Ignition 21st Dec

December 22, 2009

Happy christmas from the Ignition Team!

Philippa & Vanessa.


What Matters Now

December 21, 2009

2009 has been a tough year for OMD. It’s been a tough year for everyone in our industry. By all expectations, 2010 will be just as tough. So going into the New Year, inspiration in any form is definitely welcomed.

Seth Godin has stepped up to the mark, and put together an ebook full of big ideas from big thinkers – on topics like Generosity, Fear, Meaning, Dignity and Vision.  It’s a good read, to stimulate reflection over the last year, and to kickstart planning for the year ahead. 

“Leadership is more than influence. It is about reminding people of what it is we are trying to build—and why it matters. It is about painting a picture of a better future. It comes down to pointing the way and saying, “C’mon. We can do this!” When times are tough, vision is the first causality. Before conditions can improve, it is the first thing we must recover”

 Link to download the free PDF

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank The Influentials team: Eamonn Donnelly, Claire Butterly, Vanessa Lenahan and Phillipa Ryan.

This blog would have never been possible without their creativity, enthusiasm and most importantly their perseverance. It’s not easy to keep writing posts continuously, and to keep writing them at such a high level of quality. From the early days when nobody read the blog except the five of us, to the skyrocketing popularity of the Jedward posts, every person on The Influentials team played an invaluable part. Their combined efforts have made a success of this idea.

Thank you aswell to all the whole OMD team who read the blog and offered feedback and encouragement, with an honorable mention to Mary who jumped onboard as the first guest writer.

This will be my last post until February as I’m off to Malaysia – see you again in 2010!



Poor little Joe. They stole his number one to prove a point. Petty, petty. Shame on them. Possibly the Grinchiest thing I’ve ever heard.

It seems they did it because they believe that their views on what the music industry should be are more valid than those of the 6 million or so people who voted for Joe to win the final of XFactor. They stole a first number one; a Christmas number one, from a kid.

XFactor creates chart success, yes, but it’s not that simple. XFactor may be a corporate machine, but it’s also a fantastic democratiser. Look at the talented people, people with no ‘connections’ who now have a chance, thanks to this show. Pop is pop for a reason; it’s popular. It’s what people want. XFactor is simply a new, more inclusive vehicle for choosing the stars.  For all those who think that music with guitars and drums is more valid than a pop vocalist’s work, bottom line; who the hell do you think you are?! You’re in a different game. Stop trying to ruin this one.

These self righteous, self important folk need to take a look at why they believe they have better or more important views than the general populous. I wonder which Beethoven or Mozart would think is better music, Rage against the Machine’s offerings, or Joe’s note-perfect vocals?

The rebuttal from these Grinches is that the market decided; that the two offerings were pitted against each other, and one won.  Pish posh I say; an unnatural distortion was introduced to this market – one player was working from motivation that wasn’t represented by how the market works.

They cheated. Like the Grinches they are.


Ignition Five 14th Dec

December 14, 2009

This weeks latest Ignition 5….Enjoy!!!

Philippa & Vanessa

Charity at Christmas FM

December 10, 2009

Christmas is all about presents and parties and catching up. Those things done, it’s about charity. So I’m taking this opportunity to plug Christmas FM.

What a simple concept!

5 weeks of Christmas music, text in your request and €1 goes to the Simon Community. DJs generously give up their time free of charge, a sponsor covers the cost of running the project (the Daily Mail this year) and the rest of the cash from text messages and donations goes to the chosen charity. They play Christmas songs all day and night from a duke box of 400 and break up the music with traffic and travel, stories about Christmas traditions in other countries, and anecdotal clips from the Simon community.

Lots of brands are going the charity route these days – Fairy Liquid make a donation to Make a Wish foundation for every promotional bottle bought, Jimmy Choo made a special boot where 25% of proceeds went to Autism Ireland, and Marks and Spencer partner with Breakthrough Breast Cancer to sell bespoke products each year with all profits going to the charity.

It’s a great time to develop charity partnerships. I think people are starting to revaluate the importance of materialism and a charity donation gives justification to any purchase. On top of that, charity donations are proven to increase during recessionary times – people can see themselves in a worse off position very easily.

Anyway, if you want to check out Christmas FM it’s on 100.3 FM in Dublin and 106.7 FM in Cork. And advertisers are welcome to sponsor a show, with the cost taken as a donation 🙂


Jingle All The Way

December 8, 2009

Jingle All The Way

Ah Christmas, a time for partying with friends, buying gifts for your nearest and dearest, quality time with family, visiting long lost relations, mulled wine, fairy lights, last minute shopping, turkey and trifle.  And for advertisers, the quest for infamous cut through during the busiest advertising and shopping time of year.  Everyone wants a slice of the Christmas shopping frenzy and as a result, we as consumers are bombarded with messages from all angles.  For me however, there are a number of ads that I just love seeing at this time of year.  By this time of year, I mean December, like Vanessa, I applaud brands that wait till December to run their Christmas ads.

I know its Christmas when I see a truck decked out in lights rolling into town, Christmas wishes from the home of the black stuff, a snowman flying through the sky and a mother turning on the electric blanket for the return of her prodigal son.

If I must elaborate, my all time favourite Christmas ads are Coca-Cola, Guinness, An Post and ESB.  Even now, I’m humming the tune to each of these ads.  And there it is, that’s what does it for me about all those ads.  Yes, the imagery is amazing, I’d absolutely love for the Coca-Cola truck to visit Caltra, a white Christmas would be magical etc, but it’s the music in those ads that gets me every time.  Even though I see most of these ads every year, some slightly updated, some in their original form, I’ll never get sick of seeing them.  As soon as I see or hear these iconic ads, I get a happy glowy Christmassy feeling inside.  I look forward to driving home on Christmas Eve and seeing our Christmas tree lights for the first time and knowing that the ham will be boiling for hours on the stove.  Even though these ads are obviously about a brand and commercialism ultimately, for me, they actually make me remember what Christmas is all about.  And to the people in ESB, I implore you to resurrect this ad!


Ignition 5

December 8, 2009

This weeks dose of Ignition 5!!

I was lucky enough to go see Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, speak last week in Trinity College, hosted by The Phil. Jimmy was a fascinating speaker and I’ve no doubt I’ll get a number of blog posts out of the themes he touched on – from digital natives, drawing on his own young daughter who was sitting in the audience busily updating her blog as he presented, to the future of the social web, extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivations of his contributors, and the ethics of setting up in censored countries.

One particularly interesting exchange happened after the main talk, when Jimmy took a Q&A. Mark Little, who is himself pursuing a digital project this year, was facilitating. Mark started out by saying that in the spirit of meeting the Wikipedia founder, he had crowdsourced his questions on Twitter that day. I thought this was a great idea.

However, the word “crowdsourcing” seemed to strike a nerve with Jimmy. (This is also a concept we’ve debated before here on The Influentials). He immediately took issue with the term which he said stemmed from the word “outsourcing”, whereby companies send out their grind work to cheap labour in developing countries. He seemed sensitive about the term as applied to his initiatives, no doubt because of questions which often arise about whether Wikipedia contributors should be paid.

This isn’t as heated a point for Wikipedia, seen as it’s a non-profit organisation providing an invaluable resource for everyone. Wikia however, is Jimmy Wales’ new venture, and is a “for profit” company. Wikia is essentially collection of individual wikis on different subjects, all hosted on the same website. They are almost like magazine sites, on any topic which generates conversation or has an active community, ranging from TV to Sports to Food – to any number of niche or cult topics. The biggest hitters unsurprisingly are the wikias for Star Trek, Battlestar Galatica and Star Wars.

There’s already banner advertising on these pages and they offer an intriguing and hyper-targeted route to specific audiences. Jimmy showed us a graph tracking it’s progress and although traffic is still relatively low, it is following the same growth rate path as Wikipedia in it’s early days. Wikia is based around tapping into one of the most powerful dynamics of the internet – “Communities”, something we’ve been talking about a lot in OMD this year. More on this to come…


Ignition 5

December 1, 2009

First of December and second of our weekly installments of Ignition 5, enjoy!

Philippa & Vanessa

%d bloggers like this: