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What's With All The Jam?

So, there I was standing in a supermarket when the whole futility of the Irish government's strategy to create enterprise finally imploded around me and I just pulled out my phone and started to photograph the evidence, like a cop at the scene of a grizzly murder.

Having grown up in Ireland and leaving it during my formative years, only to return to it during the nightmare of the "Celtic Tiger", I was well used to living in a country that did not espouse the entrepreneurial spirit very well and praised shoddy practices as good business decisions.  [Read More] 

 

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The Mystery of Place Branding

Why doesn't everyone in the tourist industry understand the basic principles of place branding? I'm damned if I know! We recently had a conversation with a local politician who was telling us about a town near us that has quite a famous monument in it and attracts a lot of tourists, who look at it, snap some photos, get on a tour bus and leave. How could they retain visitors and keep their spend in the local economy?, we were asked. All went silent and we recently saw a press release saying that the town in question was offering vouchers to visitors who spent more than €15 in the town, giving them free admission to the monument. They had also erected signs at the bus park, pointing to the town, telling them of the wonderful emporia that awaited them, just a short walk away.

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It has long been accepted that advertisers look at their audiences as passive groups consuming their output. They are told what to want, the great benefits this product or service can bring to their lives, and are called to action to put their hands in their pockets and purchase the glowing solution to all their problems that they are offered.

Is this really the case? Should we look at the audience for the output of Madison Avenue as these unsophisticated buffoons who can be that easily manipulated, or are they something deeper than that? The advent of the digital age, was at first seen as just another platform for more of the same type of messaging, but with the development of rating websites and feedback loops, advertisers have seen that their audiences had teeth and could bite back, if their promise fell short of expectations.

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