Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

It’s all about integration!

September 4, 2019

Donald Draper

A big shift has happened with media in the last 10 years.

I remember 10 years ago when the wheels well and truly fell off the economy, we had a thing called social media, which effectively had become a “free” (except for your time and effort of course) way to promote you and your business.

At Fuzion we were quick out of the traps offering people training on the various social media platforms and when it came to our own clients we were doing our very best to get them up and running and fully embracing this new and exciting medium.

I remember at that time when we devised marketing plans for prospects, complete with a range of different tactics to achieve their objectives, we would always have social media as one of the first tactics to discuss. After all it was free, it was new and it provided another great way to reach their target audiences but in a special and unique way demonstrating the personality of the organisation and those working there.

We discovered very quickly that we shouldn’t have social media as one of the first tactics because with many people we presented to you could visibly see the “shutters coming down” and we would lose their attention.

Quite simply they didn’t want to hear about this ‘new fangled’ thing called social media.

As usual there were a few who broke from the pack and made it work really well for them and bit by bit the word spread that social media could be great for business.

We find ourselves 10 years down the road and with many people, the whole thing with social media has flipped.

In many cases now, prospects call and their request is for Digital Marketing and they don’t want to hear anything about other forms of, let us call it ‘Traditional Marketing’ … the way it used be in the old days!!

So, where are we and where should we be on this Digital to Traditional spectrum?

While digital is great and on the face of it, very measurable, the truth is the social media platforms are overloaded with low quality content, the algorithms have squeezed the life out of “organic” (non paid for posts) and to reach your audiences you must invest in advertising, which is increasing in cost all the time.

The resulting problem that we face is that your social media post, that you have had to resort to putting budget behind now appears as a “sponsored” or “promoted” post and has effectively just become an advert of sorts.

However, social media is very powerful as it allows you demonstrate your personality in a way that other media can’t, it allows you to interact with other users and when you are advertising, it does allow you to target very precisely, depending on the type of audience you need to reach and the social media platform that you are using.

When we talk about Traditional media I am talking about PR, print and outdoor advertising, direct marketing, events, sponsorship and I even include email marketing in this boat.

All of these methods for reaching your audience can be really effective and depending on your objective they can be powerful ways of generating brand awareness or generating leads.

And we have PR sitting in the middle of all of this activity, that art and craft of getting your organisation covered positively in the media, which can be in print or online – at this stage it really doesn’t matter which, as long as you are able to reach your target audience. PR kicks in as well, where the objective might be to try to keep an organisation out of the media or to navigate it through a time where there might be a situation, which could potentially damage their reputation and business.

Trying to cope with all of this can be very difficult, so it’s very important to know your audience and figure out how you can reach them – rarely is this a silver bullet situation with one audience and one perfect method of reaching them.

For example attracting the attention of talent could be just as important to the organisation as selling goods and services to customers.

All paid for media (advertising) comes from the organisation and our savvy consumers know this and as a result may not believe the “sales pitch”.

The sales pitch becomes much more believable when there is some form of 3rd Party verification, which could be an article by a journalist or a review by a customer.

In effect, PR can be the valuable trigger in the middle that increases the return from both advertising and other forms of promotional activity, social media and other online activity, because the customer is more convinced because of this third party verification that we referred to.

So … what’s the magic formula for success?

It’s knowing your audience, figuring out how to target them, choosing that mix of Digital and Traditional tactics to reach them effectively and then carefully monitoring the results to figure out what worked and what didn’t.

While digital marketing can provide great analytics and stats, be careful that you don’t avoid traditional activity just because it’s not as easy to measure.

As a full service agency it is our role to create fully integrated campaigns with that special mix that we believe will deliver optimum results for our clients.

By carefully planning, coordinating, weaving and executing all of these elements together, we believe clients will get an exponential return on their investment. So can you !

If we can help you let us know!

The very best of luck!….

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

PR Stunt – “Dove Real Beauty Sketches”.

September 2, 2019

Dove campaign

The company Dove is legendary when it comes to creating world renowned publicity stunts and one of my favourites has to be the short film they created in 2013 titled, “Dove Real Beauty Sketches”.

