Archive for February, 2016

BLOG: Firsts

by Wayne Stuart

This piece was meant to be written just after Christmas 2015, but with the weight of work and pace of life, here it is two months late, not too bad.

It’s fortunate that this piece is late because it was based on two ‘firsts’ for us, which turned into three. The first of the firsts was an installation at the fabulous Our Lady Immaculate Primary School. We were asked to create designs for a stained glass window for their new chapel at the school, something inspirational for the children, something calming and thought provoking. A unique and absorbing challenge! They didn’t want anything overtly religious but it had to have a religious feeling. We immediately thought of the stunning windows at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. When a couple of designs were rejected we finally took inspiration from an act that takes place, shapes our everyday lives and can be called miraculous… daybreak. That early morning sunrise that is referred to as ‘heavenly glory’. The finish was created with a permanent vinyl which can be enjoyed inside and out. The effect when it captures the light is truly inspirational and thanks to the vision of OLI is something we are immensely proud of.

The second of the firsts was our first Christmas campaign for Merseyrail. Winning a competitive pitch is always a huge boost, but when the client has the same vision you have when faced with a simple sketch and a head full of ideas. It tells you that they have faith and trust in the agency. This was a true team effort, and thanks to the fantastic CGI work from Justin Metz, a simple sketch became quite magical and life like. We wanted to bring an old fashioned charm and Disney-esq magic back to Christmas and thanks to everyone involved we think it really worked.

Our third first was the creation and production of a child’s activity book. A simple yet effective piece of design that communicates important safety messages about the Merseyrail network. Colouring in, spot the difference and bespoke nursery rhymes are brought together with original illustrations and characters created to engage and inform a young audience, and with the added bonus of giving the Accounts team something challenging to do in their lunch hour!

 

What we have been up to in 2016

Here are some examples of our most recent work…

Will 2016 be the year of Snapchat?

Source: The Drum

Snapchat may be on the charm offensive for ad spend but it is still relatively closed off to advertisers, planting it firmly in the test-and-learn arena rather than tried-and-tested at the moment.

The ephemeral platform has overcome its perceived immaturity and is set to tip from niche network to mainstream marvel this year. Its association with sexting and selfies wasn’t the easiest sell-in to advertisers but a growing list of influential brand and media partnerships with the likes of Coca-Cola, Burberry and the Wall Street Journal is allowing agencies to pitch Snapchat without a resulting snicker.

For most advertisers, the quickest win available to them on the social network has been to bypass its eye-bulging ad prices and get influencers to push messages out through their channels. It’s meant that many marketers are carefully considering Snapchat on a brand-by-brand basis as to the appropriateness, role and nature of content in this environment and indeed the reach opportunities.

However, Snapchat wants to be a premium media buy; a string of high-profile hires for its fledgling ad business and rumours of the arrival of an ad tech platform later this year highlight its bid to become more than just a messaging app to advertisers. Executives have been meeting with agencies in the UK since the turn of the year to discuss future opportunities around sport and music, both of which are pitched as big opportunities for potential advertisers, according to one source close to those discussions. Those meetings are also understood to have teased more meaty partnerships from Snapchat’s publisher network Discover and, interestingly, have been at pains to stress that it is not just the preserve of teenagers.

More than 75 per cent of Snapchat users are over 18 years old, said one agency source, making it a sensible media buy for those who can afford it. Unilever is one advertiser that can and is understood to be motivated by the prospect of an older Snapchat audience, with its chief marketing officer Keith Weed recently tweeting that “if Snapchat can capture the older generation, then even more revenue will follow”.

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