Thursday, 29 January 2009

Cadbury's Dairy Milk Dancing Eyebrows Advertisement- Watch this go viral!

I spotted the hilarious new Cadbury's Dairy Milk ad on TV there which features children engaging in bizarre facial movements at a photographer's. The ad debuted last Friday on Channel 4 after Celebrity Big Brother.

Phil Rumbol, marketing director for Cadbury's said:

"Eyebrows marks our third original production following Gorilla and Airport Trucks and we're confident it will prove just as popular and raise as many smiles- but lots more eyebrows.

"Over at A Glass and a Half Full Productions we noticed the wriggly potential of eyebrows and thought we would have a bit of fun with them. Like the other productions, Eyebrows is all about losing yourself and embracing that moment of joy -except in this case there's a healthy dose of mischief mixed in too. After all, everybody remembers pulling a silly face or getting up to no good as a child when backs were turned."

He might say it's about "about losing yourself and embracing that moment of joy" but I'd say it's more about capitalising on the power of the internet. Currently the ad has 55,036 views on YouTube, but watch as the effectiveness of the vast sums of money the company has no doubt forked out on TV commercial space is outpaced by its popularity on the net. In a week's time, the number of views on YouTube will have snowballed.

The advent of new media channels such as blogs, Facebook and YouTube has meant that clever and innovative video clips can spread at an exponential pace across the net as people share them via social networking platforms. After the initial outlay on making such clips (which can often cost next to nothing) entertaining videos often take on a life of their own, creating excellent returns for the companies or individuals involved.

However, for businesses to benefit from these new opportunities, it's not good enough just to throw together a standard TV ad- there's no reason for to anyone spread that around the net without getting paid. The clip has to have an intrinsic entertainment value of its own to motivate people to freely recommend it to their friends. The fact that branding such as 'Cadbury's' is stuck on it provides the benefit for the creator.

As consumers increasingly gather their information and communicate via the web, there is an amazing opportunity for companies who are smart and creative enough to produce advertisements that create a buzz and engage the support of ordinary web users at virtually zero cost. The added fact that the distribution of these ads is not paid for, but is done purely on a voluntary basis by social network users, adds extra credibility to the clips and increases the likelihood that they'll be watched by those who happen upon them.

Nice one Cadbury's.

PS The company's called 'Cadbury' now, but like Marathon and Opal Fruits, I don't agree with pointless rebranding and hence refuse to recognise such folly.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The appointment of Paul Stephenson- There goes my tenner!

The BBC is reporting that Paul Stephenson is to be appointed as the next Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. The choice was between him and PSNI chief Hugh Orde. There had been suggestions that Stephenson would be rejected due to his associations with the Ian Blair reign, which included the terrible killing of Jean Charles de Menezes. However, it now seems that this didn't matter and he'll get the top job.

The news comes as a particular disappointment to myself. I'd put £10 on Orde to get the job months ago at generous odds of 8/1- this was before he was considered a serious contender. It seems that I wasn't far off the mark, but as they say 'a miss is as good as a mile', the result being that Paddy Power's bank account is now a tenner heavier thanks to my stake.

Oh well. I'll just have to think of some other way to get rich...

Tuesday, 27 January 2009


It's not often that political pugilists are reduced to tears, but that's what happened on Saturday when victims of serious miscarriages of justice addressed a fringe event at the SDLP Conference in Armagh.

The audience at the discussion heard from Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four, Paddy Hill of the Birmingham Six, Briege Quinn, Raymond McCord and Bríd Boyle, a relative of a Ballymurphy Massacre victim.

You hear about these cases- people who were wrongly convicted or haven't seen convictions take place when they should have- and it does evoke a sense of sympathy. However, it isn't until you look into the eyes of people whose lives have been irrevocably destroyed due to the justice system not having served them as it should have that you realise just what a profound effect their experiences have had on them. Listening to their words, it's hard to comprehend how people could suffer so much.

Frankly, I have no idea how the speakers at the SDLP event on Saturday can summon up the strength to carry on, never mind talk about their experiences. I suppose their respective quests for justice drive them on- the Quinns still seek to have the killers of their son brought before the courts and Paddy Hill and Gerry Conlon are working to help innocent people after they've been released from prison through the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation (MOJO) charity.