Throughout the short film , Dove investigates further into female self-loathing and hatred. It is safe to say that women in this modern era lack a great deal of self-esteem.

This self-hatred stems from the likes of social media, beauty magazines and gorgeous celebrity models. Women are forced to compare themselves to an image that is most arguably face-tuned and photo-shopped.

Dove believe that women undervalue their true selves and that women are “their own worst critics”. However, in order to battle this phenomenon of self-critique, Dove invited a number of women to describe their face to a sketch artist.

The comments made by these women in the video are extremely disheartening.

One of the most shocking remarks was from a woman who immediately stated that she had a “fat, rounded face” when asked what was her most prominent feature. This proves that most women immediately focus on the negative aspects of themselves and see it as their most prominent feature instead of a positive aspect, such as their eyes or smile.

Dove campaign

Thankfully the video includes a surprising turn of events in which each woman had to chat with a stranger after describing their appearance.

After a long chat, this new acquaintance was asked to describe the face of the women they were just talking to.

Finally, the film concludes with each woman examining two pictures of themselves, one drawn with the details they had given and the other with the details given by the stranger. What is completely unbelievable is that the two images are strikingly different.

The image described by the stranger is clearly more flattering and complimentary of the woman. This image is also a lot more similar to the women’s actual appearance. The images described by the women themselves seem to be more depressed, older and fatter than the other picture.

Dove campaign

This short film is revolutionary in my opinion as it reminds women that what we see every day in the media is not real and most importantly extremely unattainable.

I find myself looking at bloggers and celebrities on Instagram and comparing myself to them and discovering faults in my own appearance. However according to Dove I must realise that I am more beautiful than I think.

I hope every woman watches this film and gains a sense of confidence and comfort in their own skin. I also believe that the media has a moral obligation to promote real beauty and beauty diversity rather than an unrealistic photo-shopped image.

This in turn could demolish this common self-hatred among women.

Eimear

Eimear McKenna wrote this blog post when she was on a week’s work experience with Fuzion Communications, a PR, Marketing, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing Agency in Ireland with offices in Dublin and Cork

About Eimear (in her own words!)

I am 19 and currently studying English, History and Classics in UCD. This course has unleashed a true desire within me to write and elaborate stories. I am also a fully qualified associate teacher in Speech and Drama.

As a Drama teacher I meet many people every day and organise events such as the Feis and musicals/plays. It is a combination of these interests that has created an aspiration of mine to fulfill a career in PR. As a teenager I also love to follow many different influencers and fashion bloggers on Instagram, which has also added to my interest in PR as I would hopefully be working with these influencers every day

What is the cost of being “influenced”?

July 30, 2019

influencers in PR- Fuzion Communications

I unlocked my phone, and my finger (without thinking) automatically clicked onto the Instagram app.

The first thing I saw was a stunningly beautiful girl in a bikini with an amazing figure, on a picturesque beach in some dreamy location, holding a bottle of sunscreen.

How random? Well actually, it’s not. The brand of sunscreen that this beautiful influencer is holding, paid her (quite a lot of money) to post a picture of herself with their product.

We like to think that we are clever and that we don’t buy into what these influencers are selling, but we do.

We love to follow them and we do seem to value their opinion. We know that these people are paid to promote products but once they say that they “love” them, we try to resist their “influence”, but more often than not, we will purchase the latest product off the back of our favourite influencer’s recommendation.

It is a guilty pleasure of mine that I love to follow some fabulous, Irish influencers.

However, when I scroll through their Instagram feed for some outfit inspiration for an upcoming event, I can’t help but notice the #AD #SP #AF at the end of a large number of their posts.

Okay, yes, they are acknowledging that their post is an AD or Sponsored but not everybody is aware of what these hashtags mean.

The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) have enforced rules, which influencers MUST comply with when posting content which has been paid for by another brand/ company.

For a long time, influencers have been getting away with posting content and hiding the fact that they have been paid for it. With the rise of online influencing, the ASAI has been keeping a much closer eye on these posts and making sure that the “paid for” content is clearly marked and not misleading to the influencer’s followers.

