uses multi-band wireless point-to-point backhaul technology to provide a much better performance than traditional "mesh" solutions. This enables users to move around and continue surfing the internet as they walk down the street.

The Bitbuzz Freedom initiative is 100% funded by Bitbuzz and the company has received no financial support or assistance from the local authority or any state agency.

Monday, January 28, 2013

SoundCloud Sound Banner

Today, Monday January 28th, SoundCloud will be advertising the platform (for the first time) in online outlets such as The Guardian, selected domains from Vice Network UK and US, and ad network placements ranging from, to Cosmopolitan, to BBC Music with the message: "Hear the World's Sounds."

What makes the new advertising campaign interesting is that SoundCloud developed - internally - a sound banner. A sound banner is a radical new format developed by SoundCloud's Creative Technologist to broaden brand awareness by maximizing the power of audio, SoundCloud's signature waveform, and the visualization of sound. Audio is at the heart of the message, is in alignment with the company's "sound first" outlook, supplementing the visuals in the banners.

The sound banner uses an advanced audio-enabled HTML5 specification and CSS3 animations (vs. Flash). The infrastructure of the sound banner uses the same SoundCloud SDK as our widgets, allowing them to easily communicate with and pull sounds from the wider SoundCloud platform.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

iD Staffing Comes to Ireland

Guinness launches second installment of 'Made of More'.

iD Staffing, part of leading UK experiential marketing agency iD Experiential, is bringing its unique staffing auditions to Ireland. The agency is hoping to attract the cream of promotional staffing talent north and south of the border to join its 5,000-strong team supplying staff to brands across most industry sectors.

The auditions will launch in Dublin on January 28th before moving to Belfast on January 30th. Over the past 12 months, iD Experiential’s work in the Irish market has seen substantial growth. Successful candidates will be working across the agency’s client portfolio including perfume, coffee and electrical brands.

As part of the iD Staffing training scheme staff will be given the opportunity to develop their key skills via a bespoke training course led by Alex Kramer (QVC Presenter). Once sufficiently trained in retail selling techniques, brand ambassadors will be invited to work for established global brands, demonstrating and selling in leading department stores. The programme further reinforces the agency’s position as the home of the industry’s highest calibre of demonstration and promotional staff.

Additionally, iD Staffing will be introducing marketing scholarships to all brand ambassadors, engaging field staff and encouraging personal development.

To reward brand ambassadors, iD Staffing has established the Golden iDOLS scheme. Each month for a year, two of the top brand ambassadors will be rewarded with a £250 Virgin Experience. Furthermore, one lucky brand ambassador will be awarded the ‘biggest achiever of the year’ accolade and receive a £1,000 Virgin Experience voucher to reward their success.

Gemma Murton, Auditions Manager, iD Staffing, said: “I am incredibly excited to be bringing our staffing auditions to Ireland for the first time. 2012 was an incredibly busy year in mainland UK, Northern Ireland and the Republic. It doesn’t look as though that will be slowing down anytime soon. Here at iD we are always on the lookout for fresh new talent to join our agency books and I can’t wait to see what Ireland has in store for us!”

Monday 28th Jan - University College Dublin
Tuesday 29th Jan - The Button Factory Dublin 9.30am
Wednesday 30th Jan – Belfast - The Black Box 9.30am & 5pm

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Over 80% of Irish Commuters have Limited or No Internet Connection on Journeys

New Sky Go Extra service allows customers to download movies and entertainment to watch offline at any time

New research commissioned by Sky reveals that almost 83% of Irish commuters have little or no access to an internet connection on their journey to work. When commuting respondents tend to “check already downloaded emails” (44.2%), “play games on their phone” (46.5%) and read (51%). Irish commuters’ biggest frustrations are “cramped conditions” (48.4%) and “not making the most of your time when you could be doing something else” (22.6%).

The research coincides with the launch of Sky Go Extra, a new subscription service which will help Sky customers make the most of their “forced downtime” when commuting. Available to all Sky TV homes for just €6 per month, the new service delivers even more flexibility to customers by allowing them to download movies and TV shows in line with their Sky TV subscription to their smartphone, tablet, laptop or MacBook via Wi-Fi to watch offline later. So whether in a car, on a flight, on the train, bus or Luas, Sky customers will be able to enjoy a wide range of content literally anywhere, not just where they can find a reliable Wi-Fi or high-speed mobile connection.

