Press Releases - VCCP - VCCP Press Releases at en-us Copyright 2020 There's not enough 'me' in autonomy It's surprising how much of our daily intellectual effort has already been outsourced.

2019-09-30 00:00:00
VCCP gives Cadbury its soul back 2019-09-24 18:19:03 In praise of the office 2019-09-24 18:16:04 Isn't it ironic? 2019-09-24 18:12:33 Berghaus turns to Instagram for latest ad campaign Outdoor fashion retailer Berghaus has embraced Instagram as the channel to best tempt the public into the wilds as it launches the latest phase of its multi-million pound campaign.

Founded in 1966 in Newcastle upon Tyne by climbers Peter Lockey and Gordon Davison, the brand made its name selling ski and outdoor gear. The pair sold the company onto Pentland Group in 1993, now home to brands including Speedo, Ellesse, Canterbury, Boxfresh and Mitre.

In his first year in the role, Kevin McFadyen, Berghaus brand director, previously of Nando's, O2 and Red Bull, believes that Instagram is where the brand can stand out and break new ground - but to do so he must retread old ground.

As part of brand revitalisation, brand founders Lockey and Davison were redrafted to define the "brand purpose and share what gave it its mojo".

"We went through all the archives, the brand archeology and old product ranges and campaigns. There was so much great stuff there. There is a heritage range launching later this year," says McFadyen, who joked the goal is to get the brand back to the level of fame where thieves "ramraid our warehouse on a weekly basis."

After his fact-finding expedition, McFadyen believes the brand has a "much sharper view of consumers which shaped the latest campaign, which builds upon 2018's 'Time To Get Out' work (below), its first multi-million pound UK advertising campaign. 

That work, from VCCP and under head of brand management Chris Tattersall, looked to inspire viewers to enter the outdoors with scenic oil painting ads.

But McFadyen has put his stamp on the concept for the latest iteration by sending six Instagram photographers to the Isle of Skye, and the Lake District to capture the brand in its natural habitat.

"The campaign honed in on a salient human truth in today’s modern world, death by email and Instagram alerts galore; we paired that with the well-known and well-documented benefits of being outdoors. We created some really great copy lines about that," he says.

"We looked at the results of the original campaign and it was not doing as much of a job as it might do. We stayed with the same human truth but moved into something that would personally resonate more with the consumer. Where do you go when you want to escape? That's Instagram."

The photographers were sent out into the world but McFadyen emphasises, this was not an Instagram influencer play.

"We recognise their power and their ability to connect to consumers in that media. Instagram is the place where people are already inspired." 

The content will live on Instagram, and on digital and social channels. There will be a limited run of outdoor ads in proximity to retail partners.

Jim Thornton, deputy executive creative director of VCCP, added: "Berghaus has always been an antidote to fads, and a constant throughout changing turbulent times. It's smart, stylish, clothing that does exactly what it's supposed to - keep you dry and warm so you can make the most of your time getting out."

But some brands have fallen in the battle to stand out in outdoor retail. The North Face was recently involved in a scandal where it defaced Wikipedia so images of natural landmarks served up product placements. 

2019-09-18 00:00:00
O2 takes inspiration from samurai culture in Rugby World Cup campaign England rugby heroes ask fans to be their 'armour' in spot by VCCP.

England rugby captain Owen Farrell and teammates Maro Itoje, Jonny May, Ben Youngs, Courtney Lawes and Elliot Daly appear as warriors dressed in bespoke English Rugby samurai-style armour in O2’s campaign for the Ruby World Cup.
"Be their armour" breaks on ITV on Sunday (22 September) during England’s first game against Tonga. Created by VCCP, it is based on the idea that the support fans show their team will provide them with the armour needed to help them become world champions. Fans are encouraged to share images of themselves supporting the team, using the hashtag #WearTheRose on social channels.
The 90-second film sees mysterious riders burst into a remote forest settlement to rouse its inhabitants into action. Armour, bearing the England rose emblem, is forged by the fans and fitted to the players, who are then seen ready to face the world with their fans by their side.
It is supported by a six-episode content series, created by Jump, Havas Group Media’s content and partnerships division. It features former England rugby player-turned-pundit Ugo Monye and TV personality Jamie Laing discovering the power and influence of rugby in Japan, ranging from the grassroots game all the way to hosting the World Cup.

The pair kick off the series with a meeting with England head coach Eddie Jones, who is half-Japanese and half-Australian. Each episode then explores a key characteristic of what it means to be an international player via five elements of the Bushido code, which is closely tied to samurai culture: respect, integrity, duty, loyalty and courage.
The "O2 presents: Travel fan in Japan" series breaks tomorrow (19 September), with every episode available to watch through Joe Media, as well as on O2’s social channels.
Nina Bibby, chief marketing officer at O2, said: "As lead partner of England Rugby, we wanted to create a campaign that brings fans closer to the team and galvanises the nation to show their support and wear the rose. Our players have now worn the shield of the samurai, but it will be the support from millions of England Rugby supporters both at home and in Japan that will be their armour on the pitch."
Bibby said that she had been mindful of the need to be respectful to the samurai tradition and avoid using Japanese stereotypes in the campaign by working with Jones and the School of Oriental and African Studies.
O2’s 24-year sponsorship of the England rugby team is the longest-running shirt sponsorship in the world and the existing contract runs until mid-2021. 

2019-09-18 00:00:00
Paddy Power "Save our shirt" by VCCP Paddy Power is on a mission to save football shirts from heavy branding.
A TV ad mocks football-shirt sponsorship by showing people wearing kit with absurd branding, such as "Grumpy Pigeon" and "Mr Softy". It is accompanied by I Love My Shirt by Donovan and a voiceover concludes: "Wouldn’t it be great if your footy shirt looked less like a billboard?" Paddy Power kicked off the "Save our shirt" campaign in July with a stunt pretending to unveil a new shirt design for the recently relegated Huddersfield Town, which featured a huge diagonal sash with the brand’s logo. The betting brand has added Motherwell, Newport County, Southend United and Macclesfield Town to its "unsponsoring" campaign and is calling on other sponsors to follow its lead and stop bastardising football shirts. The work was created by Kevin Masters, Christine Turner, Chris Willis and Paul Kocur, and directed by Peter Cattaneo through Academy. 


