Samsung wearable tech

Wearable technology has been coming for quite a while now. The launch of the Samsung Gear in September 2013 marked the dawn of a new era. Samsung were the first to market at the expense of having a super slick ready to wow product. However being the first to market has allowed them to learn quickly what works and where they can improve. Ryan Bidan the head of Samsung Product Marketing has been quoted as saying they have learned 3 main lessons from the Galaxy Gear 1.

  1. People want more from the gear itself. They don’t just want notifications. More recent software updates has allowed this happen for email. Rather than just say you have an email, users can now see the sender and initial paragraph of the email without having to reach for their phone.
  2. Samsung has found users are keen to use voice recognition software rather than the touchscreen.
  3. Aesthetically, consumers like the option to have replacement wristbands. With the Galaxy Gear 1 consumers were in essence stuck with the original wristband they chose. Future versions I think may offer replaceable wristbands for consumers to customise their smart technology.

A synopsis from on wearable technoilogy in 2013 is that “there is lots of interest, a lot of caution and not much worth buying…yet.”

So just this week at the Mobile World Congress Samsung announced the launches of its Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo (the gear has lost “galaxy” in it’s name). In terms of wearable technology the Gear 2 is to some extent what was expected. New replaceable wristbands and  longer battery life answer some of the main complaints people had with the Gear 1. The Gear 2 Neo is much the same as the the Gear 2 but without the 2 megapixel camera which is now mounted in the watch face rather than the wristband. A new feature I am personally excited about is the infra-red blaster. This allows users to manage their TV from the Gear 2. It brings people back to the nostalgic beginning of digital watches and the fun consumers had changing the station from their watch.

The big news is that the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are no longer running on Android. They are built to run on Samsungs Tizen operating system. This is presumably why the “Galaxy” was dropped from the name. Samsung are claiming that the Gear 2 running on Tizen will allow the watch to connect to a wider variety of devices. It does for certain spice up the operating system battle and will give Google Android something to think about going forward within the waerable market.

The imminent launch of Apples iWatch in 2014 is written all over this launch. The Samsung Gear 2 now has an optical sensor which can track your heart rate, multiple exercise modes and various app’s to enhance the health conscious users experience. Whether Apple release a fitness band or smart watch, Samsung have certainly tried to position themselves ahead of the trend.

It looks like exciting times on the horizon as the smart watch and wearable technology race eventually begins to heat up. Next is how as marketers can we reach these consumers on their newest user interface.

Donnacha Kinsella

Account Executive OMD




With another OMD transition year under our belt and a great sense of accomplishment, it is about time we fully explained what goes on behind the scenes.

OMD, like most companies are frequently approached to host transition year students for a week of work experience. For many organisations, students can frequently be seen as a hindrance, as beyond photocopying, filing and licking envelopes, it is often seen as fruitless investing time in students who will spend such a short stint in an organisation.

Over 10 years ago, OMD, decided to take a different approach, we saw a niche opportunity in the transition year students that would be advantageous, to us, the students, our clients, media owners and the industry as a whole. The main aim of the OMD programme is to mimic the actual real working environment and to ensure the students get a tangible insight into the media industry; secondary to this would be developing team work and encouraging creativity in the students. Every year, OMD take in over 40 students (20 at a time) to participate in our highly structured (somewhat pressurised) work experience programme. The students are divided into 4 groups (media agencies) and each group is assigned a mentor from OMD.

The programme starts on a Monday, where the students are given a live brief from an OMD client-and literally have to run with it “Apprentice style” to develop a comprehensive response to brief. Over the last 10 years, clients who have embraced this initiative include McDonalds, Vodafone, Avonmore, Club Orange, Pot Noodle, Sony PlayStation, Eason’s and PepsiCo.  This year, Ferrero and their brand Maxi King challenged them to develop a media strategy for them.

