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Instagram Advertising – Are you ready?

At the end of this month Facebook will launch Instagram advertising on the platform through a self service option. With this comes new formats, new methods and new best practices but are you ready to capitalise? Here’s some info to get you started.


Instagram ads will be placed through an Instagram Ads API but also through Facebook Power Editor only. Make sure you’ve done some work on establishing your custom audiences on Facebook as Instagram will plug into these.


Video: Instagram will break from their 15 sec allowance to give us 30 sec video ads with ad spend. Clever way of prompting ad spend on the platform.

Carousel: Introduced on Facebook with a largely e-commerce pick up. Carousel ads on Instagram will allow for 4 images with a dedicated landing page.

Image: Tell your story with one simple image incorporated with a call to action to drive fans to site.


  • Our old Facebook favourite the 20% text rule will apply to all Instagram ads.
  • Images should ideally be 1080 x 1080 (limited support for landscape) with a ratio of 1:1.
  • You’ve also got a maximum of 300 characters for your copy.
  • Call to actions available will be: Book Now, Contact Us, Download, Learn More, Shop Now, Sign Up and Watch More.


  • Our old Facebook favourite the 20% text rule will apply to all Instagram ads.
  • Images should ideally be 1080 x 1080 (limited support for landscape) with a ratio of 1:1.
  • You’ve also got a maximum of 300 characters for your copy.
  • Call to actions available will be: Book Now, Contact Us, Download, Learn More, Shop Now, Sign Up and Watch More.
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Fun facts about Social Media in 2013

We all know that “What does the Fox say?” was the highest viewed video of 2013, but do you know which Islamic Nation’s government opened an Instagram account? How about the number of  tweets per minute that were sent about Miley Cyrus during the VMAs? Or the amount of photos being shared every day through Snapchat?

Great summary of 2013 thanks to Infographicpromotion.co.uk



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Nandontcha want some?

KFC, Crackbird, Hillbilly’s?

None of them are as internationally lauded as much as the celeb eat-out food of choice – Nandos. But why?

Well the initial three focus on mass produced deep fried and battered chicken. Don’t get me wrong that has a time and a place but in the new waistline-watching world of guilt free dining, Nandos will always trump bold splurges. The Peri-Peri poultry eatery offer up a multitude of spicy grilled chicken dishes which if you like a hot kick to your birds, I can assure will not disappoint.

photo 1

Their menu offers up several levels of spice intensity from ‘Plain-ish’ to ‘Extra-hot’. Rather un-adventurously on my part I went for the ‘Medium’ alarm level of spice which promised to ‘Hit the spot without scalding my tonsils’, which is all I ask of a entreé really! Added to that I also chose to drum off the beaten track with the ‘Beanie’ wrap (veggie option) that I’d seen Niall Nando’s Breslin harp on about quite a bit. Herself opted for a double chicken breast with the same spice intensity. In addition we opted for some Spicy Rice, Halloumi (Justin Beiber’s fave I’m reliably informed) and Coleslaw. (A sense of stuffed tummy doom did cross the mind at one point!)

What’s unique about the Nandos system is you order and pay at the counter in a similar way to a fast food chain, but you’re then waited on and seated in a very plush and comfy restaurant. Sure, you have to fill your own soft drink, but it’s limitless. And you can change what you’re drinking as much as you want, little ice/no ice, water/no water. Completely exclusive to Nandos I think I’m right in saying? There’s also a great bar of dressings, sauces and seasonings that you can help yourself to. I’m big into trying it all (including the Extra Hot) even if I don’t want my main slathered in it!

photo 2

The food arrived to the table pretty fast despite the busyness of the restaurant, which seemed to be very popular with teens on dates and their next step counterparts; young families. D’aw.