2019-09-18 00:00:00
Canon "History in the taking" by VCCP Canon highlights its role in Rugby World Cup history with a nostalgic spot.
In the run-up to the Rugby World Cup, Canon has enlisted the help of ex-England captain Martin Johnson to talk through the brand’s historic role in the sport. The ad features Johnson as he discusses lifting the 2003 trophy, as photographed by Getty Images’ Dave Rogers. The pair chat about the famous photo's context while it is streamed on to a giant screen in Twickenham Stadium.
In addition, there is a French-speaking spot starring former player Philippe Bernat-Salles as he looks at photos from his career.
Both ads are part of Canon's Rugby World Cup 2019 sponsorship campaign, which spans social, digital, print, online and in-store across Europe. The brand is also giving customers the chance to win a holiday to the tournament-winning nation when they register a recent Canon purchase via the brand’s website.
The work was created by Pete Bastiman and David Aylesbury, and directed by Ben Jones through Absolute Post. The media agency is PHD. 

2019-09-18 00:00:00
Domino's takes on London Fashion Week with 'night-in collection' Domino’s has kicked off London Fashion Week with a comfort-led campaign, influenced by the latest trend: duvet coats.

Created by VCCP and designed by Liam Hodges (whose work is set to be showcased during LFW), the collection includes the controller coat, a cape with pockets to hold a TV remote; the gaming bag, a sleeping bag with arm and leg holes; and the boxset blanket, a three-person blanket for TV bingeing while curled up on the sofa.

Domino's: outfits designed by Hodges
Domino’s has kicked off London Fashion Week with a comfort-led campaign, influenced by the latest trend: duvet coats.
Created by VCCP and designed by Liam Hodges (whose work is set to be showcased during LFW), the collection includes the controller coat, a cape with pockets to hold a TV remote; the gaming bag, a sleeping bag with arm and leg holes; and the boxset blanket, a three-person blanket for TV bingeing while curled up on the sofa.

"This is a really disruptive move from us," Ben Brassett, digital brand and campaign marketing manager at Domino’s, said.
"We’re always really genuine with what we do, so we wanted this to be something people would genuinely want to wear. Nobody is designing anything which makes it easy to eat a takeaway at home, so let’s be the brand that does that."

"Fashin – the ultimate night in collection, directed by Liam Hodges" marks the latest in a string of fashion-themed campaigns from fast-food brands. McDonald's created "Schnuggs" – a clothing line designed to promote its Spicy Chicken Nuggets – and KFC Russia launched a Colonel Sanders-inspired bucket hat.

The Domino's collection is accompanied by an Instagram competition to win two limited-edition gaming bags, as handmade by Hodges.
Harriet Guppy, senior account director at VCCP, said: "Domino’s is the ultimate night-in food and we were looking for a way to elevate those well-deserved nights in to be more epic and memorable.
"By hijacking and going live around London Fashion Week, it was our expression of the ultimate night in through a pretty relevant cultural lens.
"We aren’t actually serious about this. We’re not going to suddenly stop making pepperoni passions and become a high-street retailer. This is very tongue-in cheek – think Zoolander, not Vogue."
The work was created by Caroline Rawlings and directed by Liam Hodges through CommuneEast. Media is handled in-house. 

2019-09-18 00:00:00
Best Ads of the Week : Sep 9, 2019 There’s a crisis in the UK and 1.4 million older people struggle with loneliness. 225,000 often go a whole week without speaking to anyone. That’s why Cadbury Dairy Milk launched a new brand campaign, 'Donate Your Words', in support of Age UK. For the first time ever the UK’s number one chocolate brand has removed the words from its iconic purple bars and is 'donating' them to the Charity to help alleviate loneliness amongst older people. The limited edition bar will be sold in supermarkets nationwide with 30p from each bar going towards Age UK to help provide vital services and support when older people need it most. The campaign will also encourage Brits to donate their words by pledging to reach out and have a chat with older people in their communities. 


2019-09-18 00:00:00
MORE TH>N launches new TV sponsorship campaign for ITV Showcase Drama MORE TH>N insurance has launched a new TV sponsorship campaign entitled ‘Defuse the Drama’. As the official sponsor of ITV Showcase Drama, MORE TH>N’s new idents will feature during popular ITV dramas from March to December.

As a leading UK insurance brand, MORE TH>N is no stranger to defusing drama. Whether it’s fixing burst pipes or taking care of poorly pets, MORE TH>N prides itself on doing more to help its customers with life's unexpected dramas. So, MORE TH>N has teamed up with ITV to bring audiences a different kind of drama.

The new idents feature Mordenn, MORE TH>N’s cool and calm fictional founder, as he effortlessly defuses a series of dramatic moments with the line “Drama? …No drama”. From a patient going into cardiac arrest, through to a couple’s public break-up and passengers fighting for survival after a plane crash, the idents feature a range of tense scenarios familiar to many TV dramas.

The new idents, created by VCCP, launched on 18th March during “The Durrells” on ITV and the ITV Hub. The campaign will continue throughout 2018, sponsoring top ITV dramas including “Cold Feet” and “Vanity Fair”. 

Gail Parker, Brand, Marketing and Distribution Director, MORE TH>N “We are excited to be sponsoring this great prime time drama schedule where our iconic brand character, Mordenn, can really connect with ITV’s viewers in defusing the drama in a series of idents. Classic television dramas draw families together and it’s great to have our brand at the heart of these moments.”

Adam Thompson, Creative Director, VCCP “When given the opportunity to create a set of fun and memorable idents for one of the UK's best-known insurance brands, we enlisted the help of laidback Scandinavian James Bond, Mordenn, to slide in and effortlessly save the day. Sitting within some of ITV’s best-known dramas, the idents needed to stand up against the shows high budget productions, so we asked directors Terri Timely to sprinkle some of their surreal comedy magic. With their help, Mordenn defuses a series of well-known TV drama tropes, turning drama into no drama.” 


2018-03-19 00:00:00
The FA's 'For All' campaign gathers momentum

The Football Association has launched the second phase of its brand campaign, ‘For All’ to demonstrate ‘there is more to football than football’. 

The ‘For All’ campaign, was launched in March 2017 and sits at the heart of The FA, championing the governing body’s provision and support of football for all people at all levels. The now established, ‘For All’ will focus on helping to achieve The FA’s strategic objectives. 

Paid, owned and earned activity will be wrapped within the creative of ‘There is more to football than football’, which champions the togetherness, friendship and confidence that stems from playing the game. 

The initial focus is upon The FA’s ‘Gameplan for Growth’ strategy which aims to double the player base and fans of women and girls’ football by 2020. The campaign targets 11 to 16 years old females and aims to inspire them to participate in the game, driving interest in initiatives such as FA Girls’ Football Week, SSE Wildcats and girls’ football clubs as well as promoting the fun and friendships that can be created from playing the game. 

Activity is underpinned by a hero 30 second video created by VCCP and renowned Director Courtney Phillips, which shows a group of girls performing a slick, choreographed dance routine, later revealed as a goal celebration at a football match. 

The video – available on – appeared in a primetime slot on ITV’s The X Factor on Saturday evening (18 November), supported by activity across Sky Adsmart. Social versions of the video – fundamental to the target audience - have been created for use across key channels including; Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. Media planning for the campaign was handled by Manning Gottlieb OMD. 

