Author Archive

The Love Island Effect – Fast Fame & Fast Fashion

September 22, 2022

It’s been one month since we last ran to the couch at 9pm to hear, for the last time this summer, “Previously… on Love Island”. 

For eight weeks of summer, Love Island almost has a chokehold over the nation. Those out for a Sunday drink calling it a night at 8.30pm, those holidaying abroad praying that their wifi is strong enough for Virgin Media player.

An average of 204,000 viewers tuned in across Ireland each night to see how the contestants were getting on, and who they were getting with. For those eight weeks, the reality TV show basically took over our social lives and had us hooked to our screens.

Each season, while romances, friendships and tensions build inside the villa, we watch the contestants’ social media followings build on the outside, particularly on Instagram. The rise to fame is fast, as fast fashion brands scramble to secure their newest brand ambassadors, fighting for the ‘best’ with their top competitors. 

Take Molly-Mae Hague – the most successful contestant ever on the show. Molly-Mae was slowly breaking her way into the world of influencer marketing before ever appearing on or being associated with Love Island, regularly posting on Instagram and sharing to her YouTube channel. She entered the Spanish villa with approximately 170,000 followers. Coming not in first, but in second place on series 5 of the show, there were countless fast fashion brands lining up left, right and centre to sign her up.

She was the first UK influencer that Starbucks had ever paid to post content for them. She exited the villa, to sign a deal with fast-fashion retailer, PrettyLittleThing (PLT), as a brand ambassador. Fast forward three years, she is now their Creative Director – she now has a whopping 6.4 Million Instagram followers, making her the most successful Love Island contestant to date. 

Fast forward to this year. Gemma Owen, daughter of famous English football player, Michael Owen – remember that goal in the 1998 World Cup? Well, Gemma has now almost surpassed her fathers fame, at least with this generation. Gemma entered the villa with 79.5k followers and has now hit the 2 Million mark. Following in the footsteps of Molly-Mae, she has just last week signed an ambassador deal with PrettyLittleThing. 

Ekin-Su, the queen of this summer’s Love Island who did a 180 on the show and won the nations hearts, has quickly jumped to a whopping 3 Million followers, proving she is most deserving of that title. She has signed (supposedly) the biggest deal in Love Island history, with fast-fashion brand, Oh Polly, worth £1 Million. 

It has to be questioned whether Love Island has become the gate-way to fashion deals, as opposed to a path to ‘finding love’? 

Molly-Mae has previously admitted on her YouTube channel that she went on Love Island as a career move and did not think she’d find love, only to meet Tommy (queue the “awwww”). But was this a one-off?

Can Ekin-Su and Gemma maintain their Love Island romances? Deep down, do they really care once they have their brand deals? It is early days for them but time will tell – if love fails, they have fame and fast-fashion…

And as for brands, they all love a good influencer!

Mary

Mary O’Mahony is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications, a full service PR, Marketing and Graphic Design agency operating from offices in Dublin and Cork.

Influencer Marketing, a clever campaign tactic

September 21, 2022

Love them or hate them, influencers prove time and time again that they can be of huge benefit to businesses of all types. From global brands, national titles, charities, community organisations and local small businesses.

Influencer marketing is a tactic that we use frequently at Fuzion. The results we get for clients are very strong, and can range from improving brand awareness, reaching very specific audiences, driving traffic to a website and increasing sales.

This relatively new form of marketing can be an extremely cost effective way to reach target audiences. For example, we support a lot of our clients with product drops to a targeted list of influencers whose content and following are in line with the brand in question. The cost incurred to the business is the design and content of the packs and courier charges, while the return on investment is significantly high with influencers typically showing their audience(followers) the gift they have received and tagging the brands account in their posts.

A recent example of a successful product drop for Fuzion was our work with Hi-Spirits brand, Southern Comfort and their festival themed pack, which was packed full of all the essentials for any festival and included a sampling of their new ready to drink flavoured cans, a branded mini speaker and portable charger and this came packaged in a very handy, attractive cooler bag. We are sure that there was lots of envy at Electric Picnic this year against those lucky few who had these goodies!

