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Trump or Kittens – Innovatie

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Happy Monday ladies and gentlemen


Welcome to this slightly later than scheduled episode of Innovatie.


In case you missed it, the world as we know it officially came to an end on Friday. The times they are a-changin’. So is it sink or swim? Adapt or die? How about we take a leaf out of the new POTUS’s book, and only see the things we want to see instead! #alternativefacts


What if, instead of having to look at Trump’s picture all over the internet, you could look at something cute and fluffy instead? Well… There’s a Chrome Extension for that. Here at Viz HQ, we’re an office of Momentum-lovers (if you don’t have it – scarlet for ya – get with the programme and get it here), but there’s now a new player in town. Make America Kittens Again is an extension you can put on your Chrome browser that will replace all pictures of the US President with pictures of cute little kitty cats. Naawwwwwwwww.


Bound to cheer anyone up I think.


In general though, this is just yet another example of the growing trend of people being in more control of what they consume. Which I think at the start we all saw as a good thing – I personally don’t want to see Breitbart on my newsfeed, for example – but in actual fact it’s made everyone’s world a lot smaller, and also made people believe that everyone thinks the same way as they do. This is why so many of us got such a shock with Brexit and Trump: if you only ever see your own ways of thinking reflected back to you, it’s very very hard to believe there are many others out there that don’t share your world view. Obviously this one is just a bit of craic, but it reflects an interesting global trend that probably deserves a lot more discussion than it’s currently getting here in Ireland. It’s more a media owner topic than an agency one, as the responsibilities for journalistic integrity and balanced reporting lie with them and not us, but sure isn’t it good to be in the know? As a member of the industry, but also as a citizen.


So there you have it, folks. Isn’t it mad to think that despite all the different information, opinions and ways of life that are out there, almost all of us automatically default to what we know already. Better the devil you know, maybe.

Side note: This is also potentially a reason for why people stay in bad relationships (quality is not great on that video, but very funny nonetheless, give it a go).


Until next time

In kittens we trust



P.S.: I feel I have to do due diligence here and inform you there is a way to have a Kardashian-free internet (why you’d want that, I do not know… Takes all kinds I suppose). Another Chrome extension, which you can get here.



Marketing Breakfast January 2017: Future Focus

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

There’s never a better time to look towards the future than in the month of January. Over the past number of years we’ve seen the marketing industry both progress and fragment; and technology has been the driving force behind many of these changes. As marketers, it would be fair to say we’ve all wondered not only what’s next; but also what does it mean – for media; for marketing and also for wider society.

It would easy for us to look at these changes solely through the media lens and predict the possible after effects for us. However this would be short-sighted; it would not show the full story. It is more beneficial, not only for ourselves but for the wider marketing industry, to take a more holistic approach. What kind of impact are the latest advances in technology going to have not only on our industry, but also on our daily lives; as consumer behaviour inevitably evolves?

It is human nature to be intrigued by the future – and this is especially true when it comes to new innovations and technologies. In this industry especially, we’re all dying to know what’s next. The rate of change is so fast that we get bored easily. We also have a stronger propensity than the rest of the population to want to be ahead of the curve! Getting a sneak peek into what’s coming down the line in tech both inspires us and gives us food for thought as we look for new ways of communicating with consumers.

While technological advances are always interesting and undoubtedly have an effect on the marketing landscape and our economy, it is important not to overlook the more long-term impact had on society as a whole. One particularly interesting field that is beginning to develop is Cyber Psychology; which can be defined as the psychological phenomena associated with emerging technologies. It delves into the impact that the online world and newly emerging technologies have on human behaviour. It might sound far-fetched right now; but this is really important for us to understand: consumer habits have always changing and evolving over time, but now the world around us keeps moving forward at a much faster pace than ever before. If we can understand more about the effect technology is having on consumers and their daily lives, we can create better communications and find more relevant and meaningful ways to reach them.