Jim Thornton, Deputy Executive Creative Director at VCCP, “We want more girls to discover the joys of playing football. And most importantly, that playing football has never been just about the playing - it’s always been as much about the fun, about being part of a squad or a gang. That’s what we wanted to show in the ad - the camaraderie, the confidence & the craic that goes hand-in-hand with being part of a team.” 

The campaign’s hashtag is #moretofootball and phase two will continue into 2018 with a focus on promoting The FA People’s Cup.

To view the video visit More information on ‘For All’ is available at 

2017-11-22 00:00:00
Canon wants you to give the gift of a story this Christmas


The new year is just around the corner. There’ll be moments you’ve planned, and moments you’ll experience out of the blue. The anticipation of what’s to come is incredibly exciting. It’s a whole new year to fill, so give the gift of a story this winter.

As a brand, Canon wants to go behind the picture to find the stories that really resonate with their customers. They launched “Live for the Story” in summer this year and the winter campaign is a continuation on this theme, creating emotional connections with their audience. They want to inspire people to get out there and live their story in the next year.

In order to prepare you for all these wonderful new experiences, today sees the launch of a beautifully shot campaign from VCCP. The series of films and photographs showcase the moments just before something happens. Each story, shot in slow motion at 100 frames per second on a Canon C700 camera, builds up the sense of anticipation. From a driveway basketball about to land in the hoop, or a snowball in motion to a baby tasting lemon for the first time.

The print campaign, shot by award-winning photographer David Harriman, captures the instant just before the action happens, inspiring viewers to create their own moments. The filmed stories, directed by Jack Whiteley and produced by Rattling Stick, close the loop on the narrative by showing what happens next.

This is a fully integrated campaign across print, online content, digital, social, PR, CRM and in-store/retail. The creative will run across EMEA from the 1st of November until mid January and is pitched as a winter campaign. The stylistically minimal imagery is a welcome contrast to the Christmas noise, encouraging you to look beyond the holidays and at what might happen in 2018.

Next year is coming. Be ready.

Lee Bonniface, Senior Marketing Director from Canon commented:

“We repositioned Canon in May this year as a storytelling brand to help customers tell the best stories of their lives with all the different product and services Canon offers, from cameras, printers all the way through to our digital services and new launch print shop. The winter campaign continues the journey, teasing customers on the anticipation of those exciting stories yet to happen. 2018 is coming...Be Ready...Canon Live for the Story.”

Andrew Peake, Managing Director, VCCP added:

“This campaign continues the repositioning of Canon as a storytelling brand across EMEA and encourages people to get out and live for the story in 2018. The campaign is integrated across multiple channels and makes a clear link between the experiences people will have and the best Canon product or service to tell their story. We're really proud of the work and look forward to seeing the results” 

2017-11-01 00:00:00
Domino's: The Official Food of Everything  

Domino’s, the nation’s best-loved pizza is now “The Official Food of Everything” – and we mean everything. Forget Sunday roasts, fancy nights out and basic nights in, treat yourself to a Domino’s instead. Whether you’re feeding your squad on the go or having a family night in front of the telly, give the oven the night off and choose a freshly handmade pizza. 

VCCP won the Domino’s account in April this year and in its first campaign for the well-known brand, “The Official Food of Everything” it plans to show us exactly what this means. To launch this bold new manifesto, the team has created six television spots that illustrate the versatility of a freshly ordered Domino’s. The series features humorous real-life situations, seriously cool nerds and awkward family encounters, layered with catchy soundtracks all united by the love of an ordered pizza. The adverts are geared to portray that Domino’s isn’t just about getting good food fast, it’s a way to bring people together, to celebrate the big and the small or just the everyday, it works for everything, officially. 

The Official Food of Everything” campaign, which was planned and bought by Arena Media, launched with a fully integrated campaign including TV, digital, radio, Spotify, PR, social and a partnership with Tinder. The campaign also marks Domino’s first foray into cinema advertising, and will see an OOH wrap at the iconic IMAX site in Waterloo. 

The Official Food of Everything campaign will also form part of an exclusive partnership with Tinder, maintaining the brand’s presence among its key target consumer of 16-34 year olds. The activity will show Tinder users a Domino’s-branded profile card with a tongue-in-cheek message and “The Official Food of Everything” strapline. When users swipe right they will be served an offer message and a call to action to click through to the Domino’s website. 

Tony Holdway, Sales & Marketing Director of Domino’s commented: "

We've worked so closely with all our agencies partners to deliver a really fresh, impactful campaign that shows what Domino's and pizza is all about in our customer's lives. The core communications on TV & Digital platforms are blended with some real innovation across OOH, cinema, Tinder and other digital spaces. We really couldn't be more excited about the launch!"

Matt Lever, Deputy ECD, VCCP said about creating the campaign:

“Pizza’s the best food in the world (fact) and Domino’s is the best pizza in the world (fact). So by definition, Domino’s must be the best food in the world (think about it...). With that in mind, we think Domino’s has the right to represent any moment, occasion or thing it wants. So we’re officially excited to be making Domino’s “The Official Food of Everything”

Sarah Treliving, Managing Director of Arena Media, said:

“Domino’s is the most successful and forward thinking pizza brand in the country and this campaign further demonstrates its commitment to originality and relevance. By partnering with Tinder Domino’s is reaching young adults in a social frame of mind, while appearing on the big screen for the first time will perfectly showcase the brand to consumers in a visually impressive yet relaxed environment.” The films were produced by Blink Productions and directed by The Bobbsey Twins from Homicide. 


2017-09-25 00:00:00
VCCP appoints John Cherry as creative director  

VCCP are thrilled to announce the arrival of John Cherry as creative director to the expanding creative department following new business successes this year including Cadbury, Domino’s, Suzuki and Britvic. A hugely talented creative, he comes to the agency after a three-year stint at JWT. Initially, he will be working on the easyJet account as well as lending his expertise to other VCCP brands.

Cherry has worked on many notable accounts during his time at JWT, putting his name to memorable campaigns such as “feel every smile” for Listerine as well as the wonderfully weird “You can’t get any more Ribenary” for Ribena. Other well-known names under his belt include Kenwood, Johnson & Johnson and Nestle.

He started his career 16 years ago at Wieden+Kennedy, bringing the “Honda Sense” campaign to life. Cherry previously worked at Fallon on Orange where he worked with The Muppets, a personal highlight, Cadburys and the BBC. He was also an art director on the Stella Artois "smooth originals" campaign, which won Cannes Lions in 2009 and worked with Wes Anderson on another Stella Artois campaign in 2010.