It is quite clear that ITV’s, Love Island has been the most watched and talked about TV show of 2019, with over 3.4 million viewers per night, and the show takes over Twitter’s Trending and Moments sections every night.

Many of the contestants social media following has jumped from just a couple of hundreds or thousands to nearly hitting the million mark in just under eight weeks. So it is without a doubt that the Love Island contestants are set for “influencer-dom” and are guaranteed multiple sponsorship deals the moment they get out of the villa.

The ASA in the UK has partnered up with ITV to supply the contestants with a workshop and a “social media advertising” survival kit for when they leave the villa. This is to ensure that the contestants comply with all of the advertising rules and clearly mark that their posts are sponsored or an Ad.

It is quite difficult now to work with influencers and negotiate their job without having to go through their agents.

Many people wonder if it is worth paying Instagram/ Social Media Influencers such large amounts of money for one static post on their feed and three frames on their story (30 seconds)?

However, in my opinion, yes it is worth it (product dependant obviously) as long as this person is genuine about the product they are endorsing and is not there ‘just’ for the money.

Influencer’s are still able to “influence” their followers to purchase the product that they are paid to promote even with or without the #AD at the end of the post!

Abigail Shaw - Fuzion CommunicationsAbigail 

Abigail Shaw is a PR Executive with Fuzion Communications, a Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

What do you think of Graphic Design?

February 8, 2018

Dark Side of the Moon

What do people think of Graphic Design?

Excuse us for this bizarre question but it is something that popped up in a conversation that we were having during an internal meeting in Fuzion, which we didn’t really have a clear answer for.

Framing this around some questions and observations about how people behave and make decisions about things might help.

Are you more inclined to buy something if it looks the part? 

I couldn’t tell you how many times I purchased an album (that was vinyl initially) because I thought the artwork looked “cool” and I remained excited until the needle was in the groove and I actually discovered what I had bought.

Needless to say I discovered some wonderful music in that random fashion and there is more than one album that were listened to just once!

Do you trust a poor website?

When we invest no time whatsoever searching online for something that we are looking for, do we judge the service or product by the quality of the website?

Years ago it would have been the Golden Pages, followed by a phone call and then maybe a visit to the showroom or offices for an appointment.

Now the website does all of this hard work for you. Without even knowing it your potential customer has popped through the door, had a look around and left and you never even realised it!

What does a business card say about you?

When someone hands you their business card is this a functional piece of paper that carries essential contact information or does it do a much bigger job at trying to create a powerful first impression?

Now there seems to be a shift with some preferring a virtual card that can be shared via smartphones – this is fine if it is about sharing essential contact details but is there some argument about having an opportunity to showcase your brand?

Does the smart van with professional graphics give you faith in the service provider?

The painter/decorator is working next door to you and their van is parked outside – it is immaculate and there are very tasteful graphics that carry the logo and contact details. Is he a professional?

What about the shift from print to online?

There is clearly a shift from print to online and maybe with this an argument for not investing too much in design if the output is never printed.

Looking good gets you noticed, it gets you read and it creates the right impression – at least this is what we believe.

Even more, we believe the printed version will always be read more than the online version – what do you think?

So….these were some of the ramblings from our conversation about Graphic Design.

We would love to know what you think – can we ask you to take a quick survey that we have created around the topic by clicking here.

Thank you…

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

A New Way To Call To Action

November 20, 2017

A call to action is an instruction to your audience that is designed to provoke a response – ‘visit our website’, ‘follow us on Facebook’ etc.

But do you need to call your audience into action?

I came across this advert from Flavahans as I waited at the bus stop recently.

It is simple with a small bit of humour, but have you noticed anything missing? There is no website, no social media reference and no ‘buy now’, not even a hashtag!

There is a product, a tagline and minimal information.

I can imagine the meeting that occurred when the designer or marketer presented this to their managers.

Where’s the website?

You have to tell them to follow something, how will they know what to do?

We need to tell them everything about the product” – but do you?

I think it is brilliant!!

We already know every company has a digital presence and if we want to find them we will type their name in the search bar.

So why take up space?