You think you have problems. Then you meet these people. They deserve nothing but respect and support and I was honoured to have been able to listen to them tell their stories.

Friday, 23 January 2009

37th SDLP Conference

This evening sees the start of the 37th SDLP Conference in Armagh. The three-day event has been accompanied by a new party political broadcast which is now available on YouTube.

Meanwhile, some people appear to think that the party has dropped ideas of merging with Fianna Fáil in favour of joining with the Ulster Unionists, with this political information site referring to the SDLP as the 'Social Democratic & Unionist Party of Northern Ireland'.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Irish Blog Awards Nominations

A big thank you to everyone who nominated Northern Notes for an Irish Blog Award. The site has been nominated for the Best Political Blog, Best News/ Current Affairs Blog and Best Newcomer.

I had intended to attend the awards bash down in Cork, but will unfortunately be otherwise engaged.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Emerging from my bunker

Apologies for having gone very quiet of late- I've been stuck in bed after finally succumbing to the dreaded 'flu that is currently irritating all and sundry. I'm starting to feel a bit better now, so hopefully I can get the old blogging show on the road again over the next few days.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

That Mouse-Click could destroy the Earth! (Or perhaps not...)

The Guardian reports that debate has been raging on the net over claims that the amount of carbon emitted as a result of two Google searches is almost equivilent to the quantity released by boiling a kettle. According to research published by US physicist Alex Wissner-Gross, a Google search produces about 7g of CO2.

However, Google has fought back, arguing that "in fact, in the time it takes to do a Google search, your own personal computer will use more energy than Google uses to answer your query."

Ultimately, is there anything that we can do that doesn't create carbon emissions? As the Guardian notes, one commentator says that breathing generates about 6g of Carbon every 10 minutes. I suppose the key is to avoid unnecessary carbon emission. It's arguable whether Google searches falls into this category, but presumably taking the car on a five-minute journey when it's almost as handy to walk would fit the bill.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Packie Bonner for Europe?

Rumours are once again circulating that former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Packie Bonner could be selected to run for Fianna Fáil in the Ireland North-West constituency in June's European elections.

This isn't the first time that the former international star has been linked with the role. Prior to the 2004 election, the Western People newspaper reported the same rumour. Packie's cousin Enda is currently a councillor in Donegal.

Meanwhile, there's still no word of who'll be running for the DUP in the north. So far, only Slugger O'Toole Councillor of the Year Deirdre Nelson has been nominated. I suggested previously that someone like Diane Dodds could be a potential candidate, but as yet the party is remaining tight-lipped. It remains to be seen...

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Dell Disaster

Last month I suggested that Dell could end production at its manufacturing facility in Limerick in the New Year. This morning the rumour became reality, with the announcement by the global computer giant that it is cutting its workforce at the plant by 1,900 over the next year. Currently 3,000 people are employed at the site.

Many staff at the facility, who just last autumn raised over €44,000 for local community charities in Limerick, will now be in need of financial support themselves as they face the dole queue.

Apparently Dell is planning to move production of computers to Poland and third-party manufacturers over the next 12 months.

According to RTÉ, the workers employed at Limerick were called to meetings beginning at 9 o’clock this morning. The national broadcaster estimates that 10,000 jobs in sub-supply companies rely on Dell business and a large-scale withdrawal will affect jobs in the wider industrial community in the area.

The Teleportation of Bessbrook

According to Google Maps, Bessbrook in Co. Armagh is a suburb of Crumlin, Co. Antrim.

Meanwhile, if you type 'Newry, Ireland' into Google Earth, it zooms in to some place in the back end of nowhere in County Wicklow, rather than the glorious Co. Down city we all know and love.

Next they'll be telling us that the Shankill Road has a junction with the Square in Crossmaglen...

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Bizarre Behaviour

It seems that since he appeared in Billy Elliot as an energetic youngster with a penchant for snazzy steps, Jamie Bell has been attending classes at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Luvviness (from 1m 50s onwards). Oo-er.