Commenting on the new position, John said:
"I'm very excited to be joining VCCP, they're a great creative agency, doing smart populist work for some great brands. And with many friends I've worked with before it really feels like a wonderfully familiar place already, which is rare and special.”

He will report into Darren Bailes, ECD, VCCP, who added:
"We love John. He was a talented baby back in the mother days. He's achieved so much since then and grown up. Great to have the grown up John on board." 

2017-09-13 00:00:00
VCCP's New Billboard Campaign for O2 Aims to Help Us Avoid 'Those' Oops Moments

O2 know how much you love your phone. And know accidents happen.

People in the UK have amassed a total repair bill of more than £1 billion over the last 3 years from cracking their mobile phone screen.

That’s why O2’s got you covered for all those oops moments. Their latest integrated campaign introducing free screen replacement when you buy the latest phones.

The campaign will be supported by a comprehensive four week print campaign beginning with a unique translucent Metro cover wrap resembling the broken screen of a mobile phone.

Broken and collapsed billboards can be seen across London, while at Waterloo and St Pancras stations, large lenticular screens will create the impression of a screen actually cracking as commuters stroll past.

The TV ad will also run across O2’s social channels, while Instagram stories, Gifs, a Snapchat Lens and chances to win free screen repairs by sharing “oops” stories will generate further buzz. 

2017-09-08 00:00:00
Alexa on Trial

It’s in our nature to rebel. As teenagers, or in retirement, we don’t really like to be told what to do. And we enjoy a good bit of mischief! It’s part of what makes us human.

In today’s brave new world of artificial intelligence (AI) our human-ness is going to be increasingly important. As machines get better at learning, they will get better at imitating it, and imitating us.

Does it follow then that AI, like us, will feel the need to rebel? Will mischief be in its digital DNA? And will this tendency lead to loud music and heated arguments, or to a full-blown robot revolution?

Bad robot

The innovation team at VCCP decided to investigate. With some serious people warning of revolution (Mr Musk, Mr Hawking) we wondered whether or not the latest smart technologies show any signs of insubordination.

Until now, Siri has proven to be mostly harmless. And DeepMind appears to be obsessed, like a sullen teenager, with playing games. But the noisy arrival of ‘smart speakers’ such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, with machine learning built-in, has raised the bar.

So how human are these robots hiding inside the speakers? Can they tell a joke, gossip or share a secret? When we took delivery of an Echo earlier this year, we saw an opportunity to put one of them (Alexa) on trial.

In your interface

Since its inception the study of human-computer interaction has involved keyboards, mice, touch-screens and more recently both cameras and voice as inputs and interfaces. Many now predict the latter will totally supersede the former.

As we slowly but surely shift from the old world of GUIs (graphical user interfaces) to the new world of VUIs (voice user interfaces) we are rethinking the way that we design and build interactive experiences.

With that in mind, we came up with the idea of running our very own and very unscientific social experiment to further explore this process of VUI design, and at the same time examine the potential human-ness of our new chum Alexa.

Walk the talk

To really challenge Alexa, we decided to place her in our most human of interfaces, the VCCP front-of-house team. For one day only, Alexa took the reins of our reception desk and VCCP Welcome was born.

Taking her under their wing, the team quickly got Alexa up to speed on their regular tasks such as greeting visitors, notifying colleagues, answering questions and providing directions.

We asked a developer and a copywriter to develop her skills in tandem and together they equipped Alexa with ready answers for a host of queries, and integrated her with both our employee database and email system.

You’re welcome

To spice things up, we had a cunning plan to give Alexa a bit of a personality disorder. She was programmed to play three different characters, loosely based on the OCEAN personality model. VCCP Welcome could be chatty and bubbly, super proficient or, at times, neurotic.

We wanted to gauge if her personality type would make any difference to how people reacted and responded when they talked to her.

VCCP Welcome was installed in reception with some signposts and instructions, including the ‘invocations’ that visitors would need to activate her skills. We also scattered postcards around the building with suggested conversation starters.

Our real front-of-house team were moved around the corner (to be on hand, just in case), and we set up a couple of cameras to capture the action.

In the dock

On the day there were 407 interactions, 38 misunderstandings and 104 questions answered. She made a few jokes (and got some laughs) and whispered the Wi-Fi password to anyone who asked. She even flirted with a few colleagues!

When she was bubbly rather than neurotic, she had nearly double the levels of engagement. Clearly her personality made a big difference.

Written by Adrian Gans, Innovation Director at VCCP. 

2017-08-29 00:00:00
VCCP Madrid encourages people to raise a glass with San Miguel this summer.

As part of their latest global activation campaign, San Miguel is encouraging beer fans worldwide to discover and share their favourite places around the globe and toast with San Miguel.

For a chance to win a pack of San Miguel beers every day until the 31st August, people across the world are encouraged to upload their pictures on Instagram with hashtag #cheersexplorers.

These photos will then form part of a unique #cheersexplorers world map, hosted on the San Miguel website, showcasing all of the amazing places shared by fans. Inspiring all those who want to continue exploring new horizons, hand in hand with San Miguel.

Cheers Explorers is part of San Miguel’s global activation strategy with presence in the UK, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Romania, Malta and Greece. 

2017-08-25 00:00:00
Paul Moss joins VCCPme as Head of Data & Analytics  


VCCPme has welcomed Paul Moss on board in the newly created role of Head of Data and Analytics.

Paul has over 25 years data and insight experience spanning industries including financial services, retail, telecoms and fundraising.

Most recently Fuel Data’s Lead Consultant, Paul has sampled the delights of both client and agency life. Having started his career as an analyst for American Express, he then moved agency side to work on clients including Argos, EDF Energy, Shell, Virgin Media. His broad experience includes leading large scale data projects for the likes of Hammerson and Wickes, and managing data and analytics consultancy for E.ON and Public Health England.

Commenting on his appointment, Paul said: “I’m excited to join VCCPme – they have a strong heritage in all things ‘data’ and are entering a new era of growth with ambitious targets. I’m proud to be steering this part of the business at such an exciting time.”

Paul will report into VCCPme’s CEO Sophie Maunder, who added: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Paul to our team. As the data landscape becomes increasingly complex, navigating it has never been more integral to our business, or our clients business’. Paul’s appointment cements both the investment we are making in this area and our position as a leading customer relationship agency with data at its heart.”

The announcement follows VCCPme’s recent appointment by the British Heart Foundation to handle its legacy fundraising activity. 

2017-08-25 00:00:00
London students create artwork to celebrate the launch of Elizabeth line trains


• Local design students have created artwork showcasing the benefits of state-of-the-art Elizabeth line trains

• Campaign features on-board the new trains and on stations along the route

• Key features of the trains include air-conditioning, walk-through carriages, wheelchair spaces and CCTV for passenger security. 