Why tell people what to do?

People hate being told what to do – so let them make up their own minds.

This is a brave move, and one that goes against the grain – but it makes so much sense.

We live in a digital world, we know how to find information but I do not know about your product.

Tell me what I need to know, not what I already know.

Well played, Flavahans

Paul Wade - Fuzion Graphic DesignPaul Wade

Paul Wade is part of the Graphic Design team at Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

‘Great Taste’ and all the other things that flavour what we eat or drink

August 3, 2017

The Great Taste awards, described as the ‘Oscars’ of the food world are organised by the Guild of Fine Food.

They are the acknowledged benchmark for fine food and drink, and when a consumer sees the Great Taste logo on an item it is a sign that they will be buying a great tasting product.

This year (2017) Food and drink producers entered 12,300 products with 4,347 earning 3, 2 and 1 star ratings of which 444 originated from Ireland.

Overall just 165 products earned a 3 Star rating and 1,011 a 2 star rating with Irish products well represented in both of these categories.

PatWhelan, james Whelan Butchers - Great Taste Awards

The Golden Forks (the big winners) will be announced at a celebration dinner at the International Park Lane Hotel, London on the 4 September.

Great Taste, values taste above all else, with no regard for branding or packaging. Whether it is gin, biscuits, sausages or coffee being judged, all products are removed from their packaging, wrapper, jar, box or bottle before being tasted. Furthermore the judges have no idea the price that these products normally retail at.

It’s all about the taste!

The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a 1, 2, or 3 star award.

As you can imagine the judging panel is very illustrious and this year it included; chef, food writer and author, Gill Meller, MasterChef judge and restaurant critic, Charles Campion, author and Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen chef, Zoe Adjonyoh, baker, Tom Herbert, and food writer and baking columnist, Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, and Harvey Nichols.

These esteemed palates have together tasted and re-judged the 3-star winners and will finally agree on the 2017 Top 50 Foods, which will be announced in August, with the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the Great Taste 2017 Supreme Champion unveiled on the 4th September.

Just Taste!

Judging the food and drink products on their taste seems very fair and as you would expect – the packaging and branding is removed so that the judges are able to experience the products in their pure, true state, without any interference or bias.

Sunnes Stores - Sticky Toffee Pudding

When do we ever, truly taste anything?

The minute that award winning cake goes into a wrapper, it changes the taste for the consumer.

  • Once we see the packaging, the colours, the type of paper and the visuals, it changes the taste.
  • Once we see the brand name, it changes the taste.
  • Once we read where the product is made and we see the ingredients, it changes the taste.
  • Once the product is placed in a retail outlet, it changes the taste.
  • Once we see where it is placed in the store, it changes the taste.
  • Once we see some POS and the product displayed on a promotional stand, it changes the taste.
  • Once a price is put on the product, it changes the taste.
  • When the product is on special offer, it changes the taste.
  • When a well dressed sampling person invites you to taste a thumbnail of the product, it changes the taste.
  • When we see that the brand is endorsed by a well known personality, it changes the taste.
  • When we see adverts for the product in a newspaper, it changes the taste.
  • When we see adverts for the product in a glossy magazine, it changes the taste
  • When a respected food journalist tells you the product is superb, it changes the taste.
  • When we open the pack at home and we are in a great mood, it changes the taste.

Today’s consumer is influenced by everything they see, hear and taste. We are also influenced by a lifetime of experiences, good and bad, by our peers and we all carry with us a lorry load of biases.

With great products our job and the job of everyone else in the chain that brings the product to the consumer, is to make sure that person can actually ‘taste’ the product.

The Great Taste Awards and that big round logo that you will see on products will also help!

Congratulations to two of our clients, James Whelan Butchers and Simply Better by Dunnes Stores who scooped up Great Taste Awards, once again this year.

James Whelan Butchers are Great Taste 3-star winners with their Pork Lard, a natural and clear lard made from slowly rendered back fat, with a “fabulous long lasting and clean pork flavour” – it’s all about taste!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Branding  services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Advertisements that pull at your heartstrings – are they only for Christmas?

May 18, 2017

McDonald's

This morning, like most other mornings people are continuing to find things to give out about.