The first Marketing Breakfast of the year next Wednesday morning (18th Jan), will see a panel of four experts from a variety of backgrounds debate the innovations, challenges and subsequent behavioural changes we’re likely to see over the next 12-18 months. Conor Murphy, MD of Vizeum, will be giving us an insight into what kind of advertising and media landscape we will soon be facing and what kind of challenges it will bring. Hannah Barton, Cyber Psychologist at IADT, brings her unique knowledge of online behaviour to the table and will discuss not only what we in the marketing business need to understand about digital consumer habits; but also how these habits are set to evolve in the near future. From Google, Eimear Hennessey will be joining us to share her thoughts on what kind of new technologies we can expect to see (and even the ones we can’t yet imagine) – plus how consumer behaviour shapes the technologies that are developed. Last but not least we have the RTE journalist Conor Brophy, who will weigh in on what he thinks will be some of the key drivers of change this year – for Ireland, for our economy, and for business – and how they can be managed from a marketing perspective.

There is no denying that 2016 brought about unprecedented change. We hope you can join us next Wednesday morning to dust off the cobwebs and take a look forward into 2017 to see what’s in store!

BBC Three – Innovatie

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

OKAY boys and girls (is what Gay used to say on the Toy Show)


So, some of you may know that I spent some time as a TV buyer, but what you may not know is that TV is one of my all-time F A V E things in the whole wide world. I was glued to the box growing up, much to my poor mother’s dismay. I was a chunky child* and this may or may not have been a contributing factor.

*I was a walking chicken nugget


Anyway, there’s been a lot of movement in the TV biz in Ireland over the last while. Virgin buying out basically everyone that’s not a semi-state body, Maximum Media making moves to become a broadcaster, the rise and rise of VOD… But I think we can all agree that a lot of great broadcasting comes out of the UK. And although at times it can be seen as restrictive and stuffy, the BBC does do some amazing work in this area.


In particular, I think BBC Three is to be admired, whose sole remit was to provide innovative content to a 15-34 demo. Unlike its commercial rivals, 90% of BBC Three’s output was home-grown. 70% was original, covering all genres, including animation, comedy, current affairs, and drama. In February this year, the powers that be decided to take BBC Three off television and have it live solely online. There was a little bit of uproar at the time; they didn’t make that decision because they were trying to be innovative – the station’s budget had been slashed by half, and by moving the station to online-only, the BBC would save £30m in TV transmission costs. But it’s actually worked out quite well: BBC Three’s content has become some of the most requested on the BBC iPlayer. They’ve even made the content available for a year, whereas the rest is only listed for 30 days. But even at that, the majority of requests are made within the first few weeks of content going live.


BBC Three is now free to try its hand at so much more than it could have if it was still stuck in the linear TV format and the restrictive budgets that go along with that; such as video, written editorial and even podcasts. Now, there’s still some way to go – the content on the iPlayer can be hard to find, and the interface on the site isn’t great (but they’re working on it); plus people are still viewing players in general as catch-up services (as opposed to Netflix where they go to seek out new content). So work needs to be done to change that mind-set.


But all that aside, they have one huge advantage – a deep understanding of their audience; which as we all know, is one that’s incredibly hard to reach and even harder to engage with in any sort of meaningful way. But BBC Three are poised in prime position (ahhh alliteration) to reap the benefits of this, as it looks to its own future and the future of an ever-evolving broadcasting landscape.


While advertising on the BBC will likely never, ever happen (and to be honest, I think it should stay like that), it’s always fascinating to see what big players in the media and communications industry are doing, how they are diversifying, and how they future-proof their business.


On a loftier note, it’s also a reminder that sometimes out of really grim situations (like having to cut costs), comes true innovation and even success (even if that particular success is a different kind than before).


Peace and love to one and all on this (almost) Christmas afternoon



11/11: Singles Day – Innovatie

Friday, November 11th, 2016

Moving swiftly on from the trials and tribulations of the past few days, welcome to this week’s Innovatie!


