Independent agencies can dare to think outside the box and push the boundaries to raise awareness of their brand, says a professional mischief maker.
Paddy Power’s Feilim Mac An Iomaire told delegates at the Advantage Conference that they should use their own creativity to self-promote – using both social media and making a splash in traditional news channels by commenting on trending stories.
He said agencies should stick to their own message but dared them to break the mould and not be afraid to upset people if they want to stand out – but reminded those who went for humour-driven campaigns to pick targets wisely.
Mac An Iomaire, hired by bookmaker Paddy Power after putting up a billboard of himself looking for work under the alias Jobless Paddy, said: “There’s a line we won’t cross, but we want to be as close to it as we can.
“Great ideas can come from absolutely anyone, not just marketing people. Don’t be afraid to fail. If there’s something travel-related or scandalous, you can piggyback that.”
Paddy Power caused a stir by paying out early on a Hillary Clinton election win that didn’t materialise and having footballer Nicklas Bendtner reveal branded underpants at the Euro 2012 football tournament.
Agents at a Travel Weekly round‑table discussion were inspired to be more creative, albeit not as controversial.
Sandra Corkin, owner of Oasis Travel, said: “Just trying something different might make you stand out. I’m wondering what an earth we can do, but we can’t be afraid to be creative.” Idle Travel owner Tony Mann said the agency got a publicity boost when it worked out of a portable cabin during a renovation. “I ended up on national radio. At first I thought ‘oh my God’ and we got some stick, but customers stuck up for us.”
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