I’m very much about voicing your opinion when necessary, but sometimes I feel it can all be a tad dramatic! This time one of the world’s favourite fast food joints, McDonald’s was under attack for their newest advertisement, which is now tactlessly titled the “McDonald’s Dead Dad Advert”, making it easier to find online for those interested.

What is the advert about?

The advert shows a boy who was clearly very young when his dad passed away and is intrigued to know more about him – what he was like, what sports he played etc.

His questions are his way of finding out how similar they might have been.

However, his mother depicts a person that he is nearly nothing alike. The boy seems disappointed but not upset at his findings but then just as he sits to enjoy his Fillet ’O’ Fish meal his mum tells him that what he has ordered was his dad’s favourite too and that he always got the tartare sauce on his chin.

The camera then cuts to the boy with tartare sauce on his chin, his mum smiling and looking out the window fondly remembering that moment she shared with her husband.

Watch advert here:

The commotion:

I’m not going to go into much detail on what people are saying about the advert, it’s pretty 50/50 but you can read up on this online for yourself. However, there were enough complaints for the advert to be banned.

According to The Journal.ieMcDonald’s said “t had not meant to upset anyone, but “wanted to highlight the role McDonald’s has played in our customers’ everyday lives — both in good and difficult times.”

McDonald’s said today it was withdrawing the ad “completely and permanently” and would “review our creative process to ensure this situation never occurs again.”

You can read the full article by clicking here:

My view:

So this brings me to my point, would this be more acceptable at Christmas time?

Let’s not forget EDEKA the German supermarket Christmas advert which shows a grandfather faking his own death which was also controversial but in a weird way somewhat humorous OR Lidl’s Christmas advert that showed a family celebrating the special time of the year but missing their Grandmother at the table.

You can view these videos by clicking on the links below:

The German EDEKA advert and the Lidl advert.

Both adverts show bereavement in a different way as does the McDonalds advertisement but they are all asking us to remember our loved ones that can’t be here with us anymore.

I personally think that the complaints are a complete overreaction. It was a well thought out advertisement showing a very personal side to what some families go through every day. It was upbeat, not at all morbid and I did not get the impressions that they were trying to say that McDonald’s fixes everything. I felt that they were showing how the brand is very much a part of nearly every family.

The boy’s newly discovered likeness to his father is a fond memory that his mother has, and is now something they can both share together – this connection could make their relationship as mother and son stronger.

The trip to McDonald’s could be one of many and a way for them to hang onto a shared memory – what is so bad about that?!

Not to get all morbid, but death becomes a part of everyone’s life at some stage and while right now you don’t need to experience it directly, if an advertisement can shine a light on the part of death that shows a family connection, nostalgia and shared memories then I’m all for it.

Of course, the ironic thing about it all is that McDonald’s as a brand is still grabbing the media and public’s attention.

So whether you like the ad or not they’ve created awareness for their brand while promoting a meal that probably isn’t on their most ordered list! It might not be how they wanted to receive this attention but it is still publicity at the end of the day!

Do you think McDonald’s were right to shut down their advert?

Arlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications in our Dublin office. Fuzion provide Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Social Media Management services from our office in Dublin and Cork.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing”

August 9, 2016

Make it count - Nike

When researching for inspiration for this blog post, I came across a multitude of generic results such as ‘how to keep your morning coffee warmer than usual’ and ‘how to deal with a quarter/mid life crisis’. However, throughout my travels on the world wide web, I came across an extremely intriguing article about Nike’s newest campaign #MakeItCount.  

Helen Keller, the famous deaf and blind author and political activist once argued that “life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

Taking this quote on board when planning their most recent campaign, NIKE decided to put their own spin on her wise words. Last month the renowned sports brand dared colleagues, Casey Neistat and Max Joseph to create a campaign promoting their newest product, the Nike Fuel Brand using the #MakeItCount mantra.

However, with an unexpected change in plan, Neistat and Joseph decided to ‘take the money and run’. Literally.