So, does anyone know what today is? 11/11? No? Well, let me educate you, my Western friends. Today is Double Eleven – or what used to be known as “Singles’ Day” in China. Think Black Friday / Cyber Monday, only way bigger, and all about buying things for yourself. Well, not necessarily for yourself, but all about buying things online anyway.


Basically, Singles Day started out as a small tradition among young, single lads in China. They started getting together on 11/11 (all the “1”s you see, representing loneliness), and doing fun things as single people. The gals soon joined in on the craic, and towards the end of the last decade, it was a well-known BDO (Big Day Out) among young people in China.


Imagine being raised in a culture where they are under so much pressure to get married. Must be awful, I can’t imagine wh… OH NO WAIT we are in Ireland. Ah no, I’m joking. Modern Dublin Ireland has come a long, long way. Mostly. #anysignofyegettinmarried #haveyeanyNEWSforus


Anyway, back to the lonely lads & lassies. It wasn’t long before the online shopping giant that is Alibaba got wind of this day and thought, “KA-CHING!” Everyone who was celebrating this pseudo-holiday was digital-savvy, and they saw a way to tap into that. Now, they cleverly distanced themselves from the term “Singles’ Day” after a few years (my guess is some clever person demised that profiting off the loneliness of others could be construed by some as cruel) and now it is referred to as “double-eleven” (confirmed by Wei J).


Things have seriously taken off since 2010, and this year, Alibaba will likely crack $15billion worth of online, mostly mobile, sales.


So, relevance for brands? Well, any brand with an eCommerce offering is usually all over Black Friday / Cyber Monday; and Double Eleven is basically the Chinese version of this, so no big take home messages there. However, the fact that it has gotten so big so quickly is yet another indicator of the spending power in China, and further reinforces decisions made by many Western brands to tap into the Chinese market.


Moral of the story? When Black Friday comes round, buy something nice for someone you love. Or, you know, for yourself… Sure you deserve it #lookoutfornumberone #ilovemewhodoyoulove


Have a good weekend


VOGUE: Influence vs Reach – Innovatie

Friday, November 4th, 2016

Afternoon folks


Hope everyone had a good Halloween!


Apolz for leaving you hanging last week… I know some of you were waiting with bated breath but I didn’t want to disappoint anyone with a below-average Innovatie. Plus, this one required some thinking so I wanted to make sure I wasn’t hungover writing it did it justice.


It’s a bit of a departure from the usual techy stuff, and is more about a new way of thinking, rather than an actual innovation in tech or advertising formats.


The Chief Digital Officer at publishing giant Condé Nast (they own Vogue, dontcha know) has made the argument that the idea of reach being paramount (basically the insistence that having as big an audience as possible is all that matters), is outdated and too simplistic.


Side note: His name is Wolfgang Blau. WOLFGANG. What a name!


Anyway, he agrees that building an audience is important, as is growth, but believes you don’t have to be huge to be influential. Vogue is actually a really great example of that… How many people do you think actually read Vogue? It is H E A V Y  G O I N G, trust me, and I love clothes. But it doesn’t matter that its actual reach isn’t as big as you think it is, because it has so much influence and commands a lot of respect from the wider fashion industry.


Now, there are a wide number of factors that have contributed to that over the years, but I think the point here is that sometimes you have something (a product, a brand, even a campaign) so great, that getting everybody to like it isn’t necessary. Obviously there are some stipulations, like if you’re a new business trying to turn a profit, you need to just sell sell sell regardless, this approach is most likely not applicable. Also, he is referring to the audience of a publisher; which is of course different to the target audience of an advertiser trying to sell a product, but I think it’s a refreshing take on how we view the importance of mass reach.


Take home message is, there’s more metrics of success than eyeballs.


If you have 5 minutes, it’s worth giving the article a read:



So that’s all from me, boys & girls!

