Thursday, 4 November 2010

Oil and Water don't mix campaign.

A project by Happiness Brussels Designed by Anthony Burrill Limited edition of 200 posters, screen printed with oil from the Gulf of Mexico disaster

All benefits go to CRCL, (Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana) A non-profit organisation dedicated to restoring the Gulf of Mexico’s coastal wetlands

OIL & WATER DO NOT MIX from Happiness Brussels on Vimeo.

Herne Hill Velo Drome

I have written a post about this amazing cycling venue before I have even done one of the courses on the track and my sone and I often pop down at the weekends. Herne Hill Velodrome is a wonderful step back in time and one of those special experiences that takes you into the heart of cycling history, yet it is planned for demolition despite its incredible history.

Please help to stop the destruction of the oldest cycle track in Britain - the 1948 Olympic Cycling Championships venue. The future of this important community facility is looking bleak as the site is under-funded and deteriorating. The venue provides an exceptional resource for cyclists and the local community and its loss would be tragic. We aim to find a way to secure the future of the site and make it a viable long-term facility for all including local residents and schools.

The commitee are using Facebook to keep everyone up to date with all the news and activities on the campaign.

Don't worry if you don't use Facebook, you can still see the page - or just email us at and we'll keep you informed.

A stunning use of live and film

In life its the experiences that stick with us forever and I cant help thinking that those who witnessed this stunning campaign will remember it for some time.

Scrabble hired Ogilvy Paris and production company Paranoid to create a mixed media experience. Its a beautiful demonstration of how live and film can work hand in hand and its use of derelict space is a very inventive way of attracting the attention of passers by (ok some are staged, but you know what i mean.)

I'm sure that this campaigns viral power will live on for some time.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Bompass & Parr

Apologies for yet another post about those crazy guys from Bompass & Parr, my wife's sister is their agent so its nice to spread the word.

So following on from past exploits with Courvoisier and Ziggurat of Flavour at this years Big Chill Festival, (what an amazing weekend that was, thanks to Leo and the boys). The Jelly mongers now bring you The Chewing Gum Factory at the Whiteleys shopping centre. I attended the Gin & Tonic experience a couple of years ago and it was a very new take on an immersive experience, these guys really know how to take the very essence of a brand and take the consumer to a place that no other marketing medium could ever do.

Bompas & Parr is building an Artisanal Chewing Gum Factory at Whiteleys Shopping Centre. People are invited to learn the secrets of chewing gum manufacture at the worlds first mirco-factory.

Each visitor will be able to choose and combine 200 familiar and unusual flavours including iris, Hendricks Gin and tonic, curry and beer yeast. In total 40,000 flavour combinations are possible.

The factory is open from midday to 6pm, 25-31 October.
Tickets will be availble to purchase on the day (during factory opening hours) from the main atrium of Whiteleys Shopping Centre, Bayswater, London W2 4YN . Tickets are priced at £2.50.

Tickets are available on a first come first served basis. We regret that booking is not possible. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

BMX Wonderment

I still have a soft spot for all things BMX and came across this dude whilst scouring the web for some entertainment inspiration.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Projection Mapping

This has been doing the rounds for quite some time now, first Lexus and now Toyota with the Auris. Its nice but getting a bit dated, so whats next?

You are the big picture by Aviva

I have watched with interest and intrigue for the past fortnight the building of a picture on the side of Sea Containers House on the South Bank. Having been out of the marketing loop for the past three months I was fascinated to learn more about the project and the background behind this building picture.

So once gripped by enough intrigue I started to look into the initiative and found the multi platform experience very interesting and engaging. It started with conversation with the team that has been hanging from the building. The abseiling artists were taking a break so I approached them to learn more about the project and I was blown away to learn that it was not part of London Design Week it was in fact a brand initiative by Aviva.

Now this was especially intriguing because I have been an Aviva customer for many years and they have helped me on a number of times after a particularly bad motorcycle accident I had in 2008.

The initiative titled, you are the big picture by Aviva. Aviva is running this campaign to the relationship it has with its customers and to bring to life the extrodinary moments between the brand and its customers. They are celebrating these extrodinary people in extroinary portraits.

You are the big picture pays tribute to thesepeople in giant portraits designed to match the size of their compassion, resolve, determination or integrity.

I have been watching the portrait of Sylvia and her husband Allen. Sylvia’s story is centered around a life saving operation.

Why do I feel compelled to write about this campaign, well from the point of intrigue and the visual spectacle of the portraits coming to life and then the inspiration to seek out more information and then to get involved was a very inspiring and immersive experience and I think that Aviva should be congratulated for such a bold and inspirational campaign. The use of many platforms to create a campaign that will put Aviva in the hearts and minds of the public is an inspired one and proves that brands no longer feel the need to spend all of their budgets on glossy TV campaigns, it also proves that even financial institutions can be inspiring and bold in their message delivery.

I believe that even the most cynical of us would find some inspiration in this campaign, the live execution in itself must have taken months of negotiation and preperation and its tenacity must be applauded, I was watching and thinking “who are these people and why are they being portraid on this huge building? So of course I headed to the online to find out.

This then led me to be inspired to learn more dig deeper and then get involved myself.

A great campaign.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Influencer Marketing

I am currently doing a lot of research around the power of the influencer network and looking at how powerful influencers are as a brand asset. I attended the Future Labs LSN:global Trend Briefing yesterday which inspired and confirmed many things. I will be putting together some thoughts around the content shortly but in the meantime here is a trailer for an interesting doco around influencers from R+I Creative.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

PaperCamp 2

Looking for something different to do this Saturday? get yourself along to Paper Camp

Thursday, 30 September 2010

The London Design Festival

So, those that know me know that I have had some time on my hands recently so my son and I have been out and about over the past fortnight checking out the London Design Festival and the icon design trail.

Firstly Icon Design Trail, really really inspiring and i was honestly blown away by some of the outstanding ideas but also by the quality of the presentations and demonstrations given by these inspiring designers. I would strongly recommend those in the creative industries to pop along if the show is still on, for inspiration and tips on presenting creative ideas.

Secondly one of my favorite pieces at the festival was Drop by Paul Cocksedge. it was very interactive and the kids loved it as much as the adults or vice versa!

More details here from Dezeen

An installation by Paul Cocksedge Studio for the London Design Festival.

18th September – 8th October 2010 London Design Festival Size + Matter Commission Southbank Centre
Cocksedge conceived ‘Drop’ as an outsize coin ‘which has fallen to Earth from a giant’s palm’. Lightly buckled upon landing improbably upright.

Amongst other intriguing properties the giant coin is magnetic, encouraging passers-by to participate by affixing their spare pennies, facilitating a human connection with an otherworldly object. ‘Drop’ will thus be copper plated through many small human acts of contribution. At the end of the installation the public contributions will be counted and Barnardo’s corporate partners will turn every penny into one pound. The ambition is to emulate the success of the Studio’s ‘Kiss’ installation in Milan last year which raised a large donation for good causes.

The sculpture is made possible through collaboration with Arup and Van Driel Engineering.

Paul Cocksedge Studio is the internationally acclaimed design practice of partners Joana Pinho and Paul Cocksedge, based in London. The studio undertakes in-house design, commissions and consultancy work for a range of clients and sectors. Production ranges from bespoke manufacturing to licensing technologies. The Studio is dedicated to the creation of sophisticated, cutting edge products and installations.

Barnardo’s works with more than 100,000 children, young people and their families in 415 specialised projects in communities across the UK. We believe in the potential in every child and young person, no matter who they are, what they have done or what they have been through. We will support them, stand up for them and bring out the best in each and every child. Every year we help thousands of children turn their lives around. But we cannot do it without you. Visit to find out how you can get involved and show you believe in children.

