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!
If you are of a certain age you will, no doubt, fondly remember The Young Ones TV programme. Rick (with a silent ‘P’), Vyvyan, Neil and Mike who were all studying at Scumbag College and who lived together in squalid conditions. Their landlord, Jerzei Balowski, did little more than turn up to collect the rent. These days, students are a little bit more demanding (in the main) in terms of their overall student experience and especially with respect to where they live during their time at university.
Our work with a number of student accommodation companies, Downing Students, Yara Students and Axo Student Living, has given us a huge amount of experience developing marketing material (leaflets, signage, adverts, site hoardings, promotional items, etc) and websites specifically aimed at those looking for student accommodation. We have a clear understanding of the student recruitment cycle (from application through to their first day at college) and we know when money should and should not be spent on trying to get students into accommodation. Not only ‘when’ but how – we bring a whole range of techniques and tactics to bear when trying to get tenants into our client’s student accommodation including pay per click campaigns, email marketing (direct and via third parties) and traditional paper-based mailshots. Different tactics work at different times of the year, largely depending on whether it is term time or not.
The most exciting development of the past couple of years is the student accommodation system that we have developed. This system, quite simply, manages the students relationship with their landlord from initial enquiry through to the day they check out of their room. Our system makes it very easy for students to find and apply for accommodation, receive their tenancy agreement immediately, as well as making payment of deposits, rent and sundry items a very simple and seamless process. On the administration side, the student accommodation system makes it easy for the building owner or manager to control the relationship with their tenants and ensure tenants are up to date with all of their payments. The system we have developed works seamlessly with our websites and we are certain it will save landlords and tenants time and money.
So, if you manage 20+ student beds (across one or many buildings), then why not give us a call and see how we can help you fill and manage your accommodation more effectively.
Design graduate or final year student looking for work experience within a creative department in Liverpool?
If you are a design graduate or third year student looking for work experience within a creative department please get in touch!
If you have experience with Adobe Creative Suite and can be just as handy with a marker and piece of paper send us 3 pieces of your work plus a piece you admire that’s not yours and email them through to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you!
by Phillip Ramsey
Whisper it, we seem to be seeing signs of a recovery in the marketing world. Clients are getting on with projects, budget (or more budget) appears to be getting allocated to marketing and communications again – or is it just us?
For the past five years many businesses have lived in a climate of real fear and survival has been a mark of success. During this time far too many have gone under – some were to blame for their own misfortune but many others were the victims of budgets slashed without warning (we experienced some of this). But here we are, on the cusp of a bright shiny new year with a final quarter that, with a month to go, has shattered the revenue of the same period last year.
There is still a way to go but hopefully, the ‘recovery’ will gain momentum. It may well be that we have to wait for our clients (and potential clients) to enjoy a full 12 months of post recession trading before they really get back to normal marketing activity but positive signs are there.