During the week they follow a full and diverse timetable as they meet with a series of Ireland’s biggest media owners (FM104, 98FM, Newstalk, Spin FM, RTE, Kinetic, Carlton Screen, Star, Daily Mail, Irish Times, Sun and Facebook) from different disciplines who explain the benefits of their media and help the students find solutions to their briefs. They not only have the opportunity to produce some of their own advertising with production of a TV and radio ad compulsory but they also gain an in depth understanding of how our industry works and how important team work is.


All through the week and on the final day in particular, the competition is fierce, with teams, OMD mentors and media owners vying for the much coveted prize. In preparation for the big day, many students on the course pull all-nighters to get their presentation perfected!

Each team presents to a panel of judges and an audience of around 100 that includes teachers, parents, mentors and some of the media owners, perfect preparation for what happens in the real world.

We are continually astounded by the fresh, bright and unusual ideas that come from the students, which serve to remind us to always think outside of the box, to continue to look to various sources for inspiration for our work and to continue running such an inspirational programme that will attract motivated individuals to our industry. This year the bar was raised and we were outstanded by the responses to brief.

Have a look at some of their picture diaries here

The winning team “Armis Media” was led by buddy Rachel Ennis.

– Oilbhe



Track Everything

February 11, 2014

Data Analysis has always been huge in terms of marketing; The information that you’re gaining through your website can be really staggering if you’re willing to trudge through the amount of numbers and colourful graphs that a platform like Google Analytics provides.

Things are changing significantly though, and while a lot has been explored in Universal Analytics (The latest incarnation of Google Analytics – the team at Loves Data in Australia have some great insights into how to get the most from it!) it’s not something that we’re really using the most of – yet. The power of Universal Analytics is the ability to track literally anything digital. It’s no longer restricted to tracking a website alone. Now, it’s possible to reconcile data sent from any digital device so long as it can connect to the internet and you could even build your own digital devices to send that information.

Just think – you could make an electronic device that sends a signal over wireless whenever someone opens a door, or enters a room, or combining this with something like the Xbox Kinect, you could track how often a certain dance move is performed at a nightclub and, using reports in Google Analytics, at what times the frequency of the move was highest. Combining this the DJ’s set list, you might be able to determine what the favorite songs of the night were!

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately to try and think of some real life applications of this could be (outside of trying to figure out my playlist for my next party). Consider this as an example – if we wanted to investigate visitor behaviour of the Science Gallery in Dublin, we should first try to identify what some interesting insights might be. Let’s change a few things about the Gallery though; first of all, every visitor to the Gallery has to register (for free of course!), and they get a key card as a result of this. When they enter the Gallery, they’ve got to swipe the card. This sends a signal to our server that registers that they’ve arrived – In Web Analytics terms, we’d say that this person is a Visitor. Though, I guess we’d say that in the real world too.

So now we can measure how often people enter the place. Then, track everything from there – how long someone spends in front of a certain display can be tracked with motion sensors, and you can say that if a certain amount of time is spent in front of the device, that this is a conversion. You can measure purchases made in the shop afterwards also, or any drinks purchased from the café, by using people’s key cards when they make a purchase. You could measure if people went home and logged into the website to play with the interactive models online after their visit by asking them to use their key fobs to log into the site, or if they visited the Gallery again after their first visit from the swipes that they make.

You could even specify a dimension to get a more realistic model of the person themselves; you could specify an ID specific to each card, and follow specific interaction behaviour at the Gallery and their purchase behaviour following this. If you reconcile this with information from their sign-up – Age, gender, etc – You might get a good profile for what kind of promotions to make to these people.

What’s the use of this? Well, let’s say that you find that interactions with a certain part of the exhibit tend to lead to more purchases of drinks. Maybe it would be worthwhile to place this part of the exhibit closer to the café to drive higher conversion rates of the drinks!


What else can we track with Universal Analytics?

