A Boutique Christmas

December 18th, 2015 by Sarah Bartlett

Boutique Christmas photoshoot

It wouldn’t be a Boutique Christmas without a good old Christmas card photoshoot. Last year it was our take on the Kardashians, this year it was Christmas party themed complete with hungover aftermath (come on, we know you can all relate).

We donned our best Christmas jumpers, filled our stockings with decorations and party poppers, and poured tea-stained water into champagne flutes… The results were pretty epic…

Feeling festive

A Christmas photoshoot


And that’s not all, this year our Christmas cards had a cheeky, Boutique-style twist. On the reverse was the ‘aftermath’ of the ‘party’ on the front of the card… And the results weren’t too pretty…


feeling rough at christmas hungover christmas

We even got Malcolm in on the fun, but unfortunately, it was all a bit too much for him and he ended up getting legless and feeling dog rotten about it…

Legless Malcolm


If we don’t speak to you before, we hope you have an absolute cracker of a Christmas and we’ll see you on the other side!

Love from everyone at Boutique x


P.S. A Miracle on the 4th Floor has since happened and Malcolm is back to his four-legged best.

Festive feels

December 18th, 2015 by Sarah Bartlett

Rocking Father Christmas

‘Tis the season for puns, puddings and presents; a time for overeating and undersleeping, and a time for brands to fight for our festive attention. Yep, it’s Christmas. As we sit, snug as a bug, in front of an open fire, we watch our favourite brands play out on the TV screen with their attempts at capturing our hearts (and our Christmas budget). Here are the ads that stood out for us…

Apple ft. Stevie Wonder and Andra Day

It might be what we like to think would happen on Christmas Eve; gathering around the piano while your dad plays and you all sing along. In reality, Christmas Eve is probably spent doing a mad rush of last minute shopping and then frantically chopping veg until midnight until you finally get some shut eye before the madness begins all over again. However, the sentiment is there and it’s a heart-warming scene nonetheless.

Harvey Nichols’ Avoid #GiftFace Campaign

Now this is an ad we can all relate to, whether it’s receiving another pair of socks or a soap on a rope, putting on our ‘gift face’ is something we are all accustomed to at Christmas time. The Harvey Nichols version sees a woman having to battle her way through opening a series of gifts that she clearly doesn’t like, hence, ‘gift face’. It’s a welcome break from the glass case of emotion we seem to get trapped in each Christmas, typically in the form of penguins or pensioner moonwalkers.

The Spanish Lottery

Probably the most emotional Christmas advert to date (for most shared Christmas ad, see here…), the Christmas ad for the Spanish Lottery is certainly a tearjerker. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was a Pixar short, with its crisp animation and absence of dialogue, but its storytelling sentiment is nothing short of magical. Give it a watch if you haven’t already, and maybe have a funny cat video on standby for afterwards.

The Lidl School of Christmas

This year, Lidl has introduced its #SchoolOfChristmas, teaching us everything from pet costume design (with a less than willing ‘Stanley the Boxer’ dog) to Father Christmas acting and fairy light untangling. Their series of short videos express a childlike charm that we’ve all come to love at Christmas. Lidl unveiled the festivities way back in November, before most of us had even thought about saying ’twas’ or ’tis’. But another thing that makes this a great campaign is its support online in the form of a Christmas page onsite. It’s crammed full of Christmas cooking advice, DIY decorating tips and you can even create your own personalised video greeting from Santa. Ho ho ho!

Sainsbury’s and Mog’s Christmas Calamity

This may be self-described as a “charming tale”, and in the end, I’d probably agree. But up until that point, watching Mog make a mess of everything simply stresses me out and has me muttering “SAKE Mog”. But then again, I guess that is Christmas after all.

Asda’s #BecauseitsChristmas

Designed on the basis of Christmas being a time to go ‘all out’, Asda’s campaign displays a true flash of personality with the right level of Christmas indulgence, fun and festivity. Tied together with the hashtag #BecauseitsChristmas, the series of short ads represent the extra effort we go to each year to celebrate Christmas with our family and friends. My personal favourite is the ad with the slow motion dogs dressed in Christmas jumpers running towards each other to the sound of Celine Dion’s ‘I’m your lady’. I mean if that’s not Christmas then I don’t know what is.

From all of us at Boutique, we wish you a cracking Christmas and an absolutely smashing New Year.

See you in 2016!


The End of The Lad’s Mag

December 4th, 2015 by Charley Downey

Lads mag

They’ve been on our shop shelves since the 90’s, but the well-known ‘lads’ mags’ have recently come to an end.

We saw Nuts exit the ‘young men’s lifestyle sector’ in 2014, Loaded earlier this year, and both FHM and ZOO have recently announced that they are soon to be doing the same. But what exactly is driving these titles to call it quits?

I read an article earlier this week that stated the reason behind the end of the lad’s mags is that ‘most men are using moisturiser and taking selfies’ ‘and don’t want to portray a laddish image on social media’. But is the change in men’s grooming habits and ‘selfies’ the only things to blame?

‘Free content online destroyed the short-lived print model’ says Douglas McCabe, online and print expert at research company Enders Analysis.

It’s no coincidence that the up rise of the internet saw the decrease in circulation of the lads’ mags. However, it’s definitely not the culture that has disappeared… it’s just that these days we have plenty of other ways to reach the content that we love. As with plenty of magazines in the market- the figures are still there, overall circulations haven’t necessarily decreased massively- but let’s be honest, although it’s a much more personal experience browsing through a physical magazine, Googling something on the train to work is sometimes easier.

I think it’s purely because the world has moved on and the internet has taken over. And yes, thanks to the Joey Essex-esque fashion trends of the past few years- males are beginning to venture more into the world of skincare and beauty regimes- leaving them with less time to rip out a picture of a topless woman and blue-tac it to their wall- agreed. But just like a lot of trends that have been and gone, it’s just not really cool anymore…

But although the lads ‘mags may have come to an end, the 18-35 ‘laddish’ demographic certainly hasn’t- and probably never will.

As an article in the Guardian stated- The Lad Bible is a huge platform that proves this audience is still present.  Starting out as a Facebook page in 2012, it now has roughly 17 million followers, with an estimated half of British men following the page. Its website reaches over 150 million people a week, and it’s the 12th most visited site in the UK, ahead of sites such as the Mail Online, LinkedIn and the Guardian. We also have UniLad (although its reach is significantly less than the LadBible) which has nine million likes on Facebook, an established website and presence amongst all social channels. You can’t deny that these are impressive stats.

So all in all, magazines filled with half-naked ladies in the corner shop are now a no go. But the target audience are still evolving and are as present as ever- and many have super-soft-moisturised skin.

Major Re-brand Safe with us

December 2nd, 2015 by Simon Bollon

Collaborative agency team

We’re chuffed to be working with 10 Associates to create and implement a new brand and creative comms strategy for Safe.co.uk.

One of the UK’s leading security product retailers, Safe appointed us to roll out a strategy across media, digital and PR to deliver the story of their rebrand. Challenging perceptions of functional security, the campaign has been designed to encourage people to realise the value of their items beyond monetary worth and appeal to matters at the heart of the nation, championing ‘priceless’ sentimental items.

“The joint expertise of Boutique and 10 Associates made perfect sense for us. The re-brand was the result of significant investment so we needed a team we could trust to deliver, and we’re confident in their combined ability to secure the right exposure and to build the brand with us.” Anthony Neary, Safe MD.

The team at Safe have some hairy ambitions and the re-brand has set them up to dominate their market. We’re pumped about where we can take them!

To get a glimpse of the new brand, visit www.safe.co.uk