Digital ad firm to provide free work space


3 Apr 2008

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Budding digital media creatives will be offered free space to work when new advertising agency Eighty:twenty relocates to alternative premises in Dublin 12, siliconrepublic.com has learned.

Eighty:twenty was until recently a division of advertising agency Pareto 3D. However, today it launched as a separate entity specialising in digital media advertising.

Increased demand from Irish companies for digital marketing services prompted the upscaling of the digital division, explained David Connor, strategic planning director, Eighty:twenty, who feels now is the right time to get a foothold in this burgeoning market.

Eighty:twenty’s eight staff will move to premises in a recently acquired 4,000sq ft warehouse in Dublin in the coming months. Free space will be offered to talented digital media experts in the completed €1m premises, said Connor.

“It’s not easy to get good digital talent in Ireland and we’re looking to harness what’s here. This is one way of doing that. It will give them a space to work out of and a chance to work with other digital media professionals.

“It will give them and us a chance to work together as well: they could end up freelancing for us or bouncing ideas off our creative team. It’s a collaborative working idea that’s a bit different and hasn’t really been done before in Ireland in this manner.”

Connor said collaborative working of this nature will be to the fore in the future digital media landscape.

“The whole idea of collaboration is something we’re trying to educate people about in the Irish market. There’s so much fragmentation with the different media that I don’t think it’s possible for one single company to be an expert in everything. I don’t want, for example, to be employing a 3D renderer in the office for a full working week and trying to churn out activity for them just to fulfil their workload.”

Irish companies are ringfencing more and more of their marketing budgets for digital advertising. How much a company should allocate for digital depends on the market it operates in and its potential customers, said Connor.

“I recently read that one of the biggest FMCG [fast moving consumer goods] brands in the UK is only putting about 1pc of its advertising budget into digital, whereas the brands we’re working with over here are switching a lot of money out of traditional advertising and putting it into digital.

“The reality is that digital will become above-the-line supported as opposed to above-the-line driven.”

Eighty:twenty will focus on a variety of digital advertising areas, something Connor refers to as a “technology-neutral” approach.

“Most of the businesses out there are focused on the online market but we’re looking further afield. We’re taking into account online but also looking at mobile, interactive experience, which covers everything from retail touchscreen advertising to interactive billboards and IPTV – anywhere you can have an interactive engagement with audiences.”

By Niall Byrne