Good design endures

Boyle Design Group, headed by the formidable Brendan Boyle, celebrated 30 years in the design industry in Ireland this autumn.

BDG was where I truly cut my teeth as a designer.  Brendan has a singular focus on producing brilliant design – I learnt more about finessing typography with his guidance than at any college lecture.

There's some great work featured in the celebratory video that was posted to mark the achievement. Even some of the projects I had a hand in working on back in the day have made the cut – such as the Dublin Civic Offices exhibition and packaging for Dunnes

Hacking into families...

Mums are busy. There's no big revelation there. For a brand to grab the attention of the families 'gate keeper' they need be relevant and useful. 

Thats why when Dairygold launched on Facebook at the start of 2015, I developed a content calendar with the team in RMG that was full of ideas and tips that were quick, easy and , most importantly, helpful. 

'3 ingredient inspirations' are simple food ideas that are posted to coincide with events - homemade lemonade on the hottest day of the year, or easter treats to keep your rabble occupied during midterm break. Found footage is used and overlaid with brand graphics to make snappy Dairygold ideas.

Family Hacks are a bunch of novel domestic solutions that are as alerting for their ingenuity as their effectiveness. 

Each content stream forms a section on where mums can discover may more recipe ideas and helpful suggestions.

Interactive video celebrates student theatre with a seamless backstage walk through

Student theatre is as much about the buzz backstage as the excitement of the spotlight. Capturing this energy with a walk though from stage door to centre stage, this interactive video sequence celebrated all players who make student theatre so special. 

Bord Gáis Energy's sponsorship of the Student Theatre Awards celebrates all who bring each production to the stage. To promote participation amongst schools for the 2015 awards and to inform the audience about the spectrum of categories ranging from 'Best Short Scene Script' to 'Best Choreography' (and even 'Best Dramatic Critique'), the viewer journey's through the backstage experience, witnessing the various disciplines preparing for the show.

They step from the writer at the stage door reviewing their script, to the chorus practising their scales and the set designers busily putting finishing touches to their creations, to the costume designers making last minute alterations before moving towards the curtain and the performance. With each scene a 'hotspot' button allows the audience read about each specific award along with a encouraging tit-bit about others who have succeeded in each discipline. 

The sequence was edited to short 10 second sequences to highlight individual awards and to be shared as promoted videos on twitter, instagram and snapchat. 

Below is a video showing the hotspots activated and the sequence in context on webpage:

Choose your kind of break with Fáilte's interactive VOD

Thrill seeker or chill seeker?  A home holiday in Ireland has something for everyone.
This interactive VOD allows the audience choose what they want from a trip and inspires with video suggestions. With three distinct audiences to target - families, couple and groups – this communication needed to have broad appeal. It needed to connect with those with diverse interests.

The audience can get inspired with their type of break in 3 steps. Presented with a series of choices presented on road signs, they can opt for the preferred direction; prefer 'treating the kids' or 'being a big kid'? Are you looking for a 'more the merrier' trip or to you prefer 'escaping the crowds'. Do you crave 'sitting back' or are you the 'diving straight in' type? Once each of these options was selected, you were then presented with a video montage showing 'your kind of break'. Different combinations of answers resulted in different videos, showing either a gang going wild , a couple's relaxing time out, a frenzied family trip, friends chilling out together or an energetic couple's activity adventure and so on. Diverse and different trips for a diverse and different audience.

The VOD linked through to the Discover Ireland holiday hub where the audience could explore their kind of break further. 

Appleby homepage reinvigorates 'trusted Irish brand'


Appleby are long established as Ireland's preeminent jewellers, offering superbly crafted pieces that generations have treasured.

Jewellery is also one of the key consumer offerings that people research intensively online before browsing in store. The brand were keen to elevate their digital presence so that it better represented the 'Appleby difference' – the honest, consumer first focus they offer everyone who walks though their door. 

I collaborated with the Appleby team to firstly garner the exact messages they wanted to prioritise and shape a tone that communicated these in away that appealed to their target consumers. 

It was important that we presented their products upfront but equally imparted the key brand messages to give consumers a comprehensive overview of all that makes Appleby so special. I chose to structure the homepage as a parallax scrolling design that allowed me create sequential panels communicating the brand and product messages. The imagery is vivid and evocative but doesn't overpower the jewellery.

We are launching each section incrementally so the new homepage presently fronts the old site – but keep checking in as we unveil the revised e-commerce product pages with great new features and the redesigned brochure pages. Visit the new homepage here.


#This is winning: Fáilte campaign wins Gold at An Post Smart Awards

Failte App

# this is winning
In what proved to be successful evening for RMG projects at the 2015 An Post Smart Awards, where 10 gongs were picked up across Fáilte Ireland, Molson Canadian, Laya Healthcare, the National Lottery and RepTrak.

Both Fáilte Ireland and Laya Healthcare achieved gold with in the respective categories of 'Smartest Travel, Entertainment, Tourism or Sport' and 'Smartest B2C''

I was instrumental in the conception and implementation of both these projects. The #ThisisLiving victory was particularly poignant as we had brought Fáilte Ireland to a new territory with the campaign which is rooted in social. The concept centres around sharing and learning for other's holiday's experiences, making the appeal of Ireland more relatable to each of our target segments - families, couples and groups. 

The award recognised the strategic planning that informed our approach and the through-the-line thinking that made the campaign vital and vibrant in every channel.

The An Post Smart awards do exactly what they say on the tin, they recognise the clever and effect: "By outsmarting our rivals, we get ahead. By out foxing our competition, we make gains. By using clever tactics, we bring great business rewards. Because, smart wins." You can review the full list of winners here.


Interactive Homepage takeover launches SuperValu's Good Food Karma campaign

It's always important to grab your audience's attention when launching a fresh initiative with a little bit of drama. If your announcing a new approach or initiative you need to appear to be changing gear, stepping up.

A rich media takeover is a superb way to cause some disruption on the early days of a new campaign launch. For the launch of the eircom 'All together now' and the Fáilte Ireland "#This is Living' campaigns, I worked with the team in RMG and DDFH&B to create banners that demanded the viewers attention and introduced the campaign.

SuperValu's 'Good Food Karma' is all about the great moments that good food can create. We saw the role of the digital and social channels to be enablers to help people create their own moments. So we created a dynamic hub on where people could exchange their food ideas, tips and recipes - engage interact and learn form each other. 

To communicate the dynamic of the hub and the 'Good Food Karma' initiative we developed a takeover for and home pages that invited viewers to play pot luck. The webpage collapsed as a red pot sided into the centre of their screen. Each time they clicked the pot they were 'served' a different clip from the range of content we created for the interactive ideas wall on the hub.

An effective communicator of the principal of the 'Good Food Karma' project, the banner whetted the appetite (sorry!) encouraging the viewer to click though, learn more and get immersed in the SuperValu brand experience. Visit the 'Good Food Karma' hub here.