Archive: June 2014

Future Creatives Excel in PANI Education Programme

24 June 2014

Now in its sixth year, the Publicity Association for Northern Ireland (PANI)’s Education Programme, which supports future creatives and marketers within the advertising and publicity industry, celebrated another successful student-industry collaboration this month in its search for live campaign ideas for leading charity Age NI. Six advertising agencies from PANI including Ardmore, ASG, AV Browne, Mammoth, RLA and Walkers teamed up with students from the University of Ulster’s Communications Advertising and Marketing (CAM) course and the Graphic Design & Illustration course to create a commercial pitch to increase awareness of Age NI and specifically, to increase calls to the charity’s helpline number.

This year’s winning team was a group of students including Lucia Cerda, Rebecca Russell, Elliot Lyness and Marleta Bailie, who were mentored by agency RLA, and who will see their ‘Age is Just a Number’ campaign come to life on Clear Channel 48 sheet billboards around Belfast at the end of August.

Siobhan Casey, Marketing Director at Age NI, said: “We were delighted with the standard of work produced by the students and how insightful their research was into issues affecting people in later life. It was great to see the relationships they developed with clients when they visited one of our Age NI day centres.  It was very clear that they had developed a deep understanding of the needs of older people and the role of Age NI before producing the final work. We’re also very grateful to the agencies for their time in mentoring the students. And of course to Clear Channel and other media owners, who supply media space free of charge to support this programme – and our campaign.”

Chair of PANI Cathy Martin, who judged the entries with Siobhan, added: “I loved the selection of straplines, photography and deep conceptual links as well as the quirky below-the-line advertising and marketing ideas that the teams came up with. It was a challenging brief for students, however I was really pleased to see that the teams went well beyond their academic capabilities to show some genuine commercial and creative flair which touched exactly upon the brief.  I’m looking forward to seeing the winning campaign going live across billboards later this year and of course hoping that it will meet the objectives in increasing calls to the Age NI Advice Service.”

Speaking about the judging process, freelance copywriter Conor Kelly said, “There was a remarkable unanimity among the panel.  Usually there is a lot more difference in opinion, but in this case the winning team not only produced what we all agreed was the best concept, it was clearly also the best presented.  They worked very well together, understood exactly what they had to do, and they delivered – just like a professional agency should do.  Very impressive stuff.”

Jackie Cullen, Creative Director from RLA Ireland, who mentored the winning team, said: “The PANI workshops are a great way for students to take a step into the future, have a look around at life inside an agency and see if they like it. Getting to work on a live brief gives them a true insight into the various roles they could work in when graduating and they also get to make valuable contacts in the industry. The mentoring agencies also get to meet the future stars of the marketing industry and many of them go on to hire students from the workshops. So everyone wins.”

Liam McComish,Course Director, from the University of Ulster School of Art, said: “Each year our University of Ulster CAM and Graphic Design & Illustration students love to get involved with the PANI Education Programme, it’s a wonderful opportunity for them to see how it all is put together in a non-academic, real and live commercial situation. They come back with great ideas, excellent contacts, new- found skills, and a drive to making a career in the advertising and publicity industry. We’re very grateful to PANI for facilitating such a fantastic opportunity to work on a live project each and every year.”

Brushes at the Ready as the Shaz Awards Return for Fifth Year this Weekend

17 June 2014

Northern Ireland’s leading make up industry awards are back this summer for the fifth consecutive year.  The Shaz Awards, founded by Belfast woman Ciara Daly who has been working in the make-up industry for over a decade, will return to AM:PM’s Cabaret Supper Club this June with two new categories. 

Ciara’s Lisburn Road based make up academy is one of Ireland’s most sought after training facilities, offering courses for beginners to the more experienced artists; and it has created and nurtured some of Ireland’s freshest creative talent. The Ciara Daly range of brushes and make up products are also sold worldwide but these awards celebrate the talent closer to home.

Ciara said, “I’m beyond pleased that the Shaz Awards are back for the fifth year in a row.   Each year I’m blown away by our students’ skills and talent, but also by their inspirational stories and the work of other artists out there, because not all categories are limited to our own students and former students.”