Instead of commissioning a Hollwoodesque, high-tech visual media advertising campaign, the dynamic duo combined with a pair of runners and a selfie stick, threw caution to the wind and created a video montage of them blowing their budget and #MakingItCount. Throughout the video we see the pair travel the world over the duration of 10 days. From America to Zambia, the two experience encounters that you couldn’t imagine in your wildest dreams.

For fear of sounding like a life coach or uncomfortably inquisitive psychoanalyst, I will stay away from any condemning statements such as, “this campaign really made me sit up and think” and wonder “how am I going to #MakeItCount?

Even so, following the video I could not shake the pestering notion of the campaign.

With thoughts of running marathons and travelling the world over 10 days, the prospect seemed like a very daunting prospect altogether. However, I soon realised that being an avid participant in life, rather than just an observer is just as important in contributing to the cause.  

Now while I would never condone running off with a monumental production budget and travelling the world to fulfill the inspiring mantra, I am still a firm believer in #MakingItCount each and everyday, whatever I do.

What are you doing?

#MakeItCount

Isabel 

Isabel Oliver is a PR intern in the Fuzion PR Dublin office

Driving Change and clever campaigns

April 29, 2015

audi drivers

Every day we see brands rolling out new campaigns, launching a new initiative, promoting something.

Social media is awash with hashtags and promoted posts and PR photocalls feature in the papers. It is part and parcel of most brand communications and while largely necessary, often not very imaginative.

A lot of the communication can be easily classified as ‘thinking inside the box’ and in fairness, anyone would agree that a brand talking about how great their product is, isn’t exactly ground breaking.

But, every now and again, a brand does something really smartThey come up with a concept that is truly ‘outside the box’ and when they do, it can have a fantastic impact and be pretty powerful.

Audi launched a new campaign and, pardon the pun, it is really about driving change. Using the hashtag #womendrivers Audi, have taken the age-old joke of women’s drivers and flipped it on its head.

From a post on the Audi twitter page, with a car parked up a tree and the hashtag #womendrivers, you follow the link and expect to be directed to some more hilarious meme’s of women who’s driving/parking/reversing/whatever-you’re-having-yourself skills need some serious improvement.

What you find is very different. Its women drivers alright, but not as we know it.

The video does a better job of illustrating the impact of the campaign far better than I can, but for me, this move by Audi is a great example of how you can take a simple concept and harness your ‘brand power’ to make something that is not only smart and witty, but different.

That’s key if you want to stand out.

In a crowded market, being brave in the delivery of your brand messaging is where you will rise or fall. #womendrivers has done a better job of showing me how innovative and forward-thinking Audi are than any amount of expensive advertising or carefully chosen press release wording.

Nicely played Audi. And judging by some of the reaction online, there is a lot of women in Ireland today who are proud to be women drivers!

fuzion pr pic1Emily Hughes

Emily Hughes is a PR Account Manager in the Fuzion Dublin office

Praying Media Mantis

March 24, 2015

Praying Mantis

I was trying to figure out what a visitor from Mars would make of the situation.

A long moving tube squashed with human beings, all of whom were striking the same pose,  the only difference being some were on their feet and some were seated.

Seated folk had their necks bent and focussed –  as if praying  – on a small rectangular shape, with wires plugged into their ears. Standing folk echoed the same pose, neck bent, face fully focussed on the same rectangular shape but with one hand.

One could easily assume this was a religious cult and perhaps the leader was giving the morning gospel to all members? Such intense focus and concentration on this small rectangular shape. Passengers could be jostled and pushed but still, they remained intensely silent and incredibly focussed.

Perception is not always reality..

I realised the pose reminded me of a Praying Mantis and yet the folk were regular Luas passengers on their morning commute. As it is early in the working day, brains and minds are clear – yet hungry to absorb, either with eyes or ears. From time to time I understood that passengers were listening to the same channel, as they smiled in time with each other.

Thought for the day..

Morning commuters are edgier and ready to absorb more than at any other time of the day. Think about it and communicate early with your audience – time to prey on your praying media mantis!

Let us go in peace..

Aisling White - FuzionAisling White 

Aisling White is an Account Director with Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design based in our office in Dublin, Ireland

 

 


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