If you’re heading to Metropolis this weekend, mind yourself and remember not to talk to any strangers


Peace sign



Totes Emosh – Innovatie

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Happy Friday, folks!


Innovatie has been live for almost 4 months. Can you believe it?? Pure madness. Where does the time go?


Sure look, says you. And sure listen, says I.


Anyway, this week’s innovation is all about your F E E L I N G S. “What are those?” I hear you say… Good question – being Irish, most of us have spent 20+ years pushing those awful things as far away as possible. But the times they are a-changing, and finally people are waking up and realising being one with your inner thoughts and emotions is a positive thing.


And no, this is not where I tell you to be true to yourself and follow your dreams. Marketing makes the world go round (obvs) so without further ado, I give you “the future of marketing”: Emotion Detection.


At the most basic level, it’s just a further advancement of dynamic advertising: instead of an ad message changing based on just audience data, it changes in real-time based on the emotional reaction of the person experiencing it, using AI & facial recognition. Simples! And soon the technology to enable it will come to fruition – big names in the business have already injected some serious capital into research in this particular field. Apple has been interested for years already, and have already acquired Emotient (a tech company specialising in emotion recognition); and Nielsen have bought Innerscope, which uses biometrics to measure subconscious emotional responses to media and marketing (slightly creepy). Big brands such as Coca Cola, Unilever and P&G have been engaging in emotion analysis to test audience reaction to their comms, too.


Even if you look at Facebook: Reactions are currently treated in the same way as Likes, but that is definitely going to evolve; with different Reactions being weighted differently. For example, Love is more important than Like, and so on (side note: if you don’t know what the difference between like and love is, you might want to refresh your memory with this gem).


Eventually, it could become commonplace that advertising is so personalised that no two people will experience the same ad in the same way… Ever. Cool, right? Not only is it cool in the technological sense, it’s also brilliant from a creative point of view – everyone knows the best and most effective ads are the ones that evoke an emotional response. The article I read on HubSpot calls out 3 long-term campaigns (I’d go as far as to call them full brand strategies) that really showcase the power of emotive advertising: Dove’s “Real Beauty” (I know we’ve all heard: “we want to be like Dove but we have €5k and want to have a spot in the Late Late and also we want go viral but you have to admit it’s been a ground-breaking campaign that has inspired many copy-cats – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery), Nike’s “Just Do It”, and Mastercard’s “Priceless”.


I’d encourage everyone to read the article – It’s long, but it is interesting.


For the moment we’re probably a few years off seeing this being used in day to day advertising, but it’s definitely one to watch.


Thanks for reading guys!


Same time, same place next week


Snap Inc. Spectacles – Innovatie

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Before we get stuck in, I just want to flag that this is week’s Innovatie is verrrry P R E D I C T A B L E, but I just think they are so so cool, I couldn’t resist. So, without further ado, I give you… SNAP SPECTACLES!


In case you’ve been living under a rock, Snap Inc. (new name for Snapchat) have decided to enter the wearables space with a pair of snap-recording sunglasses. “But wait!” I hear you say, “aren’t they just copying Google Glass?” Well, that’s an interesting point my friend, but you’d be wrong there. These shades are basically the opposite of Google Glass.


First of all, they’re fun. They’re going to come in three different colours and basically look like something you’d pick up in a souvenir shop on your hols. Evan Speigal even refers to them as a toy. Secondly, they’re cheap (compared to Google Glass, which launched with a retail price of $1,500), costing less than a pair of Ray-Ban aviators, at $129. Finally, the whole point of the Spectacles is not to make progress in technology, or change how we interact with the world… All they are for is recording your Snap videos and uploading them directly to the app. Oh, and before your inner creep gets too excited, they will have little lights on the front that will flash to indicate recording. Check out the video here:


All that aside, Spiegs is cautious: only a small number are going to be produced to begin with, and they will be rolled out slowly to see how they land. Now of course there’s a chance that these will be a complete flop, but all Snap Inc. needs is for the shades to stay cool for long enough to get us mugs buying a pair in the hopes of coming the next James Kava (cos we’re all gas b*tches).


