I am a Facebook fan

I am a Facebook fan.  And if I am honest, I check it too much.  I rarely check it on my pc (mainly because I’m normally too busy when in front of it!).  However, during downtime (on DART, in front of TV, at lunch) the phone comes out to see what is going on.  It has become akin to a tick.  It just automatically happens.  Without me thinking about it.  A bit worrying really.. but anyway.. this blog isn’t about my Facebook consumption(!)…

Facebook ads – love or hate them, I have been monitoring their progress with interest over the past few years.  Initially I was skeptical about their effectiveness, but over time I have been convinced that they certainly do work for many brands.  I saw an interesting infographic on Mashable over the weekend that I thought I’d share.  It was put together by MDG Advertising and it explains Facebook Exchange, Facebook’s retargeting ad platform.  And it’s content is pretty impressive.  Facebook’s (mobile friendly) news feed ads are seriously performing from an ROI, CTR and a CPC point of view.  When I say seriously performing I mean vs the normal right hand side ads and other web retargeting.  So have a look and see what you think.


I’m off on holidays tomorrow for 2 weeks and plan to have lots of downtime.  I am going to try to lose the tick – for a couple of weeks anyway!

Gary McLoughlin
Managing Director

Of Mad Men and Make-up

Everyday on the train to work,  I immerse myself in the smoke-filled, whiskey- laden ambiance of the  advertising world of 1960s New York. I’m watching Mad Men from the very first episode on my tablet and I’m hooked.  The character of Peggy Olsen is particularly fascinating to me. This independent yet vulnerable woman begins as Don’s secretary and works her way up to become a copywriter. We watch as she tries to negotiate a male-dominated workplace where women are supposed to look pretty, type letters and fix drinks.

We witness Peggy’s first steps up the creative ladder in Episode 6 of the first Season.  She lands an opportunity to write copylines in a campaign for cosmetic’s company Belle Jolie. A series of ads are created featuring a close-up of a woman alongside a man with a lipstick mark on his cheek. The tagline is “Mark your Man”. The idea is that the discerning lady picks one lipstick from the ‘basket of kisses’ to represent her identity. And she then uses her kiss to mark her man. The smooth-talking creative director, Don Draper, tries to sell the idea to the client: “Every woman wants choices, but in the end, none wants to be one in a box of a hundred. You are giving every girl who wears your lipstick the gift of total ownership.” The ad men hope that their target audience won’t realise that the extent of the choice is limited to lipstick colour. All they are being sold is the illusion of freedom.

In the era of Mad Men, applying cosmetics and looking good is not a self-indulgent exercise. It’s all about getting and keeping your man. The Maidenform Campaign is quite blatantly focussed on the desires of men and urges women to give them what they want. The boys of Sterling-Cooper are out drinking late at night and decide that every woman is either a Jackie Kennedy or a Marilyn Monroe. And the ultimate fantasy is to for a woman to be both. So they think up a campaign in which a model wears a fine-fitting black bra for daytime and a sexy white one for night. Because we should all be good girls and give men what they want, right?  “Jacquelyn Kennedy. Marilyn Monroe. Women have feelings about these people because men do… It’s about how they want to be seen by us — their husbands, their boyfriends, their friends’ husbands.”

We’d imagine that the focus and nature of advertising to women has changed a lot since then. What’s the reason for the eternal pursuit of beauty according the ads for shampoos, makeup and handbags in the glossy magazines and on TV these days?  According to L’Oreal, at any rate, it’s ‘because you’re worth it’. You deserve the glossiest hair and the prettiest lashes just for being you. The message is that you buy the products and put the effort into looking good for your own benefit.

However on closer inspection, it seems that sisters are not always doing it for themselves. According to one of the Madmen, advertising to women is “about how they want to be seen by us – their husbands, their boyfriends, their friends’ husbands.”  This idea forms the premise for a recent ad for Clairol Nice n’Easy hair color which carries the tagline: “All he’ll see is you.” The male character marvels at how his wife, a silent long-locked beauty called Kate, still manages to look beautiful after fifteen years of marriage. The warning is there, lurking beneath the hair swishes: Ladies, don’t let yourself go, keep those grays at bay and above all else – keep your man happy!

