Launching herdy®sleep mattresses to market

March 24th, 2017 by Louise Trent


herdysleep mattress

We’re excited to announce our latest client project, the launch of British luxury mattress company herdy®sleep.

We’re known for being ambitious, and we’re big on working with clients that have personality, care about the customer journey and offer a good cultural fit with our team. A brand-new venture by Lake District’s much loved The Herdy Company, herdy®sleep were looking for a digital marketing agency to support their industry launch. With refreshing brand values and opportunities for industry stand-out, it’s an opportunity that had us hooked from the off!

Born in the Lake District, The Herdy Company was dreamed up and made a reality by husband and wife duo Spencer & Diane Hannah, who envisioned creating design-focused lifestyle pieces inspired by the Lake’s own Herdwick sheep. Fast forward to ten years on, The Herdy Company has now become a hugely successful brand recognised for quirky but practical homewares featuring the adorable mascot, Herdy himself. Having developed their offering into gifts, babyware and kitchenware, it was only a matter of time before The Herdy Company took on a new adventure altogether. Cue herdy®sleep, a collaboration made in heaven with luxury mattress manufacturers Harrison Spinks. Together they create luxury mattresses made from ethically sourced Herdwick sheep wool, all manufactured in Yorkshire.

Herdwick sheep fleece

We’re working with the team to guide customers through the mattress journey, to communicate the importance of sustainable farming that keeps waste to a minimum, and to drive sales of the company’s artisan quality mattress with unrivalled craftsmanship. Some of us were lucky enough to test out the traditionally tufted mattresses ourselves and it’s safe to say that we were ready to snooze off with ease.

After months of planning, we’re excited for the campaign to be underway and we look forward to helping the team dominate the luxury mattress market.

Boutique gets arty!

March 23rd, 2017 by Simon Bollon


wall mural painting

We’ve been busy, creative bees over the past couple of months, teaming up with the Leeds College of Art on an office wall mural brief for their third-year Illustration students.

As we’ve recently moved into a five-star office space in Saw Mill Yard, we wanted something unique and personal that was characteristic not just of us as an agency, but of Holbeck’s saw mill industrial past. Our main meeting room, named ‘The Fell’ (there’s a theme here…) was in need of some personality on its bare grey wall, and instead of hiring a professional artist, we thought it’d be much more ‘Boutique’ to get some of Leeds’ young, creative talent involved!

So, we sent a professional brief over to the Leeds College of Art and we received some fantastic submissions – we were blown away by the level of artwork we received, and impressed by the students’ attention to detail and justification behind their designs.

After some careful deliberation, we chose our design and got in touch with Ian Fulcher to let him know the great news! He was incredibly modest but excited to get cracking on the live brief, which counted towards one of his third-year modules.

wall mural graphic design

Ian’s proposed design

Ian spent the day at Boutique on 15th March to bring his concept to life:

After receiving the brief I was keen to come up with a design that not only represented the local mill history, but one that I could also successfully replicate by hand onto the grey wall. As someone who predominantly produces digital artwork it was a great challenge for me to create a striking, graphical design whilst retaining the hand-drawn element. I used a projector to transfer the design onto the given space in ‘The Fell’, then outlined in white pencil so I knew exactly where to fill in. I chose white Posca acrylic paint pens of varying thickness to paint with because the mural space was a nice manageable size, making the ‘Projector & Posca’ approach favourable over ‘gridding’ and re-drawing it out by hand, and giving a much cleaner result than brushes.

I’ve followed artist Tom J. Newell for a long time and am inspired by his single colour mural work using Poscas. I’ve also had some pointers from pro-muralist and sign painter Pete Barber, who I assisted with some large-scale painting at the Lyon Works, Templar Lane in Leeds last summer. I still can’t quite believe my design was chosen – it’s been a great experience working with the guys at We Are Boutique and it has given me a whole load of confidence to pursue further large-scale, ‘live’ drawing projects in the future.”

collage of wall mural

Ian Fulcher and MD Simon Bollon

Ian Fulcher and Boutique’s Simon Bollon

Here’s a time-lapse video of Ian in action:

Check out Ian’s work on Instagram – @IanFDesigns.

Risk Management and the Oscars

March 9th, 2017 by Rory Dunlop


Oscars award

I’m sure everyone’s heard what happened at the 2017 Oscars by now? Well, for those of you that have been living under a rock the last couple of weeks, I’ll give you a brief rundown. All was going well at the 89th Academy Awards ceremony up until the award for Best Picture. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were in charge of announcing the winner, but as Warren Beatty opened the letter he paused for a split second, almost as though he couldn’t believe what he was reading. Ignoring any doubts, he passed the card to Faye Dunaway to read out the card and announced La La Land as Best Picture, instead of the actual winner, Moonlight. All the cast and crew from La La Land came up on stage and began making the thank you speeches, before the ceremony was interrupted and Moonlight was revealed to be the winner.

But how on earth does that happen at a night as prestigious and supposedly well-organised as the Oscars? How could it happen after months and months of planning and preparation to eliminate any possible risk of something like this occurring?

The answer is apparently largely down to how PwC (the accounting firm), who oversaw the envelope exchanging process – it’s really no wonder something like this has happened! Instead of having one person in charge of handing out the envelopes for each of the awards, it was decided to have two people on either side of the stage holding the same envelope for the same award. So what actually happened on the night was Warren Beatty was given the duplicate Best Actress envelope by mistake, so when he went to read the award out it said ‘Best Actress Emma Stone – La La Land’. Which would explain the slight pause as he read it out…

But the ironic thing here is that in attempting to make the award ceremony error-proof, i.e. by having a person each side of the stage each with duplicate envelopes, they actually created a process that became very high risk – hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I’m sure we’d all agree!

Brian Cullinan, one of the PwC accountants in charge of the envelopes had this to say about why they use duplicates:

“We have two briefcases, that are identical, and we have two entire sets of winning envelopes. [Fellow accountant] Martha [Ruiz] carries one of those briefcases, I carry the other. We go to the show separately with police escorts. I used to think it was for our security, it’s really for the briefcase. [Laughs] We take different routes to get there just because of the kinds of things that can happen in L.A. traffic. We want to make sure that no matter what happens, one of us gets there. We’ve never really had a problem with that.”

Like me, you’re probably thinking of ways that you might have run the envelope exchanging process to avoid this from ever happening. Perhaps there should only be one briefcase but they leave for the awards earlier than normal… human error is a difficult thing to manage to having duplicates would always present this risk – case in point.

It just goes to show that even at one of the biggest ceremonies in the world, a huge mistake like this can be made and it’s all down to how efficiently risk is managed. This seemed to work well when making sure the envelopes arrived at the Oscars on time, but once both briefcases were present at the ceremony, the risk of possible mix up became very real.

As an agency responsible for our client accounts, we pride ourselves on being able to manage risk effectively, reflecting on all potential outcomes before and after any strategy is implemented (no matter how big or small), throughout the agency. We very much work on the assumption that if we have the right structure and processes in place, led by an experienced, skilful and motivated team then we have more chance of succeeding with a client, than failing. Human error is unfortunately one of the hardest things to manage, but if you have a proven system in place to manage any potential risk of mistakes, then you’re giving yourself the best possible chance at avoiding them.

A bit of a cheesy quote to finish on but one that I think is pretty relevant. Lee Child always said “Hope for the best, plan for the worst.” A quote that, even more than usual, will resonate with everyone who was involved with or watched the Oscars this year.