For brands, I see two main possibilities: Firstly, they could give pairs to their consumers at events / to influencers to capture footage and push this out as part of comms. Secondly, further down the line, wouldn’t it be cool for a brand to do a partnership with them?? I’m thinking S P E C T A C L E S  x R A Y – B A N. Remember, you heard it here first.


So in conclusion, I can’t wait to get my hands on a pair.


That’s all folks

Same time, same place next week


Remember, be good. And if you can’t be good, be careful



Ted Baker Shoppable Video – Innovatie

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Well hello there boys & girls! Welcome to the latest installment of Innovatie!


So… the iPhone 7!


Like I’d ever be that predictable.


No, today it’s all about… VEGAN PIZZA!

Also jokes…

Where do I like to keep you? (answer: on your toes!)


Fun fact: Innovatie loves clothes. So this week I’m delighted to share something futuristically fashionable (well hello there alliteration) with you.

See below a very lovely pink dress. It’s the prettiest thing I own and I keep it wrapped up in the dry cleaner’s cling film. Well that dress is from Ted Baker (side note: great menswear); somewhere I’d never usually shop because it’s not really my shtyle, but anyway, I digress… Ted Baker is the brand at the centre of this week’s innovation.


Ted Baker have launched a really slick shoppable video. S H O P P A B L E. Each item featured in the short film can be clicked on and saved in your basket… Pretty cool, right? Ted Baker is a very British brand so the clever people at Poke in London (easy now, that’s actually the name of the agency. British people are funny… hi Max!) decided to base the film around espionage. Even better, they got Guy Ritchie to produce it. G U Y  R I T C H I E you guys. Who doesn’t love a bit of Lock, Stock / Snatch? Great movies. Dya like dags?? Check out the video here:

Now, I’ve done some digging around and Ted Baker are not the first brand to do this. Burberry had done something similar back in 2012 but Ted’s version is done so very well (see above: Guy Ritchie). The film is called “Mission Impeccable” for Christ’s sake. L O V E it. They’ve even amplified it further by running an online scavenger hunt, pretending to “leak” classified documents on social and have customers to decode them. They’ve also followed this through in-store: customers speak certain words that are displayed on the windows into the Google Voice app and are given clues in return in order to win prizes. That’s the jist of it; but more info can be found here:

Usually I tend to show innovations that are so new that I’ve to make up suggest how it could possibly work from a brand & advertising perspective; but for once this is something that could be implemented straight away. It’s just one step on from Ikea’s shoppable Facebook posts!

So that’s this week’s innovation, folks! And before you ask, yes, this is my F A V O U R I T E new thing #spacesinbetweenletterstomakeapoint #oppositeofahashtag

Stay tuned for more fun, fashion & frolics (and alliteration, apparently) – same time, same place!


Aido – Your New Best Mate – Innovatie

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Ladies and Gents

It’s finally here. The most life-changing tech update since the launch of the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone. After 6 long, arduous years, you can now zoom on Insta! #creepsunite because let’s be honest, we’ve all been there: “MUM you can’t zoom on Insta. Oh my GOD did you like it?! That photo is 97 weeks old UUUGGHHH FMFL”

But while InstaZoom most definitely deserves an honourable mention, that’s not what this week’s innovation is about. I know you hold Innovatie to a higher standard than that; which is to be expected given the calibre (great word – also not spelt the way you’d think!) of the innovations that have been coming your way. I wouldn’t want to let myself down; or make a holy show of myself, as my mother would say.