Grace Hughes




You can have it in two ticks

Portland, Oregon-based graphic designer Dina Rodriguez is creating some great self publicity for herself. She has started a campaign to fund a design challenge where she aims to make 100 logos in 100 days. All well and good, let’s face it not many people had heard of Dina before, but exactly what is she providing and what is she doing for her and designer’s reputations?

Designing logos doesn’t just happen. They come from somewhere; inspiration, a scribble, a childhood memory, anywhere. This can come to you in seconds, minutes, hours or days, then you scamp it up, think of different layout options, typefaces, illustrations, colours…..you get the gist, and that’s only one option.

So despite worldwide recognition, response have been slow, but why could this be? There’s a saying in the creative industry; ‘You can have it Good or Cheap or Quick, but not all three.’ So have punters worked it out themselves that if it is indeed Quick and Cheap therefore it can’t be good? Maybe, you decide:  check it out here.

Paul Gibson
Guess what? I’m an Art Director


Should you take a social media break?

Should you take a break from social media while on holidays? Is it an issue if you don’t?  Do you enjoy ‘Smoasting’ or suffer from ‘FOMO’?  These questions are answered in a recent article highlighting the positives and negatives of disconnecting from your social media life.

Everything in moderation, I say.

Karen Neary
General Manager


Advantages of Social Media Marketing

Trying to decide how much of that marketing budget to allocate to social media?  Or maybe you’re trying to justify that spend. Well, here’s a handy list of the advantages of Social Media Marketing that just might help you.

1.  Social Media helps your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Inbound links from external websites to your website act like a kind of recommendation for your website in the eyes of search engine web crawlers and social media shares of your website’s content are a recommendation, too.

2.  Social Media helps build relationships

Having an active social media presence lets you connect with your follower in a prolonged and friendly manner.  The more you connect, the larger your social reach as you feature in follower’s feeds. Social media also lets you connect one-on-one with customers and potential customers in a meaningful way.

3.  You can reuse your social content.

You don’t have to silo your content into one social network; it can be repurposed for use on multiple channels.  While you have to create different copy for a tweet versus a Facebook update, you can still link to the same blog, press release or video on different networks and maximise your content resources.

4.  Targeting your customer demographic

Using multiple networks to get your message out also means you can test to see which channel works best for your business.

5.  Social Media provides user-generated content, user-generated content provides sales

User-generated content drives social media, but it also drives customers towards purchases. “84 percent of millennials say user-generated content has at least some influence on what they buy (compared to 70 percent of Boomers).”

“Talking to Strangers: Millennials Trust People over Brands”, Bazaarvoice, January, 2012

And here’s some more social commerce statistics if you need some numbers to back up your decision.

Paul Rooney
Web Developer

Striking the right balance between online privacy and digital advertising

The digital advertising and marketing industry is worth about €4.2 billion, according to a recent PWC International Report.  In Ireland, we have many global players with headquarters in Ireland, as well as many Irish based companies employing thousands in creative, gaming and e-commerce. There’s no doubt it’s a vital cog in the engine of Ireland Inc. But more, it’s what keeps Facebook and YouTube free to use, allows us to download free apps, and freely access most of the other content on the Internet that enriches all our lives. We should also remember that this model isn’t new. Even before our lives were digital, we benefitted from free newspapers, commercial television and radio channels, all funded by advertising. Digital has just made the process of advertising and consuming become interactive and in the process, big data is being generated.

Advertising is numbers driven. We are all trying to extend our reach, increase our engagement and achieve a positive return. And by definition, we need data to help measure how successful we have been. Without data this science becomes impossible and without a measurable return on advertising spend, the free web could be under threat if spend is redirected.

As consumers, we need to be as smart as the brands with understanding how data makes the advertising world revolve. More and more consumers do understand the symbiotic relationship between their data and rich, online experiences. But, we’re rightly concerned about the passive collection of our data online and just how much of our online behaviour is being recorded.

As a result, the European Commission is legislating with the aim of putting consumers firmly back in the driving seat. It aims to make it obligatory for brands to seek more explicit consent from consumers to collect and analyse data.

