Microsoft: Viral: Podge and Rodge

our-work-pic-microsoft01Microsoft needed to engage with a tough online community (the 22-35 year old male programming audience) to gain their support for a new platform they were launching.

Dialogue produced a viral campaign using two of Ireland’s most celebrated bachelors who were having difficulty downloading porn from their home computer. Until our hero, Microsoft Vista, arrives to sort their issue, even allowing Podge & Rodge turn the problem into a entrepreneurial new business opportunity.

We created a campaign that drove this group to a website where they could learn more about the benefits of the new platform and engage with other like minded colleagues.

The campaign won a gold award for the “Bravest Client” in the international John Caples awards in New York (amongst many others). Such was the success of the campaign, Microsoft HQ in Seattle shared the campaign with Country Managers across the globe asking them to consider a similar approach when working with this particular programming community.


Tv Ad Targeting on Twitter

Twitter is launching a new ad solution called ‘TV ad targeting’, which is designed to help brands enhance their TV ad campaigns. The product is starting off in selected locations of the US, but no doubt it will hit these shores shortly. The idea is that advertisers will be able to see which Twitter users have been exposed to their ads on TV and target them with Promoted Tweets (the video here explains it really well).

According to Wall Blog a “dashboard will allow a brand’s digital agency to quickly respond and align not only with what’s shown on TV and when, but also get insight into how Promoted Tweets can be crafted in the most effective ways to build upon the broader campaign themes.”

Conor Byrne
Head of Digital




Sneezing Season

Usually this time of year is not much fun for me when I’m hanging out at outdoor summer gigs and festivals. As a consumer it’s not very kind on my pocket, either! Off to my chemist to purchase my over-the-counter remedies, only to be told I cannot buy my usual brand of spray and I would need to get a prescription from my doctor. Crossed off my list was the spray, I only purchased the tablets and eye-drops. I did see this cheesy TV ad one evening though…

Personally, I wasn’t sold by this and I decided to spend my hard earned €€€€ in the health shop instead. This is working brilliant with my over-the-counter remedies! Roll on my summertime festivals…

Claire Chatham

The first taste

I love this. A heart-warming and hilarious two and a half minute video produced by Saatchi & Saatchi, which captures the reactions of children’s first encounter with some new foods. Their reactions are captured in slow motion so you can see every detail. Titled “The First Taste”, this video was inspired by Saatchi & Saatchi’s creative director who watched his own daughter try a gherkin and he was interested in seeing children’s reactions to other foods including some sophisticated tastes such as anchovies and pickled onions. The first taste journey for parents, in particular, can be hilarious, interesting, surprising and sometimes very messy! Enjoy!

Aoife McDonnell
Account Manager


Irish Times Fusion Panel


I got a call from a former Creative Director of mine (Pearse McCaughey) last week, asking Conor Byrne and I to sit on the Irish Times Fusion panel. We were delighted to be asked and gladly accepted the invite. Pearse works on Irish Times account and was in need of a few able bodied tech / creative / business heads to offer advice and grill some of the Fusion start-ups.

Irish Times FUSION is an experiment Dr Johnny Ryan (Chief Innovation Officer at The Irish Times) is running to match the energy and enthusiasm of the start-up community with the market access of the branding and advertising industry.

The start-ups focus on a variety of new, compelling experiences for end-users. Generally their attention is not centred on advertising solutions or opportunities. That is where we came in… to help them see the commercial / branding angle that can make their brilliant ideas a financial success.

We talked to start-ups working on apps, widgets and new online communities – they were amazing. Some really good ideas and some really passionate people. I wish I could tell you more but I have to keep stum for the moment! Check back here for more details when the winner is announced over the coming weeks.

Gary McLoughlin
Managing Director

Abercrombie & Fitch – Just for you… but not you!