Let me introduce you all to Aido. Aido hasn’t actually been born yet, his parents are saving up for his arrival in October (the cost of having a child these days is only desperate), but he’s gonna be super smart and v cute. Aido is going to live with you in your gaff and be your best friend, teacher, chef, nightlight, personal shopper, lover, smartphone and laptop all rolled into one dotey little package. He can even screen your calls and tell your parents you’re not in when they pop round uninvited – see 0:17 into the video below – because we all know if you let them in you’ll spend the entire day trying to explain to them how to use poor Aido… “And he has de Shkype as well, does he? That’s fierce handy now for ringing Mairead down in Bondi Beach” (this is all of us, btw:

Check out the video here:

You can pre-order him on, for about the same price as an iPhone ($600), which is an absolute bargain really…–2#/

And the best thing about Aido? The fact his name is Aido. AIDO. Come on lads.

Side note: how great of a character was Aido in Love/Hate? Aido & Nadine – modern Ireland’s answer to John & Mary from Father Ted:

Ok so granted I’m not sure how brands would fit into this space as of yet but where there’s a will there’s a way! It could be an interesting one for supermarkets and FMCGs if Aido is doing all the grocery shopping? He could suggest new products, etc. Aido has already won the 2016 GameChanger award from technology magazine T3. Overachiever (rolling my eyes).


Until next week, folks

Slán agus beannacht libh go léir


Dentsu-Aegis Network Grad Night 2015

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

October 1st saw Dentsu-Aegis Network host their first ever group-wide event for graduates currently studying media and media related courses at the Aviva Stadium.

In excess of 80 grads attended on the night to mix and mingle with various media professionals across Vizeum, Carat, Isobar & iProspect. The evening kicked off informally with some drinks and light snacks and allowed the grads to casually approach and interact with representatives from all of the agency arms of Dentsu-Aegis; from our own newcomers to our CEO Liam McDonnell and discuss any elements of media from the day to day rigours of agency life to the most all-encompassing rebranding campaigns. Liam made a speech welcoming them and thanking them for attending and set the tone for a fun, casual and friendly atmosphere. After a period the grads were then split up and sent to opposite ends of the corporate suite to commence the Q&A sessions.

Each Q&A session had approximately 40 grads and five representatives of Vizeum; our Managing Director Conor Murphy introduced the agency, explained what we do and how we differentiate ourselves from other agencies both at home and globally. He touched on our media values, our unique approach and our position as a proud proponent of paradigm breaking with some key examples of our award winning work. The floor was then opened up to questions from the grads themselves and it didn’t take long for the hands to start shooting up!

The panel was made up of a mixture of team members of varying experience levels such as Ali Donnelly on Digital Media, Sarah Foley on Social Media, Manuel Yoacham on Media Planning and myself on AV Planning & Buying.

The range of questions was as varied as the work we do, everything from Google Doubleclick to Tayto Pop-Up shops and Snapchat for brands was covered which afforded real insight to the grads about the diversity of life in a media agency and the cohesion within each brand team to deliver exceptional ideas to drive excellent results. After 20 minutes of questions we switched to the other grad group and repeated the process albeit with completely different questions! The divided group helped those who were perhaps less familiar with agency life and the agencies role to not feel as intimidated amongst their peers when asking questions in what was a somewhat more approachable environment.

Once all four agencies had met both groups we returned to the main area for some more light refreshments and food and the grads had the opportunity to perhaps ask follow up questions to what they had fielded in the sessions, to others who had discovered that Vizeum is a cohesive agency where all media experts work together daily to deliver strategies and ideas regardless of the execution medium. Grads were encouraged to approach any member of the team, denoted by the yellow name tags we wore and they didn’t have to be asked twice! Some even discovered they had a burgeoning interest in an area of media they previously hadn’t considered as they had had no exposure to how that area operated but now given a small taste they wanted to know about blogs to read, influential people to follow on twitter and other extra-curricular work they could do to help nurture their interest and ultimately make themselves more employable upon completion of their studies.

The night was a huge success, it was exceptionally well received by the grads and their lecturers and it definitely put Vizeum at the forefront of their mind as they move towards working in the industry and we wish them all the very best of luck.

Wearable Tech – Function, Fitness and Advertising

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Wearable technology is already becoming common amongst the early innovators of today. From Apple Watches and Galaxy Gear, to Jawbones and GoPros, wearables are becoming more and more common. Wearable technology serves a purpose that smartphones could never fulfil. That is because wearables are actually connected to our body, meaning we’ll become even more connected with technology than we already are, a scary thought we know!

Many of these devices are virtually seamless. By slipping a Jawbone onto your wrist at the start of the day, you can begin to track almost everything. During the day you can find out how much you’ve walked, and even set yourself reminders to get up and move around if you’ve been stationary for too long. During the night you can track whether you’ve been in a deep sleep, or a level of light sleep. With Google Glass, experiences of everyday life will be captured and integrated with our digital lives.

The potential impact is tough to comprehend. Whether it’s our health, our work life, or even our exposure to advertising, wearable will become a big part of our future.

So much so that many speculate the growth of wearables will mean they’ll eventually surpass smartphones

Picture yourself walking down the street, looking at a billboard with nothing but a QR code on it and instantly being served a tailored promotion just for you. Sounds bizarre we know, but with products like Google Glass hitting the market, it’s not so farfetched. Placements like this may very well be the future of advertising. In fact, Google have already patented pay per gaze technology. Statements like this convey the potential impact wearables may have on the traditional marketing mix.

We’re all aware of the explosion of mobile over the last number of years. Is wearable to follow a similar trend? Maybe not in the near future, but it would be naive to rule this possibility out. Undoubtedly, over the next couple of years, we will begin to see wearable traffic creep into the makeup of our websites. (Source)

There’s still so much unknown about wearables that it’s hard to tell how exactly they will impact us. Regardless of timelines, wearable technology will have a key role to play in our futures.



Social Media & Product Placement

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Advertising happens on every social platform. Whether it has been formally monetised or not is irrelevant; people (and brands) will find a way to promote on every corner of the internet, guerrilla-style or otherwise. Product placement in social is a bit of a grey area at present, but for brands and influencers alike, it’s proven too lucrative to pass up.

Now often employed as a brand’s sole tactic, product placement on these platforms may be ‘brave’ in traditional terms, but understandable when you see the reach and high frequency that a lot of the ‘newer’ social platforms hold. In the most recent Social Messaging Quarterly, daily use of Snapchat usage was higher than any other platform (and 10% ahead of WhatsApp) at 63%.

Some Irish influencers are reporting (and screenshotting) as many as 40k views on their public Snapchat stories. This is incredible, especially when compared to YouTube and Facebook video. It’s even more interesting to consider that all views are organic, and makes for the perfect product or brand placement opportunity. Influencers in most categories are used to talking about and reviewing products in a native tone of voice, and Snapchat is a great way to extend the reach of any campaign when working with any socially ‘famous’ figure.

The self-destructing nature of content on Snapchat means that there is not much of a trail for the likes of the ASAI to follow (save for screenshots). It’s certainly imperative for advertisers request records of all paid activity on the platform, as well as the view count.


Given the popularity of Instagram with youth audiences, it’s unsurprising that Instagram is actually becoming a bit cluttered in terms of sponsored content and product features – though not all are disclosed as such.

Another nice and less utilised tactic is to do a sponsored Instagram ‘takeover’. An influencer (or several) may create ‘guest posts’ on a brand account for an agreed period, and also encourage their own followers to engage with this content, which works very well in increasing affinity and following for brand accounts. With paid advertising approaching fast on Instagram for Ireland, we may see a slow-down in the ‘native’ approach as advertisers test capabilities on the ad platform.

The procedure for disclosure on these platforms is a bit hazy, to say the least. There is no clear standard set out by the ASAI, but best practice is of course to be upfront. Using #ad or #spon is a good safeguard against backlash and even if legal guidelines are not in place, advertisers are best placed to uphold a good standard of integrity and honesty across the board.