According to Sky’s research access to technology on the move is important in people’s day-to-day lives with more than three-quarters of respondents owning a tablet or smartphone and 81.8% of those using it on their commute. Over 70% of commuters feel frustrated when they don’t have an internet connection on their journey, and will often resort to mundane activities such as “watching other commuters” (18.4%), or sleeping (24.2%), with over a quarter of all commuters claim to be bored on their journey. The research found that two thirds of commuters take the bus.

There is a difference between the sexes in average travelling times to work with 18% of males commuting more than 2 hours a day compared to females (10%). Males (32.2%) get more frustrated when the Wi-Fi drops in and out of signal compared to females (21.1%) and tend to watch more downloaded movies on their tablet (16.1%) than females (6.2%).

The launch of the new service builds on the enormous success of Sky Go, which offers Sky customers access to live and on demand programmes and films from up to 43 channels on a wide range of internet-connected devices, and now attracts more than 3 million unique users in the UK and Ireland each quarter.

In addition to being able to download content, Sky Go Extra customers are also able to register for Sky Go on up to four, rather than two, internet-connected devices, giving Sky households even more flexibility over when and where they enjoy the service.

Sky Go Extra is the first mobile TV subscription service in the UK and Ireland to offer Hollywood movies to download and watch offline. With a choice of hundreds of titles exclusive to Sky Movies available to download at any one time, Sky Go Extra customers who subscribe to the Sky Movies pack will be able to download blockbuster releases around six months after they have ended their run in cinemas. Once downloaded, customers can store the films on their portable devices for up to 30 days.

Blockbusters such as Avengers Assemble, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows and Pirates in an Adventure with Scientists will all be available for download through the service, alongside the entire James Bond film catalogue, containing all twenty-two official Bond films. All titles are available exclusively to Sky Movies subscribers and are not available on any other subscription movies service or TV channel for at least a year after they first appear on Sky Movies.

Sky Go Extra customers will also be able to download the latest shows from channels including Sky Atlantic, Sky 1, Sky Living and Sky Arts, as well as partner channels such as Nickelodeon and Disney. This includes the best of the US, such as Girls and The Following (Sky Atlantic), as well as Sky’s own home-grown hits such as Stella, An Idiot Abroad and Trollied (Sky 1). Customers with a 64 GB iPad will be able to store in excess of 400 half-hour shows and more than 80 movies.

Mark Anderson, Director of Sales & Marketing at Sky Ireland, comments: “Building on the ever-growing popularity of Sky Go, Sky Go Extra is the only mobile TV subscription service in the UK & Ireland which means customers can download the latest Hollywood movies to take with them while they are on the move, alongside a great choice of TV from Sky. The research shows that commuters are frequently frustrated with a lack of things to do in their ‘forced downtime’ so Sky Go Extra gives the perfect solution for the boring journeys to and from work. Together with our comprehensive TV On Demand service and our range of award-winning apps, we continue to deliver helpful and clever ways for Sky households to enjoy even more flexibility over when, where and how they enjoy Sky.”

During 2012, millions of Sky customers have used Sky Go to watch movies on demand, with Bad Teacher, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Captain America: The First Avenger the three most popular movies on Sky Go last year. Entertainment series on demand have also proven popular on Sky Go, with more than 2.5 million views of the second series of An Idiot Abroad and 1.1 million views of the latest season of Game of Thrones.

Sky Go Extra is the latest in a series of recent developments from Sky that help customers take full control of their TV viewing. This includes Sky’s comprehensive TV On Demand service giving TV viewers with a Sky+HD box and a broadband connection even greater flexibility and control over how they watch their favourite shows, at no extra monthly cost. Sky also offers its customers a wide range of award-winning apps at no extra cost, including the popular Sky+ app, which can even be used as a remote control for the Sky+HD box.

To sign up to Sky Go Extra, all customers need to do is visit Once they’ve done this, the next time they enter the Sky Go app they will be able to download programmes and register two more devices. To provide even more flexibility, Sky Go customers can cancel the service at any time, subject to giving 31 days’ notice. Sky Go customers will also be able to sign up for a two-month free trial of Sky Go Extra until the end of March.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Guinness Launches New Ad with Clock that Controls Time

Guinness launches second installment of 'Made of More'.

On Friday (18th January), Guinness launched the second installment of its ‘Made of More’ Marketing campaign with a second TV ad that sees a magic clock being able to fast forward and rewind time. The new ad ‘Clock’ was made available for fans to preview live on from noon on Friday before it hit TV. The TV premiere of the ad will be 24th January (Ireland and the UK).