The cookie consent legislation forced websites to seek permission to put cookies on devices. We always had the choice through our browser settings, but it’s been a helpful education. Cookies are only one way of tracking online behaviour of course. Use of IP addresses, triangulation of mobile phone masts and wi-fi, browser and device identification, user login and password are all methods that can be used to connect up parts of our online life. Cookies will no doubt continue to be a way of tracking, but with the latest browsers being equipped with easier ‘do not track’ settings, there may be greater reliance on the use of other tracking methods.

Currently, the European Commission is working on a new law that has the potential to give consumers greater powers of control through consent, new definitions to include passive personal data, and new rights such as the ability to have your data permanently deleted. Some of these new consumer powers could make the science of advertising far more difficult. Even a game changer. It’s vital that the legislators strike the right balance so that responsible brands can continue to achieve a return on their advertising spend, whilst consumers have the control and protection they need in our digital world.

Peter Mahon
Client Service Director

Facial recognition app helps prevent drivers from nodding off

More than 100,000 accidents occur each year on account of drivers falling asleep at the wheel.  Created using advanced eye-tracking technology, Café Amazon’s ‘Drive Awake’ app helps to prevent drowsy drivers from nodding off at the wheel by recognizing the all-too-common signs of sleepiness.

If, at some point during your journey, the app detects that you might be approaching the land of nod, you will be directed to the nearest caffeine-crammed café and/or jolted awake by the sound of a screeching parrot.

Simply mount your phone to the windscreen of your car, allowing a clear view of your face and let the app do the rest!  Too find out more, click here.

Meg Goodrich
Digital Account Executive

Adidas encourages fans to Jump with Derrick Rose in London

This is a fantastic campaign by Adidas in London where fans got a chance to jump with Derrick Rose for a pair of his signature adidas shoes. It’s great to see brands doing such smart activations of sponsorships, we see so many struggle to make the most of these opportunities but the likes of Adidas do it really well.  Keeping it simple helps!

(PS Derrick Rose is a basketball player who currently plays for the Chicago Bulls)

Conor Byrne
Head of Digital

Dialogue become sponsors of the Wales Fast Growth 50 companies

This unique awards initiative is firmly established as the list of business success that entrepreneurs across Wales aspire to.  Every year, it is a constant reminder of the vast entrepreneurial potential that exists within the Welsh business sector, with growth performance by businesses that are as good as any to be found across all of Europe.

Dialogue’s Chairman, Michael Killeen, is thrilled to support the awards this year adding,“If you’re on the Fast Growth 50 list, you’re doing something quite brilliant and the business world would do well to pick your brains to learn how you do it,” he said.

“Continuous scaling is the most difficult challenge facing any business today. FG50 companies have guts, they innovate, they are agile and they give a real damn about every aspect of delivering an excellent customer experience.

“For these reasons we are proud and excited sponsors of this coveted programme.”

Dialogue currently work across a number of international markets and wanted to expand into our next door neighbors garden. The list of scaling companies in Wales is superb and we will be engaging with them over the course of our sponsorship to help them to expand globally at a superior pace.

Find out more here.

Does the Sun affect our mood?

Ask a child to draw two pictures—one on a rainy day and a second in the sunshine—and you pretty much know what to expect. In the first one, as blue raindrops appear on the page, the stick man behind the window is frowning. When a yellow sun beams from the corner of the page, the stick man is smiling, with his scrawny arms in the air and colourful flowers at his feet. Even his stick dog is smiling!

That rain is gloom and sunshine happiness is metaphorical rather than scientific, though it rings true because we humans are inherently sympathetic to our environment. But we are not its victims. Barring a mood disorder, our emotions are not casualties of the weather. The rain can be guilty by association, but not causation.

Some people’s emotions are simply more vulnerable to weather changes than others. Someone prone to a low mood on dark, cold days will likely experience a depressive winter when there’s a prolonged string of like-weathered days. Those who are more upbeat and optimistic tend to thrive in good weather.

So, what does all this mean? With a forecast of sunshine for the next couple of weeks for Ireland, people’s moods will be better and the sunshine is uplifting. Well…until they start complaining about the heat! It’s hard to keep everyone happy. At least the children’s pictures will have smiley stick men, too.

Aoife McDonnell 
Account Manager