Advertising Fireworks, Social Bonfires

By Kelly Wright

“If advertising is a firework, then social media is a bonfire”. This phrase was coined back in 2009 by innovator John V Willshire. But what does this analogy mean for marketers?

Fireworks = Advertising

Think of advertising like fireworks – a big bang that demands attention. They’re great for raising awareness, and good ones draw people in from miles around. But they rarely leave a lasting impression – they fizzle out and leave people looking for the next bang to capture their attention. You have to keep lighting more and more to keep people interested, which can be expensive.

Bonfire = Social Media

If advertising is a firework, then social media is a bonfire. Building a bonfire takes time and it can be an effort to keep it going. It may go out but persevere. Slow to start, collaborative to build, it slowly gets bigger and brighter. As the fire gets bigger, more people are attracted to the warmth until it becomes the place to be. It’s where you make your longer term engagements, sharing and shaping opinions. From a small start you can end up with a hotbed of activity, just like social media.

Bonfire Night = 360 Campaign

Firework Display - 5th November - EnglandLike Bonfire Night without fireworks, advertising and social media work best when used together. Think of it as an integrated approach, not one or the other. If you have a raging bonfire already, use a few fireworks to create a buzz and bring people to the fire. If your fireworks are already grabbing attention, keep your audience by getting a good bonfire going and building a relationship.

Trick or Treat? Three Scarily Good Halloween Marketing Campaigns

By Kelly Wright

Halloween means big bucks for businesses. Here are three spooktacular campaigns from recent years that have given consumers a real treat.

LG – So Real It’s Scary (2012)

LG found a frighteningly creative way of transforming the traditionally dry product demo into something memorable – and truly scary! Testing their claim that their monitor has ‘lifelike colours’, they installed a grid of monitors on a lift floor. People got in, and a hidden camera caught their reactions as the floor appeared to fall away beneath their feet, making it seem like they were about to plummet through the lift shaft. No blood and guts and real human reactions, this was pure fear as its simplest. The advert has gone on to generate 24 million views and counting on YouTube. And there isn’t a killer clown in sight…

Airbnb – Halloween Night in Paris Catacombs (2015)

In what must be the most expensive and frightening Halloween night on offer, Airbnb rented out the Paris Catacombs for a morbid bed-and-breakfast experience like no other. Airbnb paid €350,000 to hire the maze of tunnels (and its seven million corpses) for one night and offered it as a competition prize for one thrill seeker to become ‘the only living person to ever wake up in the Paris Catacombs.’ Determined to up the scare factor this year, Airbnb offered a night’s stay in a velvet lined coffin in Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania.

Tide – Stains Better Be Scared (2013)

Can you get the essence of a full-length film across in six seconds? Tide did a scarily good job in 2013 with a series of seven videos parodying classic horror films including Psycho, The Shining, Paranormal Activity, and our personal favourite, Carrie.

Using the now defunct social video platform Vine (RIP), Tide jumped on the hype around the release of the movie remake and created their own version of the film’s iconic prom scene. Simple, memorable, and appropriately scary, this unique campaign left a lasting impression on social media users everywhere. With amazing marketing potential like this, it’s a real shame Vine found itself in an early grave.

Event Management

By Kelly Wright

Companies are striving to get closer to customers—both existing and prospective. Whether you’re selling a product, promoting a service or presenting a business update, events are one of the best ways to get in front of an audience and make connections. Watch the video below to see how we can make your event unforgettable.

A Royal Visitor

By Kelly Wright

Have ewe herd about our visitor? If you’ve passed our office or seen our Facebook page in the last week, you may have seen our colourful new resident.

Meet Sherfield. She’s part of a community art project called ‘The Queen’s Sheep’. Sherfield started out as a life-size wire sheep, before being sprayed blue and decorated in the colours of the Union Jack to commemorate the 90th birthday of The Queen.

The ewe-nique idea was developed by Basingstoke artist Louise Hight to reflect the fact that, until the 1970s, villagers had the right to graze animals on common land.

After completing her royal responsibilities, we’ve given Sherfield a new baaaa-se at our office.

Let Them Eat Cake: What Can the Great British Bake Off Teach Us About Marketing

By Kelly Wright

As The Great British Bake Off returns to our screens, we are set for another summer of baking madness. The impact that the series has on popular culture is huge. But what can a show about cake teach us about marketing?

Keep it real

The GBBO contestants are real people with real lives we can relate to – the retired primary school teacher from Yorkshire, the university student from London, or the hairdresser mum from Cardiff. They’re just like us, which makes us engage with them. Add in a teaspoon of unscripted dialogue, and a pinch of natural emotions, and you’ve got a recipe for success. In short, GBBO is authentic – just like your marketing should be. Give the contrived, one-shoe-fits-all approach a miss and focus on making your brand personable. Personalise your messaging, speak in your audience’s language and make your tone approachable and engaging.

A picture paints a thousand words

However tasty a cake may be, it needs to look good to really get the judges and the audience going. No sunken middles or soggy bottoms allowed. People eat with their eyes, and it’s the same with your marketing too. If done well, visual advertising can make an impact that will imprint your brand on your audience’s mind and leave them hungry for more.

Believe in your brand

If someone said you were about to watch 12 weeks of people baking cakes and be emotionally invested in rising dough, you’d probably scoff on your biscuit crumbs. But the last series peaked at 14.5 million viewers an episode, making it one of the most popular shows on TV today. This goes to show, there’s no such thing as a boring product, service or project. It’s all about how you sell it. The proof is in the pudding.

The Most Marketable Olympians

By Kelly Wright

Fresh from Team GB’s greatest ever haul at an Olympic Games, executives from the world’s biggest brands are scrambling to sign athletes up to endorse their brands. Here are our pick of the athletes making the podium for marketability.

Bronze – Jess Ennis-Hill

Ennis-Hill’s heptathlon gold in London 2012 made her the poster girl for UK sport. Since then she has only enhanced her standing by returning from the birth of her first child to reclaim her world title and grab silver in Rio. Ennis-Hill’s squeaky clean public image has earned endorsements with Omega, BP, Santander and Adidas. Now seen as a ‘supermum’, Ennis-Hill is branching out into more family centric brands including Vitality and P&G’s ‘Thank You Mum’ campaign. Her image is likely to mature, rather than fade, over time.

Silver – Usain Bolt

Who else? Bolt is a brand with an international following. His infectious personality, laid-back charm and penchant for showmanship endears him to audiences and sponsors alike, such as Puma, Virgin Media, Visa and Nissan. But what next for the fastest man on earth? Bolt may have retired from Olympic competition but don’t think we’ve seen the last of him. Being the first person to win the triple triple means he heads into retirement with his stock at an all-time high. For now, he has trademarked his name and his signature ‘lightning bolt’ pose, and even has his own emoji. For the future, he has talked about moving into broadcasting and clothes designing, so watch this space.

Gold – Laura Trott

With her blonde pigtails and charismatic personality, Laura Trott is a sponsor’s dream. Already popular after London 2012, Rio has catapulted her into the big time. Now the most decorated British female Olympian ever aged only 24, her future competitive and commercial potential is vast.  Already boasting big bucks sponsorship deals with Adidas and Prudential, she has recently partnered with Halfords to launch her own range of bikes. She can also regularly be seen promoting brands who send her freebies on Twitter. Her relationship with fellow Team GB cyclist and six-time gold medalist Jason Kenny has seen them mooted as the Posh and Becks of cycling. While Kenny prefers to keep a low profile away from the track, Trott looks set to reign supreme as the golden girl of UK sport.

Pokémon Go – The Next Big Thing in Marketing?

By Kelly Wright

Unless you’ve been asleep under a rock for the last three weeks, you’ve probably noticed gangs of excited teenagers and 20-somethings traipsing the streets looking for Pokémon.
Pokémon Go is a massive cultural phenomenon – just see the madness caused by an elusive Pokémon in New York’s Central Park.

Despite the game only being available for a few weeks, it is already the biggest mobile game ever, peaking at 21 million daily active users in the US alone.

Its’ popularity amongst millennials is obvious, but could Pokémon Go have an impact on marketers? Smart business owners are already purchasing the in-game ‘Lure’ module to attract Pokémon – and the players – to the area at a cost of $2 an hour. This increased footfall benefits consumer facing businesses like shops, bars and restaurants, making the Lure a simple and cheap marketing strategy for small businesses. Spending approximately $10 on Lure modules for a day resulted in a 75 per cent rise in business sales, for example.

You don’t have to be a small business to take advantage of the increased footfall in your area. Enterprising kids in the US are setting up lures and profiting from snack stands near their houses. An animal shelter in Indiana has increased volunteering by encouraging Pokémon trainers to walk the shelter’s dogs while they search.

It could also have benefits for major brand retailers. The software developers behind the app have stated that sponsored locations will be introduced soon, creating a new source of revenue for the already hugely successful game. The first collaboration is thought to be with McDonald’s in Japan and will coincide with the release of the app there. For now though, this remains an unknown.

But will Pokémon Go have a lasting impact? Probably not. It’s a fad and like all fads before it, the audience will eventually fade and move on. Today’s Pokémon trainer won’t be playing next year, or maybe even next month. So now is certainly the time to look into a little Pokémarketing, if it fits your business model and target audience. Once Lures become more commonplace, they will lose their impact and as the audience switches off, ROI will slow. For now though, you gotta catch ‘em all.

Six Reasons We Love the British Summer

By Kelly Wright

Summer has well and truly hit the UK. While we make the most of our mini heatwave, here are six reasons to love the British summer.


No matter how brief it may be, sun equals instant BBQ for Brits. Cremated sausages never tasted so good. Plus there’s the added thrill of avoiding the threat of rain.

Light summer nights

It’s depressing in the winter when it’s dark before you leave the office. Whether it’s a glass of wine in the garden after work or a walk after dinner, take advantage of the longer summer evenings.

Eating outside

Picnics in the park, BBQs with your friends, ice-cream on your lunch break. Nothing beats a bit of al-fresco dining, as long as you don’t mind swatting the insects away.



One sniff of suncream has the power to transport you to the tropical island of your dreams. Summer in a bottle!


There’s no summer drink more quintessentially British than Pimms.


What is a British summer without Wimbledon? Flag-waving, the Royal Family, constant rain interruptions – the annual tennis championship is just so British. No-one does pomp, pessimism or patriotism quite like the Brits. Even better when Andy Murray wins.

Win Clients and Influence People With Crystal Knows

By Kelly Wright

Crystal isn’t my best friend or colleague. She’s never met me but she definitely knows me.

Ask Crystal about me, and she’ll tell you that I make decisions based on logic (true), approach problems methodically (definitely correct), and feel most comfortable knowing all the details (right again)Crystal

She’ll even tell you how to interact with me: set clear expectations, stay objective rather than emotional and use data to prove your point. She’ll also tell you to how to work with me for best results – be prepared for meetings, be logical in your arguments (both true!) and compliment a job well done (well, everyone likes their work to be recognised!)


Crystal is an online app that shows you the best way to communicate with customers and prospects by analysing their online footprint to determine their personality profile. It builds this profile by trawling through publicly available information: Facebook posts, blogs, tweets and the other crumbs we leave behind on the internet.

It works on the idea that understanding someone’s personality helps you communicate more effectively, allowing you into the head of your customers to get them to take the actions you want them to and accelerate relationship-building.

Each profile search returns advice on how to speak, email, work with or sell to them most effectively. It tells you the words, phrases, style and tone you should use to resonate with your target – even their tolerance for sarcasm and emoticons. A lot of the functionality is available for free, with the paid version even drafting live emails for you via a Gmail plug in.

It’s certainly weird having a computer summarise your personality, but given how much professional communication happens online, it could be a useful tool to have at your disposal. True, it does feel a little creepy that a computer knows you better than you know yourself but the potential business benefits outweigh the feeling of unease. Recruitment, getting to know customers and first contact with a prospect could all be made easier with Crystal’s help understanding their personality. Look up your profile to see what Crystal Knows about you.

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