The beanie surpassed expectation. A mix of sweetcorn and other vegetarian friendly beans in a light batter, covered in a garlicky mayo, some spicy peri sauce combined with maybe a little too much salad. It was in spice heaven pairing it up with the spicy rice and very tasty Halloumi (always been a big fan). The chicken my dining partner tucked into was moist and juicy with plenty to be found in between the wrap and was a nice match with the tangy, crunchy coleslaw.
We didn’t venture into dessert land but rest assured with titles like Gooey Caramel Cheesecake and Choc-a-lot Cake we’d only be offsetting the good we did by choosing grilled chicken over deep fried! Maybe next time if we’re deserving of a treat! I can definitely see Beyonce tucking into a Choc-a-lot post O2 strutting that’s for sure! With two restaurants in Dundrum, Andrew’s St and a third coming to Dun Laoghaire the bird is certainly the word.

UPDATE: They’re launching a new menu including a Halloumi and Portobello mushroom option?! Jaysus, is it lunchtime yet?

Portobello Mushroom and Haloumi

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Online Inspiration: Five Sites

I think it’s pretty important to look around and be inspired by what others are doing around the world. Keeping an eye on creative websites is staple diet for anyone working in Digital Comms. Everyone has their favourites but here’s some of my recommendations for you Digital geeks out there:

It’s a good un. Nice mix of digital innovation and nice brand pieces. However they are very heavy on the Google stuff lately. It’d be nice if they mixed up their content with some experiential bits and actual tech advancements.

Screen shot 2013-03-24 at 17.16.43

Definitely my favourite. A great mix of digital innovation, art, brand work, advertising and humour (reflective of those in the industry). It encompasses a great array of people making things for the love of it and others working for big brands with large wallets. Great ideas here.

Another one similar to Design Taxi (in fact a lot of their content doubles up between them sometimes). They’ve some great experiential examples and installations from around the world.

Screen shot 2013-03-24 at 17.03.44

Heavily focused towards e-commerce it almost becomes a ‘thisiswhyimbroke’ type site. However there are some nice Vimeo links in there too and a nice slice of US pop culture.

Screen shot 2013-03-24 at 14.51.12

The artiest of the five sites DYT will give you that burst of inspiration for a design that’s lost steam, a budding creative space or the look of a photocall that will give you the edge of difference. Love this one purely for the non-commercial stuff.

Other admirable mentions: http://inspirationfeed.com/, http://www.buzzfeed.com/ and http://www.thedrum.com/

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Painting Reality Project

I love this project that I stumbled across recently.

It’s a real life painting of one of those fancy, light blurred, traffic photos. You know the type? Cityscape, lines of lights from where traffic has blurred past a camera with a long exposure. Like this one.

Well a group of guerilla artists in Berlin (IEPE & the anonymous crew) dropped 500L of brightly coloured, water-based paint in the middle of a busy intersection during rush hour. On bicycle, six intrepid artists dumped their bucketfuls of paint and quickly cycled off. The traffic then came and went through the intersection creating a great display, their wheels brushing the strokes on the tarmac.

Below is the finished result. Really impressive. Although, I don’t think such a stunt would go down well in Dublin. Personally, I could see a number of pointless arrests and claims for petty damage of property from the involved commuters with blue / purple tyres. What do you think?

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New Music – Jake Bugg

I’m quite busy these days. This week I’m finishing up the current job and tying up loose ends. Next week I’m starting the new one and spinning new threads.

But I have to share this very quickly. New music, in the form of Jake Bugg. I’m really, really liking this lad. He’s getting a lot of press attention and creating a stir online. He’s like Bob Dylan meets Alex Turner.
‘Lightning Bolt’ – Enjoy.


The Most Instant Direct Mailing Campaign Ever? Porsche

Porsche. The ultimate status symbol. So you have the pile of rocks but haven’t really gotten around to buying one. Wondering how it’d fit? Canadian Agency Lowe -Roche drove a Porsche from dealers PFAFF into a very well-to-do area of Canada. They lined them up perfectly outside the driveways of these houses and snapped them with perspective vision making them look like they were in the drive way. Genius.

They then printed the images into a specially prepared Direct Mail template in the back of a mobile printing unit housed in a van. Each of these homes on Millionare’s row recieved a personalised, highly specific, directly targeted Direct Mailer inviting them for a test drive of the new Porsche at their local PFAFF dealership.