She continued, “I think it’s great to see so much talent coming through, and with so many blockbuster films and TV series being filmed here in Northern Ireland, there is a real opportunity for make-up artists to gain fabulous experience and hone their craft.”

The awards are named after Ciara’s mother Sharon, affectionately known as Shaz, who passed away suddenly in 2006. They aim to celebrate and encourage creative talent within the burgeoning make up industry by celebrating excellence and creativity.  Additionally, the awards support ‘Feeding Dreams’ charity, which is a charity founded by former student and Ciara’s long term close friend Arlene Gormley who uprooted from Belfast to help build schools for disadvantaged children in Cambodia. Feeding Dreams provides free education to four hundred children and young adults.

Ciara said: “I have been inspired over the years by so many of my students who have gone through difficult times and instead of letting it get the better of them, they’ve put their energy into learning a new skill in make up artistry and turning it into a real positive.  That’s why I created the Phoenix Award in the first year and this usually goes to the artist who has inspired me the most by rising from the ashes so to speak.” 

She continued “Although the awards are predominantly considered to be a celebration of those working in make up, they’re also designed to celebrate other creative talents aligned with the industry.   That’s why I’ve ensured to include awards for photographer of the year, hairdresser of the year and model of the year who make up artists obviously work very closely with.  I wanted it to be a celebration of all talents within this exciting and creative industry.”

The judges for the awards will include fellow make-up artist DJ Griffin, artistic director of Toni and Guy Ireland Ciaran Green, photographer Ross McKelvey and former Miss Northern Ireland Tiffany Brien.  There will be ten categories which are Student of the Year, Photoshoot of the Year, Face of Ciara Daly, Photographer of the Year, Hairdresser of the Year, Outstanding Team Member, Retailer of the Year, Model of the Year, a Creative Make Up Award and Ciara’s personal favourite, the Phoenix Award.

The awards will take place on Sunday 22nd June at AM:PM’s Cabaret Supper Club at 8pm.  Tickets to the awards are available now from and are priced at £20 which will include a bottle of Peroni on arrival, live entertainment and a goodie bag.

CMPR Model Ashleigh Coyle enters the Big Brother House

09 June 2014
Image by Catherine MacKenzie

Irish model and former Miss Ireland finalist Ashleigh  Coyle (18) from Derry tonight entered the Big Brother house along with fifteen other housemates from across the UK. The popular model has already graced several catwalks and fronted many advertising campaigns across Ireland, but this experience will see her face and model figure beamed across the nation as she enjoys being part of the fifteenth series of the TV phenomenon.

Ashleigh, who lives at home with her mother Mary, was excited before leaving for London and looking forward to what the producers at Endemol’s iconic TV show had in store.

Her mother Mary said: "I've always been so proud and supportive of everything Ashleigh does - from school work to modelling and recently in organising the local heats for Miss Ireland. As a mum, of course I am concerned that she’ll be ok, because she is a young girl, but she is principled and has a very wise head on her shoulders. I'll certainly miss having her around this summer but I suppose with her on our screens every night - for as long as she lasts in the house - then it won't be quite so bad!"

Ashleigh’s agent Cathy Martin, who represents her along with several other high profile Irish models at CMPR added:

“I think Ashleigh is the youngest of the housemates this year and I am hoping some of the bigger personalities will look after her. Mind you, she is quietly confident for her age and I can’t see her being easily manipulated or fazed by it all. I think she’ll be a very capable housemate. She’s always been so easy to work with, and many people in the industry here in Ireland just love the versatility and commerciality of her face, as well as her affability, and I have no doubt her fun and friendly nature will come out on TV.”

Her model friends and colleagues are excited for her and have already shown support across social media by hashtagging #teamashleigh. Her best friends include Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model runner up Sarah Kennedy, who will no doubt have given her some advice on being in front of the reality TV lenses. Former Miss Ireland Rebecca Maguire, who has been friends with Ashleigh since they started modelling together a few years ago said: There are some really big personalities in there, which might seem daunting to deal with at first, but anyone who knows Ashleigh really loves her, so I hope her true personality shines through.”

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