This campaign was hugely effective in raising awareness about Southern Comfort’s new product to its target audience, while at the same time creating excitement about the brand.

It is important to note that engaging with the right influencers is just one of the tactics that we would use as part of a marketing and PR campaign for clients, carefully combined and coordinated with other tactics, all designed to work together to reach their target audiences, and as we say at Fuzion, to #WinHappy!

Heather

Heather Lordan is part of the marketing and PR team of Fuzion Communications who work from offices in Dublin and Cork.

21 Questions with…Lolly Cleary

September 9, 2022

welcome to the seventh of our Fuzion Friday series, where we put 21 devilishly difficult questions to a team member, giving you an insight that Freud would be proud of.

Next up is Metallica and Alexander McQueen fan…..Lolly!

  1. Tell us something about you that nobody else in the team might know.

I had a brush with death 1 month before my 18th birthday, when I went through the back window of a car.

  1. What film have you watched more than five times?

Moulin Rouge

  1. What work are you most proud of in the past year?

All my work with Fuzion

  1. Dream job?

I love baking – something to do with that maybe?

  1. Favourite brand? – Why?

Alexander McQueen – I think this is fairly self explanatory.

  1. Favourite Holiday Destination?

Lisbon was my favourite holiday ever.

  1. Best lesson from your career?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or look stupid – it can save you a lot of time and hardship in the long run.

  1. Eurovision or World Cup?

Wimbledon / Masters / F1.

  1. Who is the joker on the team?

Michelle.

  1. Recommend a podcast.

Win Happy by Greg Canty – Obviously!! ….or…. the Tommy, Hector and Laurita Podcast.

  1. Reality shows – Love or Hate?

Hate – They are chewing gum for the eyes.

  1. Dinner party with 3 people – dead or alive – who do you invite?

My uncle John who has passed away / Phil Lynott / my good friend Martina Sartor who I’ve not seen for about 4 years.

  1. If you could be anywhere in the world – where would you be & what would you do?

Cuba – absolutely nothing.

  1. Who is your role model?

No one in particular.

  1. What was your first job?

Answering phones for my dad.

  1. Death Row meal?

Rick Stein’s Sweet Potato and Chorizo Quesadillas with guac / pico / sour cream etc, ice cold beer.

  1. Favourite book?

Harry Potter.

  1. Your a grammar nazi oar not?

I thought I was until Ciarán joined the team.

  1. First album you bought or downloaded?

Metallica – …And Justice for All.

  1. Work from home – or office?

Mostly home, but sometimes office.

  1. Most memorable ad slogans – why?

A sarcastic “Cool story”.

Lolly Cleary is Head of Design at Fuzion Communications, full service marketing and PR agency, with offices in Cork and Dublin.

21 Questions with… Sarah Murphy

September 2, 2022

Welcome to the sixth of our Fuzion Friday series, where we put 21 devilishly difficult questions to a team member, giving you an insight that Freud would be proud of.

Next up is the Barry’s Tea & the Wesht loving…..Sarah!

DC 22/10/2021 Fusion Communications Team Pic Diane Cusack
  1. Tell us something about you that nobody else in the team might know.
    That I climbed Kilimanjaro and ironically only got into hiking after that!
  2. What film have you watched more than five times?
    There’s a few that come to mind!  As Good As It Gets, Good Will Hunting, My Fair Lady and the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  3. What work are you most proud of in the past year? 

The ‘Belonging’ exhibition with The Hunt Museum comes to mind. The concept of the exhibition and the art itself was all just pretty special to be a part of. Also, I really loved seeing the different layers of coverage coming in… there is nothing quite like that feeling of a plan coming together!

  1. Dream job?

Is that a trick question? Sure we are all working the dream in Fuzion, no?! Well, If I wasn’t in Fuzion I would love my own eclectic gift and clothing store full of one off pieces, filled with Irish talent… beside it I’d have a coffee shop with very good coffee and excellent cake as well as tasty savoury options, the walls would be covered with Irish art and the space would double up as a venue space at night for pop ups and occasions, not sure if its financially viable mind, but this is dream territory!

