Our top thought-starter picks for this week,




My first blog post of 2011, and I have a feeling this will be a good one (the year and not the post). We are a couple of years into recession now and I’m thinking that people have come to terms with the reality that our economic problems aren’t going to be short term. We have mourned the Celtic Tiger, and I think a good majority are slowly realising its time to start living again.

MTV Sticky talk about the ‘Art of chilling’ and how it’s become en vogue to stay in, create a ‘night out’ with your friends on the couch, embrace the art of companionship with your nearest and dearest. We hear a lot about cocooning from our ID research and trend reports. The art of chilling is very recession friendly! The nationwide trend of girls (and more recently guys) getting together with drinks and nibbles to watch the X Factor on a Saturday night was massive in 2010.

But now that another season of X Factor is over, what can we unite over on a weekend night that will be rehashed on a Monday as a memorable highlight of the weekend….

….Jean Butlers appearance on the The Late Late Show?? (Yes, I saw it)

I think it’s time to start going out again.

  • Experimented with cooking and increased my repertoire of dishes in the kitchen. TICK
  • Perfected my Mojito making skills. TICK
  • Embraced old skool board games (scrabble being a favourite) over a few glasses of wine. TICK
  • Partook in a friendly version of Come Dine with Me among friends. TICK
  • Themed movie nights. TICK

All these activities are great for the wine retailers, MnS €10 meal deals, popular spirit brands and Scrabble (who recently launched Scrabble as Gaeilge, an Irish version of the board game off the back of a spike in sales in Ireland).

But I’m all out of ‘art of chilling’ inspiration for now…(feel free to add suggestions in the comment box below).

The only thing for it is to start going out again: Take advantage of the amazing early bird deals out there and get the luas home!

Embrace the uniqueness of Irish Pubs before they die out altogether.

Two gems: Fenton’s in Glen of Imaal Wicklow, the Blue Light in the Dublin mountains.

Let’s make 2011 the year we started going out again….even if we have to do it with a recessionistas twist.


Me as a Brand

January 24, 2011

According to a recent report from trendwatching.com, one of the major trends for 2011 is the emergence of the ‘social-lite’. This is someone who actively recommends not only products, but also experiences to like-minded consumers within their social network. Interestingly, it is suggested that ‘likes’, advice and comments are all offered not for altruistic reasons, but in an attempt to send out a message about oneself. In other words, broadcasting information online is a step towards ‘self-branding’.

                The idea that each one of us is a brand appeared long before the emergence of online networks. It is a subject which has sparked much debate, with some arguing that people, by their very nature can never fall into the category of a ‘brand’. Others, however, argue that what we consume constantly sends signals to others about who we are.

                Perhaps some common ground could be found by looking at things differently. The concepts of identity formation and personality are useful ways of understanding actions. What we do is influenced by a number of things, including gender, peer effects and culture. This is no different to what goes on in the online world with Facebook groups and online forums like Mumsnet having a huge impact on how people behave.

                Whether or not you and I are brands remains a topic for discussion. The greater question is how our online identities will be shaped and changed by our online social networks and the online behaviour of others.


We especially like the pink ponies case study!


Some Monday morning creative thinking for you,



From Aoife via PML

New Year, New Partner?

January 14, 2011

As soon as the Christmas over indulgence is over, I expect the onslaught of New Year’s resolutions ads.  So, on St. Stephens’ day, I’m prepared to be encouraged to give up cigarettes (not applicable), eat healthier (applicable) and get active with various exercise options (applicable).  But one I wasn’t expecting was to see the New Year as a chance to address my love life (pending nuptials, definitely not applicable).  It’s the first year that I’ve noticed such a high volume of online dating agency activity straight after the festivities.  At the risk of insult, is Christmas really that horrible single?  I guess 12 o’clock on New Year’s Eve does separate the couples from the single, but only for all of 10 seconds.  Or are they trying to ensure that you have someone in time for Valentine’s day?  Maybe they have a shared risk arrangement with Hallmark and Interflora etc. to boost their sales on the most made up, unnecessary and pointless day of the year?  Whatever the reason, I found it an amusing addition to my TV viewing over the Christmas period.  If any singletons have any insights, please feel free to share!



January 11, 2011

Sometimes the established experts, the industry moguls, the figure-heads are inspiring.  Sometimes it’s the other end of the spectrum that’s inspiring.  The people just starting out in our business, trying to get their careers going, full of enthusiasm and passion for their future.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work in some successful companies who’ve experienced rapid growth and had to take on a considerable number of new staff – often at entry level.  And for me, these are the inspiring people.  At OMD we took on some graduates during 2010 and the process of recruiting – gathering CVs, calling people for interviews, talking to them about why they want to get into advertising – reminded me of the depth of talent out there.  There are so many smart, motivated, interested and interesting people out there.

It’s inspiring and energising to meet these people.  It reminds you how lucky you are to be doing a job you like and that lots of others would love to be doing.  Nobody wakes up in the morning with a smile on their face, leaps out of bed and skips to work humming a tune.  But now and again it’s good to be reminded how much we’ve got to be grateful for.  It also kind of reminds me why I wanted to get into advertising – and God knows I wasn’t half as savvy and prepared as graduates seem to be now.  It gets me to see our business with fresh eyes again.

We’re actually recruiting for graduates at the moment and I’ve been in touch with the likes of Ciaran Doyle in Smurfit and Rosie Hand in DIT.  They’ve been extremely helpful and as ever there’s a supply brilliant people out there.  Yes, recruiting can be a chore, particularly when you’re looking for experienced people and they’re just using you to leverage more money where they are.  But it can also be pretty inspiring sometimes.

Please spread the word that we’re recruiting – if you’d like a job spec or want to apply drop me a mail at john.clancy@omd.com or tweet us at @omdinfluentials

Trends for 2011

January 11, 2011


Each year, Trendwatching bring us their trend prediction for the coming 12 months. The 2011 report covers the trends they expect to see in marketing communications, strategic approaches, consumer behaviour, and more generally in the economy and  in society.

Unsurprisingly, they expect a progression of the shift we’ve seen towards softer values; with kindness, health and generosity continuing to grow in significance.

This is definitely worth a read!

Happy New Year,


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