- Commercials without a break: celebrating 60 years of itv
- Craft makes a comeback – break out your magic markers!
- The silver economy is about to go gold!
- What ‘type’ are you? New book reveals all!
- What will 2015 bring? Strap on your jet pack!
- Reaching new heights for Woodall Homes
- Are you a Cinderella, a Snow White or a Dorian Gray?
- Simpsons Creative Quiz 2014
- Creating a social media plan – Part two
- Want more media coverage? – Create your own!
- Creating a social media plan – Part one
- Of penguins, pelicans and toucans
- A retail revolution that takes no prisoners
- Marketing is poised to go ‘back to the future’
- Refresh before you retweet
- Why you need a responsive website
- How can I attract more visitors to my website?
- What happens if my website goes down?
- What should I include in my website?
- What kind of website do I need?
- An A to Z of fonts: what’s what, what’s in and what’s out
- Emerald is the new black: Pantone dictates fashion in the ad industry
- Social media is driven by passion – Not greed!
- If you’re going to ‘be more dog’, get one for the blind!
- I didn’t go to university – gissa job!
- Preserving Britain’s oldest brand: the traditional pub sign
- This is how the world ends – not with a bang, but a wimpy
- Einstein and the new science of marketing
- Another safety first from the advertising archives
- I used to be a copywriter. Now I write my own slogans – for the Big Issue!
- KISS – The first law of successful copywriting
- Nivea’s new face is as ugly as ever!
- Why we should be blogging
- Like the Cheshire cat’s smile, only Nike’s stripe remains!
- Name the Movie Character
- Selling to consumers who no longer ‘know their place’
- Sweeping up the star dust
- On the delicacy – or otherwise – of the deep-fried mars bar
- Life after death on Youtube
- “Having great creative ideas is like angling for a wily old carp”
I’m just about old enough to have witnessed the first screening of ITVs first commercial – “Tingling Fresh SR Toothpaste”. But since our TV – a hand-me-down from our rich relations – was a heavy wooden cabinet with a 12” screen that only received BBC transmissions from Crystal Palace, my earliest viewing memories are of a young and earnest...
I confess to feeling a twinge of sympathy for Willam Morris and the Arts & Crafts Movement, who were nothing if not ambitious in their attempt to reverse the Industrial Revolution, fearing that mass reproduction would sound the death knell for craftspeople and their livelihood.
I felt the same way myself about the digital revolution when it first made in...
When Richard Ingrams of Private Eye fame launched The Oldie magazine back in 1992 I suspect he did it in his usual contrarian spirit as a counter blast against ‘yoof’ culture. I remember thinking at the time it would be more of a symbolic gesture, a fingers-up to the world, than a solid business proposition.
After all, who wants to...
As a copywriter and type designer I have had a life-long love affair with the printed word, so The Type Taster – How Fonts Influence You, a new book by Sarah Hyndman, had a particular fascination for me. Not, I hasten to add, because it’s just an esoteric work for typographical nuts like me. On the contrary, it’s simply...
Futurology is a hit and miss affair: where, for example, are the jet packs, flying cars and rocket planes that were confidently predicted would become part of our daily lives back in the 1950s? On the other hand, the February 1950 edition of Modern Mechanix also predicted we’d be shopping by picture phone, cooking on a solar range and...
When a client decides to work with a new local agency, it can represent a huge leap of faith. But it takes something extra special for a client to choose an agency that is based in a different part of the country.
Woodall Homes, the Midlands Property Developer that specialises in building new homes in the Peak District, recently commissioned...
Are you a Cinderella, a Snow White or a Dorian Gray? If you don’t know what I’m talking about I’m not surprised because these are three business models I’ve just invented to describe the difference between brand perception and customer experience. So let me illuminate.
Taking the worst case scenario first. If you’re a Dorian Gray your brand perception is...
Thank you for entering our Mastermind Challenge competition at Bishop’s Stortford Means Business 2014.
Some of the questions turned out to be quite challenging, but we were impressed by the general level of marketing knowledge!
Why not have another go at our quiz? The ten questions below are randomly generated from our database, so you won’t get the same set of ten twice....
As we said in our last post on this subject, new users of social media have a bit of a learning curve to go through, but getting your approach right from the word go will save time and aggravation later on. In Part Two we take a look at the ‘Rules of Engagement’ (more preparation!) then, getting involved. Finally,...
With another royal birth in the offing, expect a rash of opportunistic advertising to cash in on the happy event. When Will and Kate’s first born arrived, our local pub landlord put a chalkboard outside his premises (an early form of social media) inviting locals to come in and wet the baby’s head.
A nice touch I thought, and one...
As social networking goes mainstream as a marketing tool, many small businesses (and some not so small) have rushed to sign up with Facebook, Twitter etc. without any clear idea about why they need them or how to use them. They’re there because they’re there, so to speak, without a business goal or marketing plan in sight.
Making social media...
When I was old enough to read anything more advanced than my ‘Janet and John’ primers, one of the first books I took down from the family bookcase was a Pelican (Penguin’s non-fiction imprint). I couldn’t tell you what the title was, but I do remember being puzzled by the fact that it didn’t begin (like all my other...
Last weekend my wife frog-marched me into Freeport, the designer shopping ‘village’ in Braintree, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the ‘village’ in the cult 60s TV series The Prisoner starring Patrick McGoohan.
It’s all cutesy gingerbread architecture: the shops have gables and verandas, and I counted at least three turret clocks surmounting cupolas and other faux architectural...
Remember Treets, ‘the sweets that melt in your mouth, not your hand’ and Polo, ‘the mint with the hole?’ Both slogans are examples of a USP – a Unique Selling Proposition – the marketing formula that depends on finding and promoting a key point of difference between your product and that of your competitors, even if it isn’t exactly...
We are increasingly being asked to take on the management of an existing Twitter account for a client. It is not unusual for these accounts to be following a very high number of unrelated accounts that have been acquired by a mass untargeted ‘follow’ campaign. This in turn means that any followers gained are likely to have been as...
More and more people are using mobile devices to access the internet which, in turn, has led to a large shift in the way we view content and how this content is delivered. This increasing trend of mobile use means that we must take these users into account when we set about designing a website.
Mobile devices come in a...
“If you don’t see what you want, please ask” is a sign you’ll sometimes see in shop windows. For online shoppers it’s a guiding principle. When they don’t see what they’re looking for they drop a description in their Google search box, and the website that comes up with the best match will top the list of search results,...
So you’re almost ready to step out onto the World Wide Web. Before you go online however your web designer will ask you how you want to ‘host’ your website: whether you’ll handle it yourself or have him do it for you.
To return to our car analogy, that’s the equivalent of asking you whether you want to join the...
Launching a website is a bit like opening an office or setting up shop. Probably the first thing you’ll want to do it put your name above the door or at the head of your home page in this instance. That’s why we mentioned the importance of taking a look at your company name and logo in Part One...
So you want to create or update your website. Where do you begin? A good place to start is to ask yourself why you need a website, or to put it another way, to think about what kind of website you need and what you expect it to do for you.
Commissioning a website is a bit like buying a...
Serif or sans serif? Roman or italic? Regular or bold? Display or text? Can you look at a font, recognise it, categorise it and, most importantly, specify it for any given application? If you can’t, don’t worry. Given the growth of digital typography – by the most conservative reckoning there are more than 50,000 fonts commercially available – even...
Once upon a time ‘memories were made of Kodachrome’ and cinema’s latest releases were brought to you in ‘glorious Technicolor’. But with the coming of the digital age these famous systems of colour reproduction have faded into obscurity, even if, in Technicolor’s case, the name lives on as an old label for a new technology.
Uniquely amongst them one colour...
It’s a difficult lesson for businesses to learn that the most powerful and effective social media is not driven by commercial considerations, but the passion of those devoted to a cause.
A case in point is that of author Lynn Truss, who became so incensed by the omission or misappropriation of the apostrophe that she staged a demo outside an...
For the past couple of weeks I’ve been baffled by posters in 0₂ shop windows exhorting me to ‘Be more dog’. I’ve heard of a man being called ‘a bit of a dog’ – i.e. a scoundrel – and a woman being described more bluntly as ‘a dog’ – i.e. singularly unattractive. So it seemed a rather strange injunction...
‘Black’s white today and day’s night today’ as Cole Porter memorably phrased it, so perhaps I shouldn’t be too surprised that Rory Sutherland of Ogilvy, the advertising giant, has sent out a call to ‘pot head’ graduates to ‘finish your joint and come and work for us’ on the basis that ‘nobody has any evidence that recruits with first...
English pub signs are probably the earliest examples of ‘branding’ in the country. In the days when the church and pub were the heart of the village community and the local populace was largely illiterate, stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes and pictorial pub signs – such as the Lamb and Flag or the King’s Head – were effective...
Whilst visiting some friends in Horsham last weekend I was surprised to discover, in the heart of this historic market town, an unreconstructed branch of the Wimpy Burger Bar chain, complete with its original signage, décor and PVC and tubular steel furnishings.
I felt as if I’d walked onto the set of Life On Mars, transported back into the 1960s...
Remember the scene from Back to the Future when Marty drops into Doctor Emmet Brown’s lab on his way to school? Dozens of wall clocks explode in a chorus of chimes triggering a gimcrack machine that opens and dumps a tin of dog food in the already overfull bowl of Einstein (the Doc’s dog).
You have there the future of...
History repeats itself, and it often brings with it the fashions of its day: witness the phenomenal success of the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster from WWII that has struck such a chord with us in the stressed-out Noughties and Tens. It’s nostalgic and tongue-in-cheek, sure, but there’s no question that it taps into the zeitgeist and inspires...
There’s a little ditty that’s often recited by advertising people which goes: ‘If the client moans and sighs / Make his logo twice the size / If he still should prove refractory / Show a picture of his factory / But only in the direst cases / Should you show the clients’ faces!
It’s a reminder that, when all is...