  1. Favourite brand? – Why?
    Barry’s Tea – forever synonymous with home and providing comfort.
  2. Favourite Holiday Destination?
    In terms of holidays for a bit of heat I’m not loyal, for favourite destinations on repeat probably Galway or Kerry.
  3. Best lesson from your career?
    You never know it all, so I believe it’s important to have a growth mindset.
  1. Eurovision or World Cup?
    Eh Neither! But if I have to choose I’d go with Eurovision for the cheese factor.
  2. Who is the joker on the team?
    There’s a few! But I’m going to go with Ciaran.
  3. Recommend a podcast.
    The Inner Chief – Greg Layton. He does really interesting interviews with people that you don’t normally get an insight to.
  4. Reality shows – Love or Hate?
    Don’t love them, but they have their place when you want to just zone out and not have to think too much!
  5. Dinner party with 3 people – dead or alive – who do you invite?
    David Attenborough, Judi Dench, and Julie Andrews. If I could have four I’d add in Dolly Parton!
  6. If you could be anywhere in the world – where would you be & what would you do?
    Happy in Ireland right now, but always wanted to do a year or two in New York back in the day.
  1. Who is your role model?
    My sister, she always knows the answer and has the ability to make everything look effortless.
  2. What was your first job?
    My first summer job was working in the kitchens of Kilkea Castle, which involved a lot of chopping and mashing potatoes for circa 200 people – strong arms that summer!
  3. Death Row meal?
    Surf and Turf platter in Michael’s restaurant in Dublin.
  4. Favourite book?

In the last few years the books that come to mind are Where the Crawdads Sing – I’m nervous about the film adaptation, I hope they do it justice! My Favourite Biography in the last few years is Shoe Dog with Phil Knight (the story of Nike) – it was bravely honest and not always flattering which is rare!

  1. Your a grammar nazi or not?
    Grammarly is my friend!
  2. First album you bought or downloaded?
    No Doubt.
  3. Work from home – or office?

Both, nothing like being in the office for teasing out ideas you might have, collaboration makes for better results more often than not.

  1. Most memorable ad slogans – why?
    Nike, Just Do It – simple and is a call to action to move.

Sarah Murphy is a Senior Account Manager at Fuzion Communications, full service marketing and PR agency, with offices in Cork and Dublin.

Football & Brand Loyalty

August 29, 2022

The recent return of the Premier League for its now 31st season has begun to intensify rivalry and debate with the offices of Fuzion Communications.

As a Manchester United fan, I have been on the receiving end of most of the mockery that has taken place. However, it has not stopped me defending my club like I am a player or member of the coaching staff. In turn, this led me to think about why we show such loyalty to our football clubs compared to other brands, businesses, and organisations.

The process of being a fan of a football club is clear. You start to like football, you watch a couple of matches, you select the club you want to follow, and you support that club for the rest of your life. Seems easy and hassle free doesn’t it!

In reality, it is often not so easy and not so hassle free.

I first started to watch football in the 2007/08 season. At this time, Manchester United were the current English champions and my dad, a Leeds United fan, told me they were the biggest and best club in England, if not the world. Me being me, only the biggest and best would do and so I became a Man Utd supporter. Over the next six seasons, I would see Man Utd win four Premier Leagues, a Champions League, two League Cups, and a Club World Cup. Then Sir Alex Ferguson decided to retire as manager in 2013 and our reign of success came to an end.

Fast forward nine years, and I have not seen Man Utd win another Premier League title. This would have been unimaginable to think the day I started supporting the club and not just to me or Man Utd fans but to every other football supporter across the globe. So, after nearly a decade of no league titles and relatively little success, why do I or even should I continue to support the club?

Over the last few years,  I have been a generally unhappy and dissatisfied Man Utd supporter. If I was unhappy with any other brand, business, and organisation, then I would simply switch to a competitor, if available. There are plenty of football clubs that I could support instead. I am sure being a Manchester City or Liverpool FC supporter over the last few years would have made my life much easier (although United supporters do hold the bragging rights over Liverpool fans at the moment!).

The key reason why football fans do not decide to ditch their team for another comes down to brand identity. In any business or organisation, brand identity should be considered the essence of the brand. A strategic goal of any brand strategy is to develop a pathway for the ‘returning customer’. Creating a distinct and attractive brand identity allows you to further brand loyalty and retain it over the long-term.