‘Clock’ follows on in the celebration of the Guinness attitude shared by the famous stout and its drinkers – that you get more out of life by putting more in. 'Clock' is set in the Czech Republic in the 1890s and tells the story of a town’s clock that doesn’t settle for the ordinary; the clock starts to control time to enhance the townspeople’s days; either by accelerating time to make a task go faster or reversing time to avoid an unfortunate event and pausing time to allow a precious moment to last longer.

Nick Britton, Guinness Marketing Manager at Diageo, said: “Guinness has a history of iconic advertising and we are really excited about the new advert ‘Clock’ and about giving people the chance to preview ‘Clock’ live online from 12pm on Friday 17th January before it is aired on TV. The extraordinary clock in this advert is Made of More and has the ability to enhance peoples’ lives; we expect the clock to strike a chord with Guinness drinkers who are also Made of More and do not settle for the ordinary and who love the distinctive look and taste of Guinness and our iconic advertising.”

‘Made of More’ is the biggest Guinness Marketing campaign to date and kicked off in October 2012 with an advert entitled ‘Cloud’. The new advert ‘Clock’ has been created by advertising agency AMV BBDO together with renowned Director Peter Thwaites and continues to reinforce the Guinness attitude of never settling for the ordinary via the attitude ‘Made of More’.

The TV advert was created by AMV BBDO, who also created the first advert ‘Cloud’, and featured a total of 162 actors (4 featured actors, 8 walk on actors and 150 extras that made up the town people and the army). The ad was filmed in Český Krumlov, Czech Republic, a city which is best known for its historic architecture. Peter Thwaites previously directed AT&T ‘Birthday’, Martini ‘Luck is an attitude’ and Barclaycard ‘Waterslide’. Thwaites has also won the Directors Guild of America's prestigious Best Commercial Director prize for 2008.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Guinness Storehouse: Ireland's No.1 International Visitor Attraction

Guinness Storehouse celebrates a record breaking year as Ireland's No.1 international visitor attraction receiving 1,087,209 visitors in 2012.

This week, the Guinness Storehouse announced that 2012 was a record breaking year for the number of visitors that it catered to. In 2012, 1,087,209 guests passed through their doors, smashing the previously held record of 1,038,910 in 2008. This represents a 6% increase on 2011 visitor numbers and sees the popular visitor attraction retaining its position as Ireland’s number 1 international visitor attraction.

The Guinness Storehouse is also celebrating its status as one of the largest brand visitor attractions in the world having welcomed visitors from over 25 different countries. However, it wasn't just your ordinary Joe, Franc or Mario who visited the Storehouse in 2012. The attraction was also enjoyed by high profile guests such as the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Conan O’Brien, both of whom recorded segments for their respective US TV shows as well as actor Kellan Lutz (Twilight), musician Example and Fun Loving Criminals.

Paul Carty, Managing Director of Guinness Storehouse commented, “2012 was a very exciting and busy year for us at the ‘Home of Guinness’. Not only did we welcome record-breaking visitors through our doors, including some high profile guests and media, we also unveiled a number of innovative and engaging new experiences as part of our three year €10m investment plan. Over the past number of years, Irish tourism has been hit by the global economic recession. However, it’s heartening to see the numbers increase and with the spotlight on Ireland this year for The Gathering, I believe we can look forward to another successful year in 2013.”

Alex Connolly, Head of Communications with Fáilte Ireland commended the Guinness Storehouse on their performance, adding “along with festivals and events, attractions like the Guinness Storehouse are an integral part of the exciting mixture of things for visitors to see and do in Ireland. Fáilte Ireland is putting its full weight behind its Gathering initiative in 2013 and that should ensure even more visitors this year to places like the Storehouse and to attractions all around the country”.

93% of all visitors to the Guinness Storehouse are from overseas. Visitors from the USA, GB, Rest of Europe, Italy and Germany were the top 5 ranking nationalities in 2012 with USA +12%, Italy +15% and Germany +14% compared to 2011. The busiest month of the year was August with 121,182 visitors, making it the busiest month on record at the Storehouse.

Earlier this year, the first phase of the €10million investment in the popular attraction was unveiled with the opening of the new ‘Global’ 4th Floor, which houses a range of interactive exhibits that tell the story of how Guinness is enjoyed and celebrated around the world. This investment continues through the next two years. In 2013, the Guinness Storehouse will develop a new Guinness Taste Experience, an interactive room telling the Arthur Guinness Story and also invest in a new look Flagship Retail Store.