Through the line advertising agency Ireland/Davenport have bolstered their offering with a new content division aptly named VIRUS. Co-developed with Nevo Hadas of &Innovation and staffed with industry stalwart, the division will add significantly to the agency’s offering mix.
Nevo Hadas is an early pioneer of the South African Web Industry who has helped build international Award winning agencies, including Tool Communications as digital director in the late 90s and more recently Gloo, where he was a non-executive director for 3 years. His experience also includes relaunching the MSN brand, during his tenure as head of Kagiso Media’s digital division.
Ireland/Davenport has already had spectacular success with online campaigns. Among these, three digital campaigns that have gone truly viral, with two having achieved over one million online hits and a third exceeding 750 000. This accomplishment proves the agency’s ability to not only tell a good story, but create online content that has the emotional pull to go viral.
“If I compare 1996 to now, there has been very little shift in thinking by digital agencies and clients”, says Nevo. “ when we started, I was told the internet was a fad by large brands and we were working pretty much in the dark. They wanted hits, even once page views and users were available as stats because there was limited understanding of what the metrics meant. There is much better feedback now and we can build audiences more quickly, but most digital agencies still want to sell their clients empty ‘page likes’ or ‘digital trinkets’ rather than truly try and make a difference in their business. We aim to do something different, we don’t want to build competition micro-sites that cost a fortune and do little of benefit, but rather focus on telling powerful stories that take advantage of the internet’s ability to spread content.”
With the launch of VIRUS, Ireland-Davenport is becoming an ever-more integrated agency. John Davenport says: “We understand clients and brands intrinsically, so we have the advantage of that understanding. We also understand the production qualities and craft needed to make great communication. While there is no recipe for making something go ‘viral’, you know when you have a hit because of how it connects with the audience. Then it’s a question of understanding the online viral phenomenon and how to make sure its seeded properly for maximum growth. VIRUS combines the science of digital technology with the magic of creative content at its core.”
It is a well- known fact that demand for video advertising is growing. Furthermore, the latest figures show that in South Africa, YouTube has become the second largest social platform after Facebook with 7,2m monthly active users and the largest “TV station” by audience. This figure represents growth of 53% when compared to the same period in 2013. Research conducted and presented at the recent Social SA conference showed that among big brands, 82% were considering YouTube as part of their marketing mix. This figure is up from 64% a year ago. Both Facebook and Twitter have shown sustained user growth over the past 12 months, reflecting the importance of social media platforms and their ability to drive online video views.
“When one considers the volume of online views that video is generating, it is clear that the “TV Commercial” is becoming more critical, albeit on a different platform and with additional interactivity. With this in mind, you cannot create online content from a ‘science-first’ approach. Great storytelling is at the heart of effective visual communication and the requirement for this is increased in the online world. This is the context within which successful creative agencies are able to provide an effective and measurable solution.” concludes Davenport.
For more information on Virus and how Ireland/Davenport can provide your brand with effective online solutions, contact (011) 243.1300