Monday, 27 September 2010


I'm sure I'm not alone in noticing the current popularity of Table Tennis or as its widely known Ping Pong. This is surely one of those most popular of sports that can truly be embraced by anyone, my local park Dulwich now has a number of permanent tables and its difficult to even get on them at the weekends.

Check this little film I found:

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Projects Nelson, Coupland & Alice

Since our recent purchase of the iPAD we have been making great use of the online bookstore as well as films, social media magazines apps such as Flip and many more, so i was really inspired when seeing this little video of what the future could hold for the online book.

Recently IDEO released a five-minute video exploring the future of digital books. Their illustrated concepts highlight some interesting opportunity areas in the publishing industry through three distinct reading experiences:

Nelson reinforces books as critical thinking tools, providing multiple perspectives, references, and current conversations on a single subject. The layers of information beyond the book itself provide greater context and encourages a deeper dive into the book throughout history and into the future.

Coupland addresses the challenge to stay on top of the thinking and writing in our world and professional field that so many of us feel. Readers can easily keep up with "must-reads" by following what colleagues are reading and interact with them through "book clubs" and other social layers (discussions, suggestions, lists, purchases) to help each other share and learn.

Alice explores new ways for users to interact and affect written narratives by introducing non-linear and game mechanics to reading. By introducing the reader's active participation, this concept "blurs the lines between reality and fiction." Certain interactions allow the reader to transcend traditional media by utilising geographic location, communication with characters, and user contribution to storyline and plot.

A very cool “blue sky” project from IDEO to say the least. I enjoyed the way they chose to compartmentalise the functionality rather than attempting to redefine the book in a single all-inclusive interface (a failure we see in most of these concept projects). This project, and examples appearing all over the industry, only further prove that the future of books in the digital age does not lie in single solution but rather a utilisation of technology to better address the wants and needs of users to share, interact, and learn more through specialised design solutions. We are certainly on the precipice of a whole new world for this morphed understanding of the "book."

Courtesy of Core 77

Friday, 17 September 2010

Friday, 10 September 2010

Some photo's

Lovely Heritage film

I have to admit that i'm not a huge fan of the car but you can't beat getting insight into the heritage of such an historic British brand.

Been away for a while..

Hi followers, its been a while. I have been taking it easy for the past three months and doing a lot of research and writing and looking at the the world of experiences, content rich media and the power of face to face communications.

I will be sharing some of my views and findings with you over the coming weeks.

Cat Herding

A very interesting experiment carried out by a group of creatives for Ikea recently.

Friday, 2 July 2010

When will they learn?

It’s an issue I have discussed before, but in my opinion, media buyers and planners still cannot seem to get their heads around the effectiveness of live events. Live events are getting recognition in their world, but they are the first thing to be removed from the marketing mix if the budget gets cut.


I think it may be hard for media buyers to understand the argument for events because traditionally, the effectiveness of events has been hard to measure.

The live event medium is still a relatively new marketing discipline. We know that event effectiveness can be measured, but often brands do not feel the need to invest in the measurement process – preferring to spend their money on the actual event itself because they have anecdotal evidence that the event works. Brands often measure event success in softer ways, by speaking to their staff and customers - so they don’t feel the need to rigorously measure it. And of course, big brands would not continue to invest in events if they didn’t deliver.

Media Planners prefer to buy media channels that are measured to within an inch of their lives. The data extracted from traditional TV, radio or print campaigns can sit happily on their screens and be utilised in the many tools they use to precisely plan a campaign. I’m not saying that this is wrong – they are effectively a guardian for a brand budget and they need to justify the spend, but perhaps it’s time for them to come into the real world of experiences and not just plan campaigns by relying on what it says on their screens? It’s a numbers game to them and they tend to go for size over substance - the more the merrier: “if our adverts are seen by over 1 million people, then that just has to be better than just a few thousand at an event?” – even if that smaller event audience really connects and engages with a brand – rather than passively viewing an advert and simply changing channels...?


Another issue that has to be considered is that events take time to activate – they are not marketing items that can be picked up and created at the drop of a hat. Once a campaign has been devised it is then pretty straightforward to book and place TV, billboard or magazine advertising. But it takes time and creativity to turn that campaign into a live experience – whether that be for a consumer audience at a festival, a shopping centre, a B2B audience in an exhibition hall or for an internal audience at the staff conference.

There is also a lot of confusion in the market place caused by media agencies pretending that they actually create events themselves and then sending the brief to an events agency to do the actual work. Things get lost in translation – the agency account managers are not event specialists and so do not know the right questions to ask or have the experience to understand what does and doesn’t work. The event agency gets briefed by an intermediary who has a limited understanding – both of the brand and of the event mechanic – so it shouldn’t be a surprise if the resulting event is less than effective.

Media sellers need to look at the bigger picture and start to invest in the research of events and experiences or align themselves to research agencies such as Continental Research who have the experience and expertise to measure events – having measured at least 50 experiential and live event campaigns in recent times. In doing this they will see that there is huge value in the qualitative power of a live experience. Events are the most powerful form of engagement and are proven to influence the change in buying behaviours and advocacy of consumers. Today’s consumers are hungry for immersion, engagement and benefit and there is no proven benefit to them of a TV ad or a 46 or 96 sheet Ad. In fact recent research in the USA showed that at least 40 percent of people watching TV in the US are actually asleep!

This time of advertising is a one way communication – a message forced onto a consumer, so why should they listen? Brands that assume that their customers are receptive to this antiquated approach are often sadly disappointed. More and more, consumers ask ‘what’s in it for me’. We all know that it’s all about a relationship so why should that relationship be one sided?

Marketing has changed and media planners need to keep up. Events are a marketing tool and an effective one at that. Gone are the days of mass messaging and a one size fits all approach. It is not a numbers game and not a case of ‘throw enough mud and some of it will stick...’ Consumers are savvy and they understand how advertising works and they can choose to ignore it.

Brands can choose how they communicate with their audience: an immersive experience that engages and rewards a consumer or a static, one dimensional approach that just happens to be seen by a larger audience (but who are mostly asleep...) I know which one I would choose, and funnily enough, the savvy brands are choosing this approach too so why don’t media planners take this medium far more seriously?

Monday, 14 June 2010

Don’t mess with another man’s trade – The power of PR

One of my pet hates is PR agencies who claim to run events, I've met a number of PR's that make claim to being Experiential and Events experts and I can say with hand on heart that they are not. And conversely I also get annoyed by event agencies who claim that they don’t need a PR agency and that they can do their own PR.

Are the skills involved with running an event transferable to PR? I don’t think so. Handling the press, writing press releases and creating ideas for articles is quite a separate skill set. So why do so many event agencies think they can do it themselves? It is true that most people, given a steer, could actually write a press release. There is enough information online to guide you in what to put (and more importantly what not to put) in a release but people still get it wrong. Speak to any journalist and they will laughingly tell you about all the errors they see in releases and why so many of them just don’t get used.

But are press releases all there is to PR? What about the creatively required to analyse our work, and pull out the trends and the issues that the press will want to hear about? what about the skill required to work with the media in a proactive way?

I have a very close relationship with my PR. I have worked with her for over four years and her work has been absolutely crucial to me - initially in my success in building my last business, and more recently in launching and then building RPM Corporate into the division that it is today. She is an essential part of the team; we work closely with her so she knows everything that is going on - what we are pitching for and the events we are creating. She even works directly with our clients so they know her, and more importantly trust her, to create some amazing coverage for us whilst observing their limitations and company guidelines.

I view PR as an essential part of my new business strategy. And it works – otherwise I would not be writing this comment column for you now!