The CEO of the hugely successful brand, Abercombie & Fitch has come in for some backlash over his recent comments about his customers, or more importantly the people he doesn’t want as customers. While I’m not surprised by his comments and neither will you, if you’ve ever been in one of their shops, I am curious as to why he would be so blatantly bigoted. Is his brand so safe and secure from consumer opinion or fickleness? Is he so ignorant that he thinks that people who wear size 10 and under are the only ones with money to spend? Doesn’t he know that two out of every three people are larger than a size 10?

I’d like to think this type of arrogance would harm a brand but if you look at our own arrogant a#s, Michael O’Leary, it doesn’t appear to.

There have been some great responses to this including an open letter to Mike Jeffries, the CEO of the moment, but my favourite is the re-branding exercise that one guy is doing to broaden the A&F appeal.

It’ll be interesting to see if anything changes as a result of Mr. Jeffries comments but public opinion has been known to make a difference every now and then.

Karen Neary
Office Enforcer

Digital Queens!

Congratulations to our own Sinead Ni Ghaora and Aoife McDonnell on completing the Digital Marketing Certificate course in the Marketing Institute and passing with flying colours recently. They were presented with gift prints in recognition of the achievement. Well done to both.

The prints were from one of our talented Art Directors, Paul Gibson and you can find his work at

Uniform Stupidity

Recently, one of the world’s most respected ad-men, Sir John Hegarty remarked that “TV is getting better but ads are getting worse”.

He should know. After all, he’s the guy responsible for classic campaigns for iconic brands such as Levis 501s, Haggen Daaz and Audi.

So what’s happened?

My theory is that one of the causes has its roots back in the dark days of the 1930s. The Nazis were responsible for many appalling things – but one that’s rarely pointed out is the corporate design manual.

The sinister 678 page Organizationsbuch der NSDAP included rules on the usage of swastikas, SS flashes, skull insignia, gothic typefaces etc – all the usual corporate identity paraphernalia that no self-respecting fascist death-cult can do without. (Surprisingly, it also features a very camp-looking SS officer on page 471.)


So the Nazis were addicted to corporate guidelines. Is it any surprise?

Rigid control is the enemy of creativity – and innovative creativity was something that the goose-steppers found supremely threatening. Their attempt to ridicule modern creative ideas backfired in 1937 when they mounted their Entartete Kunst (Exhibition of Degenerate Art)­ which exhibited modernist and avant-garde work. Sadly for them, millions thronged to this – unlike the largely-ignored Grosse deutsche Kunstausstellung (Great German Art Exhibition) which displayed party-approved work.

The more rigidly that creativity is controlled, the duller it becomes. Fact.

Now don’t get me wrong. Rules are necessary and every picture benefits from having a frame. But when it reaches the point where every picture’s content is prescribed (‘it must always include people, positivity, movement’ etc) and policed, the end product will invariably be yawn-worthy.

Today, corporate guidelines abound. Written by design agencies (many with no idea of what an advertising concept is or how responses can be stimulated), they rigidly dictate exactly what is shown and heard.

Granted, the result can be a coherent body of work. But it’ll also be bland with nothing standing out, disrupting or looking in anyway different from a million other corporate communications.

And isn’t that advertising what is supposed to do?

Des Columb
Creative Director


International B2B Lead Generation (Executive Level)

Dialogue became famous for their sophisticated International Lead Generation work which continues to prove itself time and time again, by delivering response rates ranging from 50% – 80% across multiple B2B sectors.


Referred to as ‘Call-Mail-Call, Dialogue worked with clients to reduce their prospect universe so that they can invest greater budgets towards their most likely candidates. The initial Call verifies the correct decision makers in each company across the globe. An interactive Mail piece introduces the clients benefits and puts the target audience in a positive frame of mind for a follow up call. These calls are made after the recipient signs for the initial couriered package. The goal of the follow-up call is to set up the face-to-face meeting between the sales team and key decision makers.


Each programme is managed in waves so that sales teams are not swamped with qualified leads. In todays times, online channels and multi platform devices are interwoven through out, leveraging the target ability, testing, convenience and ROI analytics of the connected world.