The result is a highly personalised targeted, low cost campaign for a high value item that works.

See what happened below…

The video goes on to say 32% of the recipients responded and booked test drives. Clearly going to show that direct mail isn’t dead just yet. It just needs to be smarter.


What network? The iPhone 5

In preparation for the September 28th launch of Apple’s iPhone 5, I’ve been researching the different Billpay options on various networks available in Ireland. I’ve decided I’m going Billpay for this one, having being on PAYG with SIM Free iPhones for the 3G, 3GS and the 4. Because I’m super-sound I thought I’d compile them all in one place and give a bit of analysis on the competitors and their offers. Personally, at the moment I’m spending €50-60 a month on credit, so Billpay is the way for me to go I reckon.

First off O2. Their minimum commitment is €40 with a handset cost of €219. This is the most expensive base rate deal of the lot. 250 mins / 250 texts in this package is about average for the commitment cost, 350MB date is very low by comparison to other networks and the price of the actual handset is a good €60 above average.

Next is Meteor. Meteor’s minimum commitment is €45 with a handset cost of €149. Their texts are 200 with 200 mins of calls with an above average data allowance of 5GB which is very generous. But it’s not the best offer on the market.

Three Ireland seem to weight in at the best value so far. Their minimum commitment is €40 with a handset cost of €139. They have a neat feature of Flex-units. With an iPhone this is quite beneficial. 350 flex units can be either 700 any network texts or 350 minutes, to be distributed as needed. The data is all free to an upper limit of 15GB (which you’ll never reach).

Vodafone haven’t released their plans or unit costs yet. When they do I’ll update this post with the applicable information.

[EDIT: See Below for cheapest Vodafone plan/handset details]

Vodafone’s minimum commitment is €30. This includes Calls and Texts to Vodafone only. NO ONE ELSE (wtf?). And 500MB of data (still more than O2). On this basic package the handset costs you €250. Jaysus. If you’d ever want to phone/text anyone else not on Vodafone (most of the country) it’ll cost you another €9 monthly for 200mins and €6 for unlimited texts. So we’re up to €45 commitment, phone still costs €250 and the contract is the usual 24months.

NOTE: I forgot to mention that all of the contracts that I mention in this post are for 24 months. If you’d like an 18month contract prepare to pay a whopping €330-350 for your handset on top of your monthly commitment.

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The Coca Cola Happiness Table

I really like this new TV Spot/Digital integration from Coca Cola.

It’s very similar to the ideal behind Streetfeast – encouraging people to get out and eat together in less than conventional spaces. Coke has inserted themselves at the core of this A la Carte movement with their new ad which encourages people to eat. In groups. Outdoors.

I think it kind of works. I’d love to see them implement a guerilla campaign of recreating this in cities around the world. If they did and captured it on video it would give the campaign a real global feel.

They’ve tied in a clever Facebook app which is embedded as a clickthru from the Youtube video which enables you to invite your friends and family to a foodie get together. Get recipes, populate your invite list and find out some benefits of eating together all through the ‘Let’s Eat Together’ app.


Identifying Dublin for Alzheimer’s Patients

My mum is a Care Assistant. She loves her job and works for a place called Cara Care Centre in Northwood, Santry. She specialises in the care of elderly Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients. People in her care range from the ages of 54 to 102. Her patients have difficulty with remembering what day it is, her name and where they are. Short term memory is poor at best. Long term memory however is fantastic. They remember everything from their school teacher’s names, childhood pets and favourite songs.

Mam has undertaken a really nice project, she’s assembling old photos of Dublin to help make the residents feel comfortable and at ease. The plan is to print and hang these photos on the walls of the centre and use them to help stimulate the residents into telling stories or regaling memories prompted by what they see.

I’m looking for help.

Can you donate some old photos? Ideally from the 1960s/1970s. Digital is fine, any dimensions at all will do.

Can you help me identify the locations of the photos I’ve gathered so far? (These photos have been removed for Copyright reasons)

If you can help me out in any way leave me a message in the comments…



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