What if you ran an arcade and you wanted to know which games led to the most money spent on concessions? Using a similar setup to the above, you could have ID cards that are used to play the games – kind of a Leap Card for your machines. This card could track visitor’s interactions throughout the arcade, from what games they played to what prizes they claimed or what foods they purchased. Using this information, you could optimise your physical premises for conversions – should some games be more prominent and be in closer proximity to vending machines? This is a whole new level of above the fold!

A lot of study has been put into purchasing behaviour as people move around a shop; This can be done using Universal Analytics with a similar system as the above again – measuring the direction that people are walking around the store, what products interested them the most, and ultimately what product was purchased. Another opportunity to optimise a layout for conversions!

Finally, I think that something else that could be interesting is how many times is a football kicked in a match before a goal is scored? And how many times does it cross the halfway line? Sure, we can measure this by watching the game, but wouldn’t it be nicer to see it in a pretty Analytics graph?




Facebook Turns 10

February 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Facebook

So Facebook is celebrating its 10th birthday. The last few years for Facebook have been complicated to say the least.

I remember that age. I found it complicated too. Some nasty truths of life began to surface… 

1)      Things don’t stay the same for very long

Social networks become winners when they provide a type and style of communication which fits a previously unfulfilled consumer need. Sounds simple, but we’ve seen, from the outright failure or eventual demise of various platforms, that this is extremely difficult to get right, and maintain in the long run. Facebook has been the dominant force in the social media world for a long time, but in 2012/2013, the competition began to get real.

Twitter is the world’s second most famous social network, and while it competes with Facebook, it actually fulfils quite a different need. Because of this, the two platforms can coexist quite peacefully. The emergence of apps like Snapchat and Whatsapp are the real threat to Facebook. Whatsapp in particular provides seamless group chat functionality which is a real menace to Facebook territory. 

2)      People have to make money

It’s no coincidence that the biggest challengers to Facebook have app and not desktop based offerings, nor is it a secret that Facebook have struggled to crack their mobile offering.  This area has now become the clear priority for the company, and recent figures are really positive; it seems they’ve now created a model that works for advertisers and consumers alike. In Q4 2013, mobile ad consumption grew by 53%, and mobile ad revenues grew by 76%, to $2.34bn. The impact of these enormously positive figures can’t be underestimated.

3)      Dad is not all-powerful

If we look back to summer 2012 and Facebook’s entry to the stock market, we remember an embarrassing time for the company. The period of time immediately following the IPO was deemed a disaster and a fiasco; shares took 14 months to recover to their $38 IPO price. The financial technicalities which lead to this are complex and there is plenty blame goes around. That said, a number of analysts put the blame squarely with Facebook’s founder and leader, Mark Zuckerberg. Reports quickly emerged blaming his idealism, lack of experience and ego for the company’s poor performance.

4)      People are unpredictable

Of course, problems at Facebook don’t begin and end in the financial pages. Ironically, the social responsibility of the company is the issue creating most headlines. Facebook is often accused as a facilitator of the harmful behaviours of its users. As a result, Facebook is slowly becoming more and more involved in policing content on its network.  Over the past week they have come under attack again, this time accused of being complicit in the ‘neck nomination’ phenomenon. A Facebook spokeperson told the Irish Independent that “We do not tolerate content which is directly harmful, for example bullying, but controversial or offensive behaviour is not necessarily against our rules.” Because of its lack of clarity, the sustainability of this position seems questionable. Can of worms though it is; it seems this policy will have to be tightened.

Complicated times for the 10 year old company.  Is Facebook too big to fail? Really…who knows?

There is a remarkable lack of history to reference here. One thing is for sure; the low barriers to entry in the social media market mean that companies are fundamentally more vulnerable to competition than brick & mortar companies. To now, social networks seem to have had a lifespan; once the user experience became the norm, people moved on to the new.

Facebook’s vision is what has made it great so far. The most recent earnings report of Jan 31st 2014 pushed the share price to a record $62.57. The very fact that Facebook has taken a dip and recovered, reinventing itself as a ‘mobile first’ company and making money doing it, makes me think that they have everything they need to survive changing tides. 




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