The Spark Voice: Meet Derv

As we’re a people focused agency, we’re showing insight on our very own Human Truths and putting a spotlight on our Sparkies!

Here’s our chat with our Research & Insights Manager, Derv!

Hey! Let’s start with an easy one… what’s your name?

Dearbhla O’Dwyer. I tell people that the spelling of my name is like its made from the last few letters you’re left with in Scrabble, but it’s an Irish name. Everyone calls me Derv, it’s also easier for our international clients to pronounce.


And what do you do here at Spark?

Research & Insights Manager: I have an amazing job! As well as being part of Spark’s research team, I work with our wonderful clients and stellar Sparkies to coordinate projects and keep us all on track – kind of like being the Captain of a football team working to a winning game plan.


Derv, what makes you different from anyone else in the room?

Can I say my rosy cheeks? Maybe? Can I say my love of puns, my dad jokes, or my relentless Shrek quotes? Probably not…I’d say I’m interested in almost anything (apart from soccer). I love talking to people about their interests and passions, no matter how niche they might be, even better if we figure out what we have in common!


“It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, if someone starts talking about _____, I’m stopping what I’m doing and joining in!”

Food, travel or architecture!


In your own words, how would you describe what Spark do?

Spark is more than just a research agency. Not only do we ask WHAT our clients want to know, but we work tirelessly to dig deeper to get behind the WHY of that WHAT, giving actionable recommendations too. We are the secret ingredient for our clients who combine us with other essential ingredients like their knowledge and expertise to get the results they need, be it NPD research, customer segmentation, or brand relaunch…the list goes on. If market research was The Great British Bake Off, our clients would be getting Paul Hollywood Handshakes every week.


What’s the best bit of work you’ve ever done and why?

I’m really proud of the work I did for Avoca this year, along with my fellow Sparkies. I’ve grown up loving the Avoca brand and their stores and cafes. I previously worked as a merchandiser in one of their stores. It was wonderful to take such a well known Irish brand and help them explore and develop their online offering, hinging on the concept of wonder and wander that came to me through the research journey.


Dinner party question: where are you hosting, who’s there, what are you cooking?

I’d host in a period house with the full dinner service (something about that era captured my imagination when I was younger and never let go). I’d cook mussels in a white wine sauce to start with some lovely chunky brown soda bread loaded with Kerrygold butter. Then for mains I’d have a traditional roast Sunday dinner with beef, Yorkshire puds, at least two types of potatoes, roasted veg, gravy, the whole nine yards! I’m not mad on dessert, but I’d have a simple apple crumble and custard. There would definitely be a cheese board, heaving with bold Cheddars (like Montgomery’s from Somerset), honking blue cheese (Cashel Blue, specifically), and some more delicate soft cheese like Brie and gorgonzola. We’d have complimentary crackers, biscuits and chutneys (I’m still trying to perfect a recipe for one). Can you tell I like cheese? I have a long list of people I’d like to invite…I suppose I’ll mention the more famous people. I would love to invite Billy Connolly, Richard Castle, Susan Cain, and Johnny Cash (apparently I haven’t moved past C in my Famous People Directory…).


The only thing we love more than chatting about our Sparkies, is hearing all about you! If you have an exciting update, want to hear more about us or just fancy grabbing a cup of tea and having a natter then visit our contact us page and get in touch.

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