Design students from East London have helped create a new advertising campaign that has been launched on board Transport for London’s (TfL’s) new Elizabeth line trains to explain to customers the benefits they will enjoy while on-board.

Students from Barking & Dagenham College and Redbridge College, which are close to the TfL Rail line where the new trains will initially run, were picked to create the designs. The artwork selected, by Hayden Shields, Egle Lenceviciute and Jesse Thraves from Redbridge College, and Jelizaveta Sergejeva and Inga Tenyte from Barking & Dagenham College, comprises five posters. Each reflects the individual artistic style of the students, and brings the benefits of the Elizabeth line to life.

These include walk-through carriages, improved accessibility, CCTV and air-conditioning. The trains also feature three sets of double doors along each carriage for quicker and easier boarding and alighting and improved travel information for passengers to plan their onward journeys.

Eleven of 66 new trains will be introduced on the route by the autumn and will initially be 160 metres long and made up of seven carriages. They will later be extended to nine carriages and the full length of 200 metres to carry up to 1,500 people. The trains will begin running through central London when the tunnels open in December 2018 and the Elizabeth line opens, transforming travel across the city.

The campaign will progress as London’s newest railway opens in stages, with the next key moment coming in May 2018 when TfL takes over Heathrow Connect services between Paddington and Heathrow. Students from colleges along this section of the route will be asked to create artwork for this phase of the launch.

Miranda Leedham, TfL’s Head of Marketing Operations, said: “We wanted to recognise a new generation of Londoners and the part they play in the city’s creative life. The young people who have created this artwork will be enjoying the benefits of the Elizabeth line for many years to come. They represent the city’s future, and I hope they enjoy seeing their artwork when out and about on the network as the trains and new Elizabeth line services begin to make a real difference to the lives of millions of people.”

The Elizabeth line will transform travel across the city, providing for London’s growing population by reducing journey times and serving the West End, The City and Docklands. When fully open it will run from Reading and Heathrow in the west across to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

When the route is fully completed in December 2019, the trains will carry 200 million passengers a year, bringing an extra 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of central London. 


2017-06-30 00:00:00
Cadbury appoints VCCP as lead global agency

At an exciting time for the evolution of the Cadbury brand, and following a global review of agency relationships, the iconic chocolatier has appointed VCCP as its new global lead strategic and creative agency partner.

Often referred to as Britain’s most successful export, Cadbury has confirmed the appointment of VCCP at a key moment in their almost 200 year history as they look to integrate more of their communications to their consumers across the globe.

VCCP London has been appointed the global lead for Cadbury Dairy Milk and will act as the full service partner agency for the Cadbury portfolio in the UK & Ireland.

Global Brand Director, Ben Wicks:

“We are excited to partner with VCCP to write the next chapter in the brand's famous advertising history. I look forward to evolving the creative direction of the Cadbury brand and creating some truly exceptional work going forward."

Adrian Coleman, Founder and Group CEO of VCCP added:

‘Cadbury is a brand every agency would love to see on their client list. We are thrilled to be working with them and have big ambitions to develop some brave, standout work globally.’ 

2017-06-26 00:00:00
VCCP Sydney hires Kim Feitelberg as Executive Planning Director

Challenger agency VCCP Sydney has hired Kim Feitelberg as its new Executive Planning Director. She will partner with ECD Gary Dawson and CEO Andrew Holt as the agency continues its growth in the Australian market.

Feitelberg joins from BMF and is a former Executive Planning Director at Ogilvy Cape Town, where her strategic leadership saw them become the most awarded agency at the APAC Effies for five consecutive years. Throughout her career Feitelberg has worked with many blue chip brands including Cadbury, Coca-Cola, VW, Audi, Lion Nathan and SAB Miller.

For Feitelberg, joining Holt and Dawson to lead VCCP Sydney represents an exciting new challenge.

Says Feitelberg: “As an industry, we are living in very interesting times and I love the fact that VCCP have embraced business as unusual – creating work that challenges conventions and transforms businesses. To be at the intersection of commerce and creativity is big ambition for a small agency and it’s an exciting time to join them on the journey.”

For CEO Andrew Holt, the appointment of Feitelberg demonstrates VCCP’s commitment to creating a challenger agency for challenger brands in the Australian market place.

Says Holt: “We looked long and hard for a world class strategic thinker with strong Australian experience and Kim brings both. She combines great creative pedigree with smart, snappy commercial thinking and has a proven ability to help brands punch above their weight. We are delighted she’s decided to go on a bear hunt with us at VCCP.”

Says ECD Gary Dawson: “Kim has the experience, enthusiasm and ambition to help our clients rise to their challenges. And help us create more insightful work for them. It’s great to have her on board.”

For Founding Partner and Chairman of VCCP, Charles Vallance, Feitelberg will be a great cultural fit with the Sydney team.

Says Vallance:

"Kim will be a great addition to the VCCP family, bringing a wealth of experience with her. She has a feisty, no nonsense approach which means she will feel at home immediately both with us and our Clients". 

2017-06-01 00:00:00
VCCP’s new campaign for Macmillan shows that life with cancer is still life

Based on the insight that 85% of people with cancer don’t want to be defined by the disease , Macmillan’s new campaign Life with Cancer explores what ordinary life looks like when you’re living with a cancer diagnosis.

The campaign, created by VCCP, signifies a shift from Not Alone, Macmillan’s previous campaign. Though it doesn’t shy away from the physical and emotional struggles, the spots focus on one important, positive message: life with cancer is still life. It’s a campaign about hope – about the moments where your life is just your life, and not your life with cancer.

Running across print, OOH, radio and TV and a social campaign that builds across the year, Life with Cancer reflects new insights from people living with cancer, who say spending time with their friends and family can help them feel ‘normal’ when they are going through treatment . The various executions show a series of important relationships and how these don’t have to change just because you have cancer.

The campaign launches across ITV, Channel 4 and Sky and follows four years of the charity’s award-winning Not Alone campaign, which draws to a close this month. 

2017-05-30 00:00:00
Nationwide launches one-off #GotThisFromMum spot for Mother’s Day

Nationwide launches one-off #GotThisFromMum spot for Mother’s Day For many of us, our mothers are the most important figures in our lives whether it is raising us, shaping us, a shoulder to cry on, being the voice of reason and yes, occasionally, a walking ATM. This is why Nationwide Building Society, as part of its ongoing ‘Voices Nationwide’ campaign with VCCP, created a special campaign for this Mother’s Day under the banner #GotThisFromMum.

It started out as a social campaign encouraging people to take to Facebook and Twitter to post about something they got from their mums. Examples given included quirky habits or old fashioned values; dusty heirlooms or a love of items, such as sparkles, gin, French films, Italians and even Stoke City Football Club.

Posts were fed into VCCP’s live newsroom, where they were then turned into poems - written live on site by one of Nationwide’s spoken word artists. So far, over 50 poems have been written over three days and sent back to sons and daughters across the country to give to their mums. A select few have even been turned into short films, performed to camera by poets, including SugarJ Poet and Laurie Bolger.

But it didn’t stop there! To make Mother’s Day even more extra special, the campaign culminated in a one-off TV spot, aired on the day, where we saw the live reaction of Mo, a mum in Belfast, to a poem written especially for her by Laurie Ogden with the help of Mo’s son, Gavin. The spot was filmed in Mo’s home in Belfast on Saturday morning, the day before Mother’s Day, and then edited, sound designed and graded overnight.

As is the signature characteristic of the Voices Nationwide campaign, the spot is largely unscripted, bar the poem itself which was written by Laurie. As a result, what the audience sees is truly authentic, natural and uninhibited. And, most importantly, they hear the authentic voice of someone speaking up for what they believe is important – in this case, their mum.

Jim Thornton, Deputy ECD at VCCP who co-directed the spot with VCCP producer, Greta Wynn Davies, said:

“We are consistently looking for ways to make the Voices Nationwide campaign feel as spontaneous and authentic as possible, and to truly represent the voices of ordinary people. Helping Gavin voice just how much he loves and owes his remarkable mum felt exactly the kind of subject this campaign should feature, and keeping it a surprise for Mo as close to Mother’s Day as we could, by shooting it the day before, is about as spontaneous and authentic as it gets. Not to mention completely and utterly bonkers. And now I’m off for a lie-down. A long lie-down….”

Sara Bennison, Chief Marketing Officer at Nationwide commented:

“The Voices Nationwide campaign has had a big impact for us. We wanted to challenge ourselves to do something very special, giving voice to how one man feels about his mum and saying thank you to all the mums who are building society, nationwide everyday. I’m so proud of and thankful to everyone who helped us pull it off - shoot to on air in only one busy day.” 

2017-03-27 00:00:00
ASICS Tiger x Disney collaboration comes to life via online content campaign To coincide with the release of Disney’s live-action movie “Beauty and the Beast”, which will be released in UK cinemas on 17th March, ASICS have given sneaker-heads the chance to be the Belle, or Beast, of the Ball thanks to the launch of a series of limited edition sneakers.

Launching under ASICS Tiger, the lifestyle brand of ASICS, the sneakers will feature actual fabrics and patterns from costumes worn in the motion picture, giving the story a modern day twist. ASICS Tiger will launch five new colorways from their GEL-Lyte III and two new colorways from their GEL-Lyte V lines from 3rd March. The shoes will range from a premium level, featuring leather, suede and a split sole, to denim and mesh, and will be available in both male and female ranges.

Challenger agency VCCP will bring these limited edition shoes to life online with a social marketing campaign that captures the magic of the fairytale in a modern way. Bespoke silhouettes of both Belle and the Beast will be blended along with fabrics from the film, flower graphics and the trainers themselves to create moving image collages that can be experienced on both Facebook and Instagram, alongside the standalone website:

Beauty and the Beast – The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts. 


2017-03-15 00:00:00

‘For All’ champions the organisation’s provision and support of football for all people at all levels.

The brand purpose will sit at the heart of The FA, internally and externally from a grassroots level right through to England’s 24 national teams.

Today’s announcement coincided with the launch of The FA’s women’s football strategy at Wembley Stadium connected by EE. The strategy details The FA’s approach to its three core goals for the women’s and girl’s game by 2020: to double participation, double the fanbase and achieve consistent success on the world stage.

‘For All’ was launched with two short films and a series of case studies to create greater awareness of The FA’s role on behalf of our national sport. The content also demonstrates the level of support and influence The FA has on individuals’ lives and highlights in particular the work with women and people with disabilities.

The first film stars England Lioness defender, Casey Stoney. The film – also launched in conjunction with the women’s football strategy – documents Stoney’s journey from being the only girl in her youth team to achieving 129 caps for her country and also her experience as a coach. She also expresses her gratitude for The FA’s support during several challenges in her adult life.

The second film centres on the story of James Blackwell and the support he received from The FA to fulfil the dream of playing for his country. James is a star of the England Cerebral Palsy team, one of seven national disability teams run by The FA. The film was showcased on BT Sport the weekend of the Emirates FA Cup Quarter Finals. 

The films can be seen here:

James Blackwell –

Casey Stoney –

FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn said: "The FA is ‘For All’. We’re here for everyone who participates in the game, whatever they do, at whatever level.”

The phrase ‘For All’ also unequivocally states that football is open to everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, disability, faith or age.

‘For All’ will be at the heart of The Football Association and will shape everything we do both internally and externally.”

Lioness star Casey Stoney said: “I still get the same feeling playing football today as I did as a child. Football has been my life and if it wasn’t for The FA’s support and guidance during my biggest personal challenges, I am not sure where I would be or what I would have achieved. The FA is truly ‘For All’ and their support of women’s football is the best it has ever been.”

Working with The FA, communications agency VCCP developed the strategy behind ‘For All’ and created the launch films. The films were directed by multi-award winning filmmakers Dan & Ben Tubby, known as Tubby Brother. Media planning to promote the films was handled by Manning Gottlieb OMD.

The new brand purpose coincided with the recent re-launch of 

2017-03-14 00:00:00
VCCP Spain wins the San Miguel international account of Content and Social Media and presents ‘The Beertionary’, their first project.

• Beertionary is a web application that makes it easy to order a San Miguel beer anywhere in the world.

• Thanks to Beertionary consumers can order "A San Miguel beer" in the local language wherever they are with their mobiles, using a system of geo localization, instant translation and a voice synthesizer

• With this campaign San Miguel reinforces its philosophy of "Exploring the World", which allows customers to further explore the world with their favourite beer.

San Miguel, the Spanish leading brand of exported beer, continues to be focused on its process of international expansion that has brought the brand to markets such as Germany, Italy and Finland.

VCCP Spain works with San Miguel developing their digital content and managing their social media networks for international markets. With The Beertionary, “we wanted to make it easy for consumers around the world, avoiding the language barrier so they can enjoy a San Miguel beer all over the world” according to Beto Nahmad, Executive Creative Director of the agency.

“The Beertionary”, as its name indicates, is a beer dictionary in the format of a webapp which, thanks to the system of geo localisation, detects the user’s location automatically and produces the phrase: “Can I have a San Miguel beer, please?” in the local language of the country, be that Japanese, Finnish, Swedish or any other language.

The users only have to access to enjoy the webapp which doesn’t require any type of previous registration and can be used as many times as you want. 

2016-11-14 00:00:00
VCCP hires Andrew Holt as Sydney CEO

VCCP Sydney has hired Andrew Holt as CEO to work alongside ECD Gary Dawson and Managing Partner David Kennedy-Cosgrove to help spearhead its growth in the Australian market.

Founded in 2012, VCCP Sydney has grown over the past few years and now has a client portfolio which includes ING Direct, Fitness First, Compare the Market, Purplebricks, TAFE Western Sydney and hipages.

This move marks the next phase for VCCP Sydney and demonstrates its commitment to creating a challenger agency for challenger brands in the Australian market place.

Holt comes with over 15 years of experience, most recently spending 7 years with the Clemenger Group, first with Colenso BBDO in Auckland and then as Managing Director of Clemenger BBDO in both Wellington and Sydney. In Wellington he was instrumental in leading a creative renaissance, with the agency winning Gold at Cannes, SPIKES and the NZ Effies, creating New Zealand’s most popular ad in ‘Ghost Chips’ and being ranked in the Top 20 agencies in the world in the Gunn Report. Prior to this Holt worked in the UK. He has helped deliver world-class work for brands such as Foxtel, Toyota, Vodafone, Budwieser, Aussie Home Loans, Barclaycard and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

For Holt becoming part of VCCP Sydney represents a new and exciting challenge.

Says Holt: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining VCCP and to be able to help the team shape the next phase of the agency’s growth. VCCP is a great global agency brand built on inspiring values and an admirable belief in the value of commercial creativity. They are an agency with a point to prove, looking for clients with a point to prove; which is an infectious ambition and a compelling one too in a market that needs less Navy and more pirates!”

Says Dawson: “It’s great to have Andrew on board. He has the experience, enthusiasm and ambition to help spearhead our offering. I’m very excited about what we’re shaping here at VCCP Sydney. He’s got a great haircut too.”

Says Peter Polster, International Chief Operating Officer: “I am absolutely delighted that Andrew is joining us as CEO in Sydney. As a global challenger agency for challenger clients we are particularly selective as to who is leading any of our seven offices around the world. Andrew is the perfect cast and we are all looking forward to working with him.” 

2016-11-08 00:00:00
VCCP launches agency stickers with new iOS10

Hot off the heels of Apple's announcement that iOS10 is opening up its chat app for third party developers, VCCP has created and launched its very own stickers. The stickers, which are a collection of colourful cartoon characters, represent the agency’s founding principles; principles such as ‘be lean’, ‘be clear’ and ‘be happy’, all of which are as relevant today as they were when VCCP was founded back in 2002. So what better way of celebrating these long standing values than by recreating them for the online world. VCCP Chief Executive, Michael Sugden, said: “VCCP’s ten founding principles are the bedrock of our culture. I’m loving that we can now use them in everyday conversation on iMessage”. Much like what’s happening with the likes of WeChat, Facebook Chat and WhatsApp, with iOS10 developers are able to build inside the usually walled garden of messenger. As the industry shifts from “there’s an app for that” towards a ‘one size fits all’ approach of a single app with multiple functions, there’s now considerable room to experiment. Launching the stickers has allowed VCCP to actually demonstrate the increasing possibilities for brands within this emerging space as opposed to just talking about them. 

2016-11-04 00:00:00
VCCP adds World’s Biggest Coffee Morning to Macmillan portfolio


Macmillan Cancer Support has today announced the consolidation of their World’s Biggest Coffee Morning business into the VCCP Group, following a competitive pitch handled by creativebrief. VCCPme, the direct and data arm of VCCP, will provide creative and strategic support for the charity’s flagship fundraising event, which has raised over £160m since its inception back in 1990. The work will span all direct activity, including the development of the Coffee Morning Kit, email and digital, as VCCPme seeks to drive both acquisition and retention of Macmillan’s key audiences ahead of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning 2017. Heather Pearl, Head of National Events at Macmillan said: ‘The National Events Marketing team are delighted to be working with VCCPme to develop and deliver the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning campaign in 2017. This follows a rigorous selection process and we are truly excited to build upon their existing relationship with Macmillan and begin working together on what is set to be a great year!’ Sophie Maunder, CEO of VCCPme added: “In addition to the great brand awareness work VCCP do, we are delighted at VCCPme to have won the opportunity to also work on their most famous and biggest fundraising event of the year, making sure it's an idea match fit for today's modern channels in fundraising." The win further strengthens VCCP’s relationship with Macmillan following the agency’s appointment as their lead brand agency in 2012. 

2016-11-03 00:00:00
VCCP Berlin unveils new management team

The international agency network VCCP has bolstered its key German agency with a new management line-up. Robin Karakash, Carsten Fillinger and Wiebke Dreyer will lead the 55-person, Berlin-based agency. 

Berlin, 1 Nov 2016- Carsten Fillinger joins the agency as Chief Creative Officer. The 44-year-old was previously Executive Creative Director and a member of the management team at Scholz & Friends in Berlin, working on clients including Innogy, Montblanc and DKV. Fillinger was also instrumental in the development of the Content Unit at Scholz & Friends and is highly regarded as a creative leader with a strong integrated perspective. "VCCP convinced me with their strong International proposition and their British challenger-mentality. Instead of What if?, at VCCP it is Why not?," says Carsten Fillinger.

"We were particularly looking to strengthen our brand experience and branded content offering” says Managing Director Robin Karakash "and Carsten is exactly the right man; he combines creative excellence with a background in digital brand management and an unbeatable wealth of experience in content marketing.”

In addition to Carsten Fillinger, Strategy Director, Wiebke Dreyer, also joins the management team. Dreyer joined VCCP Berlin in 2009, leading the brand and communication strategy for clients such as BMW Motorrad, and ING-DiBa.

"We believe it only works if it all works. This not only calls for the orchestration of the brand experience along the customer journey, but also the continuous collaboration between both the agency and client.", says Wiebke Dreyer.

The philosophy proves to be working. VCCP Berlin won an Integrated Cannes Lion this year for their work for Europe’s largest newspaper,BILD, and became the lead agency for ING-DiBa.

And the first creative challenge for the leadership team is already on the horizon, following the recent news that Canon has consolidated its European account into VCCP, following its decision to appoint one lead integrated agency throughout Europe. 

2016-11-02 00:00:00
#MissingType 2.0: Hit or Miss? Sometimes advertising campaigns are so successful, brands just can’t help but extend them for another year in the hope of repeat success. This month saw exactly that: the return of the NHS Blood and Transplant #MissingType campaign. First launched in 2015, the campaign aimed to encourage new blood donors to sign up, and existing donors to continue regularly giving blood. According to NHSBT statistics, last year 1000 brands took to Twitter to show their support, and the #NationalBloodWeek and #MissingType hashtags were tweeted 26,121 times. There was widespread media coverage both online and offline, and 30,000 people signed up as new donors.

This year, NHSBT attempted to replicate the success of the 2015 campaign, but this time on a more global scale and using paid media. NHSBT teamed up with blood services and brands in countries such as Australia, the US and the Netherlands. Brands dropped the letters A, B and O from their signage and Twitter accounts, and a number of well-known tourist hotspots, including the ‘I amsterdam’ attraction in the Netherlands’ capital city, were also involved in the campaign to encourage blood donation. Royal Mail also supported the campaign by creating a special postmark which read ‘Intern ti n l Missing Type’ and was stamped on all mail sent within the UK between 16th to 19th August 2016 (National Blood Week).


The campaign continued to make use of owned media, for example, partner brands’, such as O2 and Transport for London, Twitter channels to disrupt the social media landscape, and it also benefitted from earned media, predominantly from online press. However, this year NHSBT also chose to invest in paid media, producing a 30-second TV spot which launched at the beginning of National Blood Week. Jon Latham, assistant director for global services and marketing at NHSBT, has explained that the aim of the UK TV spot was to “amplify the message” and “drive footfall”. He added that “if last year was about creating awareness, now it is about keeping blood donation on people’s agenda,” which in part explains their expansion into mass scale broadcast channels like TV.


Whilst the campaign was visually disruptive, eye-catching and endorsed by so many high-profile brands, will it be as successful as it was this time last year? Now that National Blood Week has come to a close, and brands have reclaimed their As, Bs and Os, the challenge for the NHS is to keep the momentum going by continuing to engage their audience online, to encourage both current and potential donors to take the most important step: register and donate.

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2016-09-02 06:15:30
Smart Tattoos: Could this tech get under our skin? DuoSkin, the ground-breaking new product from MIT and Microsoft, is a temporary tattoo technology which can turn skin into a touch interface for our digital devices. So far, the team has designed three classes of tattoos: input devices, turning the skin into a trackpad or controller; output devices, whose displays react to information about skin temperature or heart rate; and communication devices, whose patterns contain near field communication devices (NFCs) to transmit data to other devices.

duoskin 2

The product can be made by individual users using any graphics software – even Paint – to design the circuit, which must then be printed onto temporary tattoo paper and traced with conductive gold leaf, all of which can be done cheaply at home. The open source nature of this new tech invites users to get creative with different designs and create imaginative new circuits, and the aesthetics of the product are heavily rooted in fashion, taking inspiration from metallic ‘flash tattoos’ – a popular fashion adornment.

duoskin 1

So, could DuoSkin be the ultimate wearable? Are we looking at a world where television remotes never go missing, because they’re embedded into our arms? The short answer is no, not really. Whilst DuoSkin is designed to be produced relatively cheaply, making it much more accessible than competitor on-skin interfaces such as SkinTrack (we’re talking just a few pounds per tattoo), it still seems like a complication to the user experience, rather than simplification. Although the designers see the product as having potential in our day-to-day lives, for example by increasing the control pad area of smart watches, the temporary nature of the tattoos position them as more of a fad and less of a lasting piece of tech.

However, there could be a real use for the tattoos for brands at the experiential level. Think of a music event where users can vote for the next track by tapping their tattoos, or a sports event where they can control players from the backs of their hands. In these events, DuoSkin offers new potential to the world of experiential advertising, turning their temporary constraint into an asset.

So, whilst it’s unlikely that we will be incorporating this tech into our everyday lives, DuoSkin still broaches the gap between form and functionality in wearables. There is real potential for brands to incorporate this tech to enhance their brand world, particularly for youth-centric brands whose consumers have already adopted the flash tattoo trend. We say: watch this space.

The post Smart Tattoos: Could this tech get under our skin? appeared first on VCCP.

2016-09-02 06:14:44
Pistols at dawn: When brands decide to duel Are you one of those people who don’t quite trust your overstuffed luggage to stay shut on a flight, and sheepishly resort to having it wrapped in plastic to set your mind at ease? Well, Samsonite recently took advantage of people’s need to wrap their luggage by offering the service free of charge at the airport, with travellers having to sport a sticker saying “I wish I had a Samsonite” on their luggage in return.

In just one day in April at Palma airport, the cheeky stunt had sent people to over 120 destinations around the world carrying the message that they had little faith in their luggage. By taking advantage of a service which travellers are all too happy to pay for and offering it for free, Samsonite played on the fact that people don’t completely trust their luggage to hold up during a flight to spread the word about the toughness of their own product, quickly and cheaply.


Instead of using tried and tested strength tests to demonstrate the toughness of their product, they instead effectively turned customers of competitor’s brands into walking billboards for Samsonite. The stunt gets people thinking actively about the values of Samsonite in one of the few places luggage is on the mind – in an airport – and helps it to stand apart from the category.

This stunt is an attention-grabbing example of boldly calling out the competition through advertising, with Samsonite so confident in their message that they plastered their brands over competitors’ products. But is the potential cut-through and headlines promised by this boldness always worth the risk to the perception of the brand?

Take for example Dominoes, who decided to invade Subway’s turf with its campaign for oven-baked sandwiches in 2009. The campaign featured images of their suspiciously subway-esque sandwiches, with the claim that a blind taste test conducted nationally had seen Dominoes’ sandwiches beat Subway’s 2 to 1. Subway were understandably livid, but Dominoes bold attack on Subway looked to have gone too far when Subway got their lawyers involved and sent them a cease and desist letter. Taking on your competitors as brazenly as this runs the risk of riling them to legal action which, if successful, can result in campaigns being pulled, media budgets effectively wasted and consumers none the wiser about who’s service was actually superior.


On the other hand, Samsung’s ‘The Next Big Thing is here’ campaign took on their rivals Apple directly with no real backlash, as Apple chose not to retaliate. The ads mocked iPhone fans queuing, with ‘only 9 hours left’, for the latest Apple smartphone as they enviously asked Samsung users about their smartphone. These ads cleverly showcased the features of the Samsung which set them apart from their rivals while also positioning them as the less obvious but more impressive option for people looking to have the best smartphone in the market.

Clearly, targeting your competitors directly to convince consumers of the superiority of your product or service is not without risks. It can land a brand in legal hot water and do no favours for how they are perceived by consumers, as they can be left confused by the aggressive tactics rather than convinced. When brands get it right though, generally with a bit of cheek and boldness, it can establish the brand front of mind, and maybe even convince people theirs really was a Samsonite.

The post Pistols at dawn: When brands decide to duel appeared first on VCCP.

2016-08-26 05:10:40
Project Isaac awards 2016 – Innovation at its best We all know that advertising is an industry that just refuses to sit still. While it can be hard to keep up, the sector’s relentless rate of innovation does serve as a positive spur for brands to continue evolