Mags, Specsavers and Justin Bieber deleting Insta

August 19th, 2016 by Charley Downey


Friday

It’s Friday and the sun isn’t out… but I hope everyone has glorious plans for the weekend regardless. Anyway, here’s my little roundup of the week. There have been a few stories that have…erm… stood out, and some that we really don’t care about (Biebs).

I’m on duty with the Bartdog (another Bollon-ism that’s stuck) to collate stories each morning to circulate around the office. If there’s a marketing, advertising or agency related newsletter or site, you can guarantee I’ll be on it at 9:30am. It’s actually crazy how each day there are so many new stories – the industry is moving so quickly at the moment and so much is going on!

A week in the media

Monday 15th – “Instagram has launched Business profiles – the picture-sharing app has launched Business Profiles in Europe to serve the majority of its 200,000 advertisers which are small businesses. The profile allows companies to quickly signal to people on Instagram that it is a business and enable them to use a ‘contact’ button to connect with them” (Campaign) –  I found this one interesting. As we all know, Instagram plays a huge role in most business’ marketing strategy these days, with some entrepreneurs owing to Instagram for their success! So I think it’s cool that they’re constantly looking at ways to help make the integration of businesses onto social even smoother.

Tuesday 16th – “Sitting for too long is bad for your heart – even if you exercise, new research by American Heart Association claims” *(Daily Express) –  *slowly gets up from desk and walks around*

Tuesday 16th – “Snapchat’s Rio 2016 coverage attracted almost 50 million viewers in the first week alone” (The Drum) –  I think this is crazy when we actually think about the reach that Snapchat enables an advertiser/news stream to have.

Insta update

The big one this week has to be the Biebs. Love him or hate him, the amount of media coverage this boy gained from purely deactivating an account, really proves his social influence.

My Twitter favs

Specsavers had their request to trademark ‘should’ve’ approved. Yep. Read about it here.

#BlackCatAppreciationDay … they really do have an appreciation day for everything don’t they?

 

#MissingType

I’d read about this campaign earlier on, and I’m chuffed it’s come back into action. The campaign sees the letters A, B and O disappear from logos of brands, to raise awareness of the scarce blood types… and encouraging people to donate. It’s such a clever, yet simple campaign – I really do love this one!

 

Ad love

This one is pretty deep, but I love the way Dove endlessly shows their support for women, and raises awareness of body acceptance. This particular campaign highlights the issue of low self-esteem amongst young girls. The ad shows parents of young girls sat in a classroom, and displays a variety of popular search terms amongst this group. The results do hit home, and I think this powerful campaign is one to be admired.

That old chestnut…

Despite the old ‘print is dead’ chestnut – of course, as an agency, we know full well that this is super far from the truth – and the latest ABC figures have shown some great results. Although overall, titles are still seeing a decline on the news stand, the readership is going from strength to strength. You can find the Drum’s report on this here.

 

I think that’s all from me this week. So have fabulous weekends all!

Over and out

CD x

Does Heritage Matter?

August 18th, 2016 by Sarah Bartlett


Gold Hill, Shaftesbury

Think about your favourite brands for a moment. What is it about them that you love? Their catchy jingle, emotive animal-based marketing, or their exceptionally-executed social strategy? In a marketing world filled with tough competition for consumer attention, brands are at risk of becoming lost unless they are able to differentiate themselves.

With more and more brands clinging onto their heritage as a form of consumer engagement, are we simply going to be left drowning in a sea of nostalgic storytelling? I’d say that depends on how they utilise it. Heritage can certainly be used to a brand’s advantage – take the Nationwide ‘by your side’ advert, where a Nationwide ‘hero’ delivers a lost scarf that is years old – signifying the high street bank being ‘there’ for the customer through more than one generation. It tugs on the old heart strings, and is a pleasant watch, but is it really enough to solidify a brand in positive consumer light?

A study published in the International Journal of Marketing suggests so, explaining how significant the effects of brand heritage are on the perceived economic, functional, affective and social values of a brand. Put simply, they suggest that brand heritage matters in the eyes of the consumer, not just for the loyalty/trust factor, but emotionally too. The full published article can be read here.

It seems the bank scene is rife for heritage storytelling, as we’ve also got the newest of Lloyds bank’s ‘For Your Next Step’ ads, where this time we follow the iconic black horse through some of life’s key milestones, to a stunning piano cover of Madness’ ‘Mad World’ (and as an avid pianist it scores high in my books) – so is that enough to get me thinking about the nostalgia of the brand? Short answer is yes, but I’m not sure it means I’m rushing to switch.

The trap that brands may fall into is focusing too heavily on their heritage without being relevant to the modern-day consumer. Many brands have heritage, but it takes a strategic campaign to harness the heritage alongside appealing to the wants and needs of consumers today. Hovis is famous for its 1973 Ridley Scott-directed ad, featuring the beautifully cobbled Gold Hill in Shaftesbury where we watch a young chap riding up and down the hill as he brings home the bread. “As good today as it’s always been” is the tagline, which doesn’t feature in their latest spot, but is certainly reimagined among the core themes from the original. The latest ‘Good Inside’ ad features three adventure-hungry kids (led by a girl – it is the 21st Century after all) racing away from a house which is trying to trap them in, Transformers style. The tagline here includes “don’t get stuck indoors … pack a sandwich, and go on”. So what’s great about it? The ad has moved with the times yet held its heritage, appealing to both those who remember the original boy on a bike, and those seeing it in all its advertising glory for the first time. Bravo.

As the published study above states, consumers are searching for products with authenticity, and ‘genuine history’ is a key factor in their decision-making process, especially as the global market is so easily within reach. Heritage brands who readjust their identity to keep up with present and future consumer behaviours, but stick with their core values, are sure to fare well in a constantly changing marketplace.

What was I saying about a sea of nostalgic storytelling? Life jackets at the ready.

Bee hotels, Cats and toast graffiti… it’s friday!

August 12th, 2016 by Sarah Bartlett


happy friday

You made it! The weekend is in sight. I’ve had the social reins this week so here’s a roundup, including PR highlights, the odd knowledge bomb and anything else that cropped up…

A week in the media

It’s hard not to consume a ton of media when you work in an agency. In fact, it’s pretty vital to the role, whichever remit you fall under. We get newspapers delivered on a rota and this week, it was The i Paper. So here are a few stories that stood out to me as I read it each morning with coffee #1 of the day…

Monday 8th – “Humans have used up a full year’s worth of ecological resources in just over seven months, its fastest rate ever, according to an annual environmental report – Global Footprint Network. “Earth overshoot day” marks the date on which humanity’s demand on the planet’s natural resources exceeds what it can regenerate in a year.”

Tuesday 9th – “Cash-strapped working families in England are so “stretched to breaking point” that one in three could not afford to pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lost their job, while 23% would be unable to pay any housing costs” – Shelter and YouGov study.

“Technology will transform the workplace in the next decade, with new jobs including a human body designer and space tour guides. Only a third of university students believe their chosen career will exist in 10 years’ time” – report by Microsoft and The Future Laboratory.

Wednesday 10th – “The self-drive feature on Tesla’s latest vehicles appears to have saved a driver’s life after he suffered a dangerous blood clot in his lungs while driving. Instead of calling an ambulance, the driver put his car into autopilot mode and pointed it towards the nearest hospital.”

“An analysis by Facebook of more than 160,000 people’s profiles found that 30 per cent of those who posted pictures of their cats were single, compared with 24 per cent of those who shared dog photos. On average, dog owners had 26 more Facebook friends than cat people, who were found to complain disproportionately of “tiredness”. Dog owners wrote 25 per cent more “excited” posts.”

“More than a third of graduate “millennials” regret having gone to university because of the resulting debt and are struggling to prosper in an economy that leaves them with an average disposable income of less than £160” – study by Aviva.

Friday 12th –  “Patients left paralysed by severe spinal cord injuries have recovered the ability to move their legs after training with an exoskeleton linked to their brain, with one even able to walk using two crutches – Walk Again Project, Brazil, developed by Duke University Centre for Neuroengineering in the US.”

A few Twitter favs

I was pretty bowled over by Taylors of Harrogate’s ‘Luxury Bee Hotel’ – signifying the importance of bees in the production of their fruit tea collection. Check out the video and you might just be inclined to help a bee out: bees.taylorstea.co.uk (there’s also a tiny wall-hung photo of Queen Bey because, why not?).

As any PR will tell you, timing is everything and we all love a good nominated ‘day’ or ‘week’. Here’s a few from this week (which is in fact Afternoon Tea Week…)

Monday: #InternationalCatDay

Tuesday: #NationalBookLoversDay

Wednesday: #WorldLionDay

Wednesday: #NationalLazyDay

Friday: #UberIceCream – We were among the lucky few to get free POPS from Uber!

ice pops

Friday: #WorldElephantDay

Also, Tefal’s pop up toast gallery. What more could you want? Feast your eyes on these beauties here, or watch the video:

Additional thought – it’s worth noting how great the hashtag #journorequests is on Twitter when it comes to additional PR opportunities, or newsjacking. With one tab in my browser always saved for Tweetdeck I know I’ll be able to respond to any relevant requests that come through – it gets pretty addictive!

