Early adapters not to be sneezed at

The media agency Mindshare Ireland is investing in responsive techniques, citing UK tissue sales success


“Superior performance” read the advertisement for Dove Men that appeared in print on Monday below The Irish Times’ coverage of Ireland’s Six Nations rugby victory. “Ireland P1 W1,” it added, using the sports results shorthand for “played one, won one”.

Mindshare Ireland, the media buying agency that is planning the campaign for Dove Men, is a fan of adaptive marketing, or the varying of messages according to shifts in audiences or circumstances. The firm has invested in making itself adaptive-friendly “so that we constantly push for better and more profitable campaigns” , it says.

Prepreparing different versions of an ad for different outcomes of an event is not a new phenomenon, but demand for responsiveness in creative campaigns is now being driven by the growing importance of digital marketing and the proliferation of available data.

US cookie maker Oreo hit on a simple but canny winner during the 2013 Super Bowl by keeping a team of copywriters on standby. When the stadium had a blackout, they swiftly came up with the tagline “You can still dunk in the dark” for a social-media advertisement.

A more sophisticated example comes courtesy of the Kleenex team in Mindshare London, which won gold at the Cannes Lions awards last year for collating flu data from Google and the NHS to locate flu outbreaks in the UK in real time. Once the agency worked out where the virus was about to hit, it updated its media plan and moved its investment to those locations, claiming that an extra 500,000 boxes of Kleenex tissues were sold as a result.

But how would Dove Men’s rugby-themed advertisement have read, had the Irish team not beaten Scotland in their opening match? “With some games still to play, [we] don’t want to give the client’s creative away!” the agency told Teleprinter. Not that it actually wants Ireland to lose or draw any of its remaining matches, of course.