To identify successfully with any customer or fan, your brand needs to include features that appeal to and satisfy their needs. Your brand identity should have characteristics, traits, and values that match your customer or fan-base, while also having a clear distinction from competitors. This allows you to build a high level of prestige for your brand and enables fans or customers to perceive their favourite team/brand as attractive and share a common identity with other fans. You will see greater brand loyalty translate because of this strategic approach.

The benefit of greater brand loyalty is important to the long-term sustainable future of any business or organisation. For those who partake in brand loyalty, whether consciously or not, they do so without cost being a significant factor, as they perceive a higher quality and better service than other brands.

Brand loyalty can only be considered as reached when customers repeatedly purchase a particular brand. For example, a regular cup of coffee at Starbucks can cost about 2-3 times as much as at a filling station or supermarket and you are not guaranteed the same product or service at different locations around the world. However, people will still queue in Starbucks stores, even if they are running late, for their coffee fix.

When you achieve brand loyalty then there are two reasons that a fan or customer will stay loyal: hope and expectation. Your brand’s loyal customer base will be hoping and expecting for a certain standard of product or service.

It is important to remember that achieving brand loyalty does not mean that you have that customer for life. That is where football clubs and more traditional business-orientated brands differ. It is much easier to ditch your regular brand of washing powder than your football club. You must keep your customers with a level of hope and expectation to retain brand loyalty.

But as is often said in sport and life, ‘it is the hope that kills you’!

Dylan

Dylan Morley is a PR account executive with Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency who operate from offices in Dublin and Cork

21 Questions with…Mary O’Mahony

August 26, 2022

Welcome to the fifth of our Fuzion Friday series, where we put 21 devilishly difficult questions to a team member, giving you an insight that Freud would be proud of.

Next up is the shopping-loving, ketchup-hating Mary!

  1. Tell us something about you that nobody else in the team might know. 

I have a phobia of ketchup.. won’t even touch the bottle.

  1. What film have you watched more than five times? 

Loads! I am a serial re-watcher.

  1. What work are you most proud of in the past year? 

Jumping back into agency life and dipping my toe in the corporate side of things for a change. 

  1. Dream job? 

Professional shopper.. for myself 🙂

  1. Favourite brand? – Why? 

Not sure if I’d say favourite brand, but I definitely buy the most from Zara! Although the sizing frustrates the life out of me I always go back. I also find its marketing strategy (particularly the lack of advertising) very interesting..

  1. Favourite Holiday Destination? 

New York in winter.

  1. Best lesson from your career? 

“It’s PR, not ER”

  1. Eurovision or World Cup? 

World Cup 

  1. Who is the joker on the team? 

Ciarán.. at least he tries to be.

  1. Recommend a podcast. 

My Therapist Ghosted Me.

  1. Reality shows – Love or Hate? 

Love some, hate others.

  1. Dinner party with 3 people – dead or alive – who do you invite? 

Freddie Mercury, Princess Diana & Tommy Tiernan.

  1. If you could be anywhere in the world – where would you be & what would you do? 

Perched by a pool in Greece with a cocktail in hand 

  1. Who is your role model? 

No particular role model per se, but I take inspiration from a lot of different people

  1. What was your first job?

Behind the bar in TP Cotter’s in Macroom.

  1. Death Row meal? 

This is tough.. Either a KC’s or Lennox’s

  1. Favourite book? 

Atomic Habits by James Clear.

  1. Your a grammar nazi oar not? 

A little bit, but more recently I have become the victim of it!

  1. First album you bought or downloaded? 

Almost sure it was ‘There’s a Whole Lot of Loving Going On’ by Six.. My sister bought it for me – Ironically, I think I was 6 when it was released!

  1. Work from home – or office? 

80/20 work from home.. No commute is, dare I say, life changing!

  1. Most memorable ad slogans – why? 

Nike ‘Just Do It’. It’s short, straight to the point and communicates the brand’s key message.

Mary O’Mahony is a Senior Account Executive at Fuzion Communications, full service marketing and PR agency, with offices in Cork and Dublin.