Client love

Because it’s awesome when clients are doing amazing things…

express bifolds twitter

 

And to top it off, tomorrow is officially ‘Left Handers day’ – what a week to be alive!

Enjoy your weekend! SB over and out.

Google and Its Amazing Olympic Vision

August 11th, 2016 by Glenn Parkin


Maracanã Stadium, Brazil

Google has been planning and implementing some revolutionary updates to its Mapping service in Rio for 2 years in preparation for the Olympics and many think the technology on show is only the tip of the iceberg of what is to come before the 2020 games in Tokyo.

With many of us glued to this year’s Olympics in Rio on the television, Google took a step closer to offering us an immersive view of coverage from our phones and computers to make you feel like you have actually been.

Just before the opening ceremony Google sent in its crack team to each of the 12 outdoor venues and the 25 indoor ones used to host this year’s games.

The team were armed with the Google Street View Trekker; this amazing piece of equipment is a backpack with a top-mounted camera system that captures 3D images as the person wearing it walks around. Here it is in action:

As the Trekker is wearable it can go where other Google mapping devices can’t, giving a completely different perspective.

The resulting coverage from inside the venues is impressive to say the least – you can really get a feel of the size and scale of all the venues and what it must be like for the competitors. Click here to view the Maracanã stadium.

By the time the 2020 Olympics come around in Tokyo we fully expect this technology to have moved forward another step again with fully augmented and virtual mapping. Although nothing has been officially announced by Google, who knows, we could all be watching the next Olympics in Virtual Reality!

In addition to getting a view inside the venues, Google has also tried to make commuting around the Rio area easier over the Olympic period. They have implemented real-time bus information along with detailed information of all the bike routes throughout the city. Google is also working alongside the city of Rio to ensure that Google Maps has the most up to date traffic information with appropriate detours if things become too congested.

Google has also pushed the boundaries much further in Rio this year by mapping the Favelas, which aren’t often visited by outsiders due to their being little information available about them. The task of mapping them was always going to be difficult so Google trained 150 residents from the Favelas on digital mapping skills. These individuals have mapped 26 Favelas in total and 3,000 businesses from within them now feature on Google Maps – isn’t that incredible?!

Biggest Slum in South America, Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The biggest Slum in South America, Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

One of the most amazing facts to come out of the project is that there are now thousands of people who have been given a mailing address for the very first time – up until their streets being mapped they didn’t even have a name, leaving a legacy that most from the Favelas will not forget.

Find out here where the Google Street View Trekker is headed next.

An Array of Recent Reflections

August 3rd, 2016 by Alex Price


love lock bridge

Character Challenges

I’ve been labelled Cynical Clarkson countless times which is baffling as my mantra, “pessimism is realism” is so uplifting. I guess the whole “don’t get your hopes up”, is a form of self-preservation, as starting from a negative position means the impact of disappointment is reduced. This attitude has historically creeped into my work life, particularly around pitches. This was amplified when business cultures didn’t feel aligned and too much onus was put on who we were up against. The proposition is clear at Boutique – a creative lead communications agency who transforms client strategy, and being armed with that belief has meant my miserable mantra needs to join BRAD in the bucket! I’ve started to embrace the chase and accept the stakes, as in hindsight, those horror experiences often offer the most learnings and laughs.

 

Trends are Traps

Cue the bandwagon of sheep! I’ve seen an increasing urgency amongst media owners and clients to keep up with the ever evolving trends. Yes, video content has exploded, but not all clients have the budgets or capabilities to invest into creating quality assets. Bide your time and don’t compromise your brand with cheap executions.

 

We Are Simple

A large proportion of our time goes into the groundwork to form our strategic approach and there’s a tendency with agencies to take the client on a fluffy journey through market musings, competitor campaigns, audience behaviour and much (much, much) more. Depending on the audience this can be a fork in the road to either engage city or snore town.

Stick to the triptych…

Tell them what you will tell them

Actually tell them

Tell them what you told them

 

The detail should not cloud the core outtakes; clarity is needed for those who haven’t worked on the document for days on end.

 

Squad “Goals”

Leicester City and the Welsh international side proved the power of a true team. My favourite stat was that the foxes were more unlikely to win the league than Alex Ferguson to win Strictly Come Dancing which sat at 1000/1 – Fergie does the Flamenco is inconceivable!

