As the presidential campaign comes to an end, it is interesting to see how debates have heated up and become more popular as the public prepare to cast their votes. The 3 major debates on TV have had their viewership grow significantly as crunch time closes in. Last night’s being the pinnacle.

1)      Vincent Brown- TV3-  4th   October 

360,000 adults and 11 TVRs

2)      Primetime on RTE with Miriam O’Callaghan-12th Oct 2011

643,000 adults and 19 TVRs

3)      The Frontline Presidential Debate with Pat Kenny -25th Oct 

758,000 adults and 22 TVRs

However as I watched what I considered the best Presidential Debate yet last night on The Frontline I was enthralled to see the live soap opera akin to Eastenders unravelling on Twitter. It occurred to me how the Tweeters can sway and form opinions so quickly and really impact on voting decisions. Here is a selection of some of the Tweets last night that have framed the candidates and may ultimately be that crucial decisive factor in the casting of votes. Clearly some candidates have fared much better than others.

Michael D. Higgins:

  • “Michael D will be president, Dublin will be sparkly clean when the flood subsides and I just found €1 trillion behind a cushion, #Irelandisfixed”
  • “Higgins tries to duck questions again, pulling presidency duvet over his head”
  • “Michael D. Playing a blinder”
  • “Michael D. Restoring sanity and integrity to the proceedings”


Mary Davis:

  • “Mary Davis has had her Ready Brek on my telly, she’s glowing”
  • “Does Mary Davis actually know what the presidency involves and what it’s all about”
  • “Mary Davis, the Derek Nally of Aras 11?”
  • “Who get more preferential votes Mary Davis 4/6 versus Dana 11/10” (Paddy Power)


Dana Rosemary Scallon:

  • “Excellent answer from Dana on the referendums and the lack of information been given out on them”
  • “Dollars, eh we use Euros here Dana”
  • “Excuse me Dana, I’m in the grassroots of one of those parties and you don’t speak for me”
  • “Dana’s voice alone is enough to drive you mad, never mind the rubbish she comes out with”

Martin McGuinness:

  • How many houses did Martin go to and take more than a cheque, like taking a man away to be murdered”
  • “Martin McGuinness shows no remorse to the men, women and children murdered by the IRA”
  • “No no McGuinness is talking sense again”
  • “Anyone but Martin McGuinness, anyone but Martin McGuinness, anyone but Martin McGuinness”





Steve Jobs: How to live

October 18, 2011

Steve Jobs made this speech at the Stanford Commencement ceremony back in 2005.


He simply takes us through a few events in his life which brought him to this belief:

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leadss you off the well- worn path, and that will make all the difference” 

I first saw this clip a few years ago, and there was no denying its impactfulness. For obvious reasons,  this speech has taken on even more meaning in recent weeks.

I’d highly recommend finding 15 minutes to watch. 


Brand X Factor

October 11, 2011

With the live shows now started, X Factor is well and truly back!

A new judging panel this year means things are a bit different. But, hold on, are they? At the audition stage, we still had the good, the bad and the ugly. The sob stories remain. And Louis continues to make some shocking decisions (Kitty? Really??) Even the Welsh woman with the handbag came back this year for another shocking display of her vocal talent – or lack thereof.

With Gary having taken on the role of Simon, it seems the X Factor formula which works so well has been cemented. And now with X Factor USA on our screens, the show is hard to avoid. But is it too much? I have one friend who literally can’t cope with the sob stories, and insists on hitting mute when they come on. Is this a growing trend? Does X Factor need more of a makeover?

Well, as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In the 1980’s, Pepsi introduced the ‘Pepsi Challenge’ with many consumers preferring the taste of Pepsi to Coke. Coke reacted by introducing ‘New Coke’, replacing the old recipe with a new one. Coke’s CEO described this as ‘the boldest single marketing move in the history of the consumer goods business’. Unfortunately, it also proved to be a disastrous decision, with Coke going against the brand values of authenticity and tradition. Millions of fans claimed the new formula tasted like furniture polish and sewer water.

This year, X Factor contestants are set to star in the M&S Christmas TV ad. The deal is worth millions, and the ad will feature contestants singing a contemporary version of ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’. For now, at least, it seems the X Factor success story is set to continue. Sob stories included.






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