21 Questions with… Stephanie Stafford

August 19, 2022

Welcome to the fourth of our Fuzion Friday series, where we put 21 devilishly difficult questions to a team member, giving you an insight that Freud would be proud of.

Next up is the French fashion & steak loving.. Stephanie!

  1. Tell us something about you that nobody else in the team might know. 

I’ve lived in four countries and I’m an avid sea swimmer. 

  1. What film have you watched more than five times? 

Both Princess Diaries and Goodfellas, this probably gives you some insight into my personality!

  1. What work are you most proud of in the past year? 

I’m equally proud of each campaign we work on. I always make sure to keep client campaigns fresh and exciting for consumers but also for our team.

  1. Dream job? 

I’m in it, of course!

  1. Favourite brand? – Why? 

Louis Vuitton, I’m a sucker for french designers. The quality is next level and I invest in timeless pieces that will last.

  1. Favourite Holiday Destination? 

The French Riviera, I hope to own a holiday home there someday.

  1. Best lesson from your career? 

IT would have to be…..that a happy and motivated team is key to everything.

  1. Eurovision or World Cup? 

Neither, Love Island? 

  1. Who is the joker on the team? 

I would say myself but there’s stiff competition for the role.

  1. Recommend a podcast. 

My therapist ghosted me, cracks me up on the walk into work.

  1. Reality shows – Love or Hate? 

Love. Keeping up with The Kardashians is always on in my house.

  1. Dinner party with 3 people – dead or alive – who do you invite? 

Jennifer Lopez, Shania Twain and Dwayne Johnson for obvious reasons

  1. If you could be anywhere in the world – where would you be & what would you do? 

There is a lot to be said for an easy life and a positive mindset. I appreciate the small things in life but I wouldn’t say no to working from home in a penthouse Dubai apartment. New office location for Fuzion?

  1. Who is your role model?

My Mum and brother. Their work ethic and approach to life has shaped my entire career and given me confidence to take the risk do some crazy things over the years.

  1. What was your first job?

An English grinds teacher.

  1. Death Row meal? 

You can’t beat fillet steak, hooked on Butcher restaurant in Kilkenny at the moment.

  1. Favourite book? 

The one I’m writing right now, watch this space.

  1. Your a grammar nazi oar not? 

You’d have to ask the team!

  1. First album you bought or downloaded? 

I presume Westlife, still a huge fan.

  1. Work from home – or office? 

Home with my dogs but Zooms with my great team.

  1. Most memorable ad slogans – why? 

Nike – Just do it. Reminds me that the gym exists everytime I see it.

Stephanie Stafford is an Account Director at Fuzion Communications, full service marketing and PR agency, with offices in Cork and Dublin.

21 Questions with… Suzanne Meade

August 12, 2022

Welcome to the third of our Fuzion Friday series, where we put 21 devilishly difficult questions to a team member, giving you an insight that Freud would be proud of.

Next up is the shark-diving, chocolate lover, Suzanne!

Fuzion Communications Picture: Miki Barlok

  1. Tell us something about you that nobody else in the team might know.

A few years ago I dived with sharks in South Africa – it was one of the best experiences ever!

  1. What film have you watched more than five times?

 I’ve definitely watched ‘The Holiday’ way more times than I’d like to admit

  1. What work are you most proud of in the past year?

I am very proud of my work with the Local Enterprise Offices – particularly the Look for Local campaign during the pandemic which encouraged the public to support local businesses. 

  1. Dream job?

I’d like to run my own business someday…

  1. Favourite brand? – Why?

I’m a bit of a Zara addict….from their clothes to homeware, it’s probably the brand I shop the most.

  1. Favourite Holiday Destination?

Nice, in the South of France. Just stunning!

  1. Best lesson from your career?

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big impact. We are all human at the end of the day so kind words or a simple thank you email can go a long way…

  1. Eurovision or World Cup?

World Cup

  1. Who is the joker on the team?

Ciarán ‘the comedian’ Ó Raghallaigh….although I’m sure he put this question in himself just for the ego boost lol!