Essentials for agency client teams;

  • Appreciate your peers – strengths differ; you are there to complement not compete with one another
  • Emotional intelligence – reduce knee jerk responses, let the red mist clear. Bad news only exists when it’s been delivered poorly
  • Introverts and extroverts – steady Eddies shouldn’t be sniffed at, they are efficient and get the basics nailed. Wheel in the personalities when appropriate but keep them on a leash

 

Room 101

Phrase Fools

  • “Robbing Peter to pay Paul” – mostly heard during creative and media tussles. Although, I have established this was to do with church taxes rather than the ‘Two Little Dickie Birds’ rhyme!
  • “Let’s touch base” – let’s not, where’s HR!
  • “Squad Goals” – Used begrudgingly above. This should only live on social not in creative!

Paid Social #Fail

Just because a channel exists doesn’t mean it should be used. I recently saw a security brand advertising their very functional and unattractive products on Instagram. Brands (and/or their agencies!) need to appreciate when to steer clear, as this is where “being at all touchpoints” falls down. Ideally, “Insta” would review their advertisers as it’s only going to be to the detriment of their own brand. I do not appreciate seeing a “mortice lock” amongst my feed of food, fitness and flowers! Actually, why don’t they just try a little harder at making their content suit the environment. What about harnessing the “love locks bridge” concept, this would at least encourage something more visually pleasing and emotive?!

a guide to television

August 2nd, 2016 by Steph Feather


a guide to television

 

A guide to television

A guide to television

A guide to television

A guide to television

 

A downloadable version can be found here: A Guide to Television

An Outsider’s Perspective of Yorkshire

August 1st, 2016 by Nathan Fletcher


yorkshire terrier

To fully-appreciate Yorkshire Day, I’m pretty sure it’s a widely known fact that years of living experience is required to understand the range of quirks and nuances ‘God’s Own Country’ has to offer. It’s not about sitting back with a cup of Yorkshire Tea, flat cap atop your head, whistling away to the theme song of Emmerdale that makes you a thorough-bred Yorkshireman. You need to know what it’s like to really experience the Yorkshire life, living and breathing the Yorkshire ‘way’ to fully understand why the county means so much to so many people.

I (unfortunately) don’t have that experience just yet, after moving up from Derbyshire just over three years ago for University. Now though, I consider myself enough of a Yorkshireman to join in the celebrations with the rest of the county. However, there’s a ‘but’… I, among many who have moved to Yorkshire from elsewhere, still find it difficult to fully understand Yorkshire and a wide range of its traits.

Here are just a few things that continue to baffle me…

 

A Whole New Language

The letter ‘t’ seems to strike fear into all Yorkshire folk. I’m not sure why, but there seems to be some form of unwritten rule that the less it’s used, the better your vocabulary is.

The only time Yorkshiremen actually use the letter ‘t’ though, is when they’re going ‘t’werk’, rather than ‘to work’.

The word ‘the’ also seems to have nearly vanished from existence. It’s a pretty necessary word all over the country, so why not in Yorkshire?

When a Yorkshireman is confused, he’ll say ‘eh?’ and when he wants to turn something down, he’ll say ‘nor’. It definitely sounds better when spoken aloud in a thick Yorkshire accent though.

Finally, before I moved to Yorkshire, ‘Tara’ was a girl’s name, definitely not a way of saying goodbye.

 

What’s Wrong with Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner?

This is a confusing one to me as my daily meals consist of breakfast, lunch and dinner. From Yorkshire though, it’s a completely different story. Since when was ‘dinner’ the meal you had in the middle of the day? And since when was ‘tea’ an evening meal?

And considering we’re on the subject of food, it’s still called a ‘cob’, not a ‘bread-cake’ or a ‘bap’. I don’t think I’ll ever adapt to this one, but I’ll continue to stake my claim whenever the debate arises in the office…

 

Yorkshire Tea, or no tea

I’ve already adapted to this one though – Yorkshire Tea is definitely the only tea worth drinking.

 

The Yorkshire Passion Is Rife

Another thing that I’ve noticed that is really unique about Yorkshire, is that its inhabitants are insanely passionate about their county. The ‘Yorkshire! Yorkshire! Yorkshire!’ chant occurs at almost every Yorkshire public event I’ve attended, which baffles me as someone from Derbyshire, a county where I’ve never witnessed the same vocal passion.

 

I’m From The East Midlands, Not The South.

Since moving to Leeds, I’ve been called a Southerner more times than I can count. I came from the East Midlands, with way over 200 miles between myself and the South Coast, not from Portsmouth!

 

It’s Not So Grim Up North…

Despite all my confusions though, Yorkshire really is a great place to live with the perfect balance between urban and rural life. The cities are lively and diverse, the countryside is incredible to behold and the bits in-between are pretty nice too. And although ‘summer’ lasts no more than one single weekend, there’s always something in Yorkshire to keep you occupied.

 

Happy Yorkshire Day, everyone!