Latest Posts

Ninjas don’t need instruction manuals. Neither do shoppers.

ninjaYou are an expert. An expert in shopping.

A natural. So good, you don’t even realise how good you are.

To coin some pseudo-marketing-psychology, you have moved to the fourth stage of learning when it comes to making purchase decisions: you have an ‘Unconscious Competence’ in shopping. You are a Shopping Ninja. Read More »

The opportunities your business and brand are missing

women SheSaysIt is great to see the subject of women and gender balance has become mainstream in our industry – even The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity significantly upped its game this year, with the launch of the ‘See it Be It‘ programme, and a commitment to increase numbers of female judges. But in our eyes this still isn’t enough.

The industry has been paying lip service to the problem of late, and appears to see it purely as an issue of equality: “We get more women into senior roles and the job is done.” Right? Wrong. It is more than this – it is actually good business. We persuaded Cannes Lions to let us host the panel discussion ‘Why 80% of your advertising budget is wasted’.

If you are reading that thinking, ‘Wow, 80% sounds huge. Surely that can’t be right,’ then let me explain something you probably don’t want to hear. The way we operate as an industry is broken, and if we don’t fix it soon, we’re in for some big trouble ahead. Read More »

5 ways charities can make websites more donation-friendly

Online payment by EP TechnologyThis week we published our 2014 charity website survey which looked at how effectively the top 50 UK charities use their websites to drive donations.

Our research threw up some significant differences in the ‘donation-friendliness’ of these leading charities with some important lessons to learn ahead of the key pre-Christmas fundraising season: Read More »

Want to get ahead in advertising? Find a coach

women, by State Library of Victorial CollectionAn issue of the Evening Standard last week contained a pretty depressing piece highlighting findings from the ONS that found the gender pay gap is widening in London.

It reported that men are being paid 13% more than women, with women receiving only 86.8p per hour for every pound paid to men, a decrease from 89.1p the year before.

Talking Talent, a coaching consultancy that focuses on developing female talent, has delved a little deeper into these stats. Read More »

How going back to the source can awaken our creativity

Imperial War MuseumAll too often in the creative industry our focus rests on chasing the Next Big Thing. But what happens when we take a step back and work from the starting point of ‘old’?

As a sound designer, I am often approached with one of two challenges:

1.Make something sound new, different, unusual


2. make a contemporary voice sound like an artefact from the past, be that the 70s, 50s, or 30s. Read More »

The writing is on the wall for TV too

TV by Lubs Mary. FlickrMeasurement within print advertising has come under fire recently, criticism that online advertising has been seeing for sometime – not least from chair of Thinkbox, Tess Alps.

This is not the first time that transparency across online advertising has been compared unfavourably to other channels, and it is often TV that is held up as a shining example of an advertising model, but we often forget where it falls down and where online excels in terms of measurement and accountability. Read More »

Words still matter

writing by Pedro Ribeiro SimeosIt all started with those innocent little smileys that we began adding to our first text messages to convey a feeling. Then came Facebook, and we changed lengthy blogs for shorter status updates – and before long, those updates turned into photos. Then came Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat and whatnot.

Today, a photo gets twice as many likes on Facebook as a written update. Tumblr’s most popular form of media, by 42%, is an image and Instagram was the fastest growing social platform last year. We are blessed with such a selection of emojis on our smartphones that one can easily communicate how-embarrassed-they-are-about-the-gift-cactus-they-received-from-their-grandma-as-a-birthday-present-but-that-they-still-love-her-very-much – without typing a single word. Grumpy Cat, which (who?) grew from a silly meme into an ultimate visual representation of modern human discontent, made it to the cover of New Yorker last year.

Is anyone writing anymore? Read More »

It may be right. It may be good. But is it interesting?

Interest by Simon CunninghamDavid Ogilvy said this about advertising:

‘You can’t bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them into buying it.’

Here is the same mantra with the key word underlined by me:

‘You can’t bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them into buying it.’

As my advertising career began with Ogilvy, I have been interested in ‘interesting’ for a very long time.

In today’s world, is advertising interesting?

Read More »

10 questions to ask when choosing a mobile agency

Mobile dataIn a market that is increasingly diverse, fast-moving, and difficult to understand – the challenge of choosing the right mobile agency has never been greater. Here are ten of the most important questions (and answers), to help you decide: Read More »

How to avoid the incremental trap

Steps by jara_mae FlickrImagine the scenario: It’s planning time and budgets are still really tough. Many consultancies and agencies will be talking to their clients about incremental growth, incremental volume, incremental profit, and incremental process improvements.

It’s such a lovely, feel-good adjective. It’s like the growth is there so long as you can find best practice, harness capability and galvanise action… yes, this is straight from the manual of consultants’ ‘bullshit bingo’.

The problem with incremental is that it says improvement, but with no real effort or worse, anything will do. While businesses are shuffling the deck chairs looking for internal best practice, the consumers and market are making their own best practice. And, at a pace that will outrun any ‘ways of working’ manual or online toolkit. Read More »