  1. Recommend a podcast.

I love Joanne and Vogue’s ‘My Therapist Ghosted Me”

  1. Reality shows – Love or Hate?

Love ❤

  1. Dinner party with 3 people – dead or alive – who do you invite?

Princess Diana, David Attenborough and Jennifer Lopez.

Di-nner Party
  1. If you could be anywhere in the world – where would you be & what would you do?

The Seychelles, swinging on a hammock on the beach, drinking a Pina Colada. 

  1. Who is your role model?

Michelle Obama – she has such a powerful voice and uses it to great effect to help great causes around the world.

  1. What was your first job?

Waitressing in the cafe of Kilkenny Design Centre in Shanagarry, Cork.

  1. Death Row meal?

I’ll have a chateaubriand with all the trimmings please…

  1. Favourite book?

Is it socially acceptable to admit the Harry Potter series?

  1. Your a grammar nazi oar not?

I guess….it’s part of the day job!

  1. First album you bought or downloaded?

More than likely Boyzone!

  1. Work from home – or office?

From home, for sure 🙂

  1. Most memorable ad slogans – why?

The  ‘Should have gone to Specsavers’ ads spring to mind….always clever and executed really well.

Suzanne Meade is a Senior Account Manager at Fuzion Communications, full service marketing and PR agency, with offices in Cork and Dublin.

Social Media and the Metrics that are actually important

July 14, 2022

KPI’s, engagement rates, follower numbers… all of these metrics are so important when we work on our client social media reports every month but how important is this information really?

There is so much information out there for us to consume, especially in relation to our own social media statistics, but I always think it’s so important for us to keep track of where our audience actually are.

IPSOS MRBI release a Social Networking Tracker report twice a year after surveying users in Ireland about their social media activity. It’s fascinating to read the most recent report and see these stats on account ownership and daily usage and it can also help inform where to put your marketing spend.

As we can see from the infographic above, Facebook is still the king of social media networks in Ireland. Something I hear quite often is “Facebook is dead, Instagram is the best platform to be on”, etc. Looking at, and understanding these reports shows us that even though Instagram may be catching up with Facebook, it still is quite a relevant platform and cannot be forgotten or ignored. And lest we forget, they’re all under the umbrella of Meta so they’re basically the same thing now… Especially where your advertising budget is concerned!

An important one to look at here, is the increase and decrease of followers on the various platforms. TikTok is the only platform with a significant increase (+6%) while all the others lost followers and Instagram held steady. TikTok continues to grow this year and is definitely one for businesses to consider, if they can create strong, relevant video content. It is not a platform where you can just post an image and hope for the best, so time and energy needs to be spent coming up with creative ideas to engage an audience.

In terms of daily usage, it’s interesting to note that while Instagram (63%), TikTok (58%) and Facebook (55%) are all quite high, so are both Twitter (42%) and Reddit (41%). I think this goes to show that while the visual content can be quite engaging on the other three platforms, Twitter and Reddit still have quite a loyal audience who react to news and written content.

LinkedIn, while reporting numbers behind Facebook and Instagram, actually dominates the B2B space, and if that is the space that you operate in, then it becomes the most important platform for you!

My main takeaway from this, is that when you are considering which platform to be active on, think about who your target audience(s) are and the type of content that you need to produce to connect with them. If video is not your thing, then maybe TikTok is not a good idea, but if you have amazing pictures and great videos and even blogs then you can share those on the likes of Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and maybe even Twitter.

At Fuzion when we work with our clients on their social media activity, we spend a lot of time in the beginning getting their social media strategy right: Who are your audiences, what do you want to convey to them, what social media platforms are a priority and what role does each of them have. It is only then that we start to think about content, frequency of posting, the need for budgets to promote posts and simple things like the roles and responsibilities around this.

As part of this work, it always helps to spend some time figuring out who you think your target audiences are and comparing those to the insights available on the various platforms, to see who is actually following and engaging with you. Through your insights you will also be able to see the content that they engage with most and this can help inform your future social posting.

If you’re looking for some help with any of this, please don’t hesitate to give us a quick call or email and we can put you on the right path!

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion operating from offices in Dublin and Cork in Ireland.


%d bloggers like this: