Notification nightmare

Another notification on Facebook. Another nightclub. Another promotion.

People are starting to ignore the inevitable nightclub invites on Facebook. DCU student, Ailbhe O’Meara doesn’t take much notice of the invites anymore because “the news feed is full of spam and all the invites get annoying after a while”.

The technique of social media promotion is not as effective as it once was, but there are still clear advantages of nightclubs promoting themselves on social media. It is widespread free advertising.  The links for cheaplist and guestlist are readily available, enticing customers.

It is an excellent and efficient way to promote a new nightclub or event, and to advertise drink promotions.  On the surface it seems like a great way of getting publicity but there are also many underlying problems with it.

Using social media as a promotion method leads to massive crowds arriving. The long wait in the queue and missing the free list in are frequent complaints of students, but more serious problems can arise- as seen recently with the “Coppers Crush” incident. The promotion had been carried out on Facebook, offering entry to over 18’s to what is usually an over 20’s night according to their website. The event was promoted as “Messy Mondays”. Around 1,500 people were queuing for the nightclub Copper Face Jacks when the crowd surged forward, leaving seven people injured.

Alcohol Action Ireland said their promotion showed clearly the type of people the club was trying to attract and “the type of drinking behaviour those attending were being enticed to engage in”.  The social media promotion indirectly had an undesirable effect on business for the nightclub as Messy Mondays was moved to Dandelion Nightclub following the incident at Coppers.

Exploitative campaigns show how social media promoters can take things too far. Midnight Promotions have sparked controversy in the past with their social media campaigns. In 2011 they ran a promotion on Facebook for the nightclub TramCo in Rathmines which stated “you give us your underwear… we give you a free drink!!!”

The promotion received many objections, including from Rathmines Gardaí and The Rape Crisis Centre. TramCo were told by the District Court they could only keep their late license if the event wasn’t run again and the promotion was cancelled.

Another Facebook promotion run by Midnight Promotions was This Is Thursday- T.I.T. If women sent in pictures of their cleavage to be rated on the Facebook page they received a free pass into Play Nightclub. The page was quickly taken down as people began to react to this marketing tactic.

With 70 per cent of Irish users using Facebook daily, it really is an ideal platform for promotion. The negative aspects such as offensive social media campaigns and potential dangers of promoting through social media, such as Facebook, must also be critiqued. Club invites and event pages are being ignored by the majority of students so nightclubs must come up with some fresh and creative ideas to keep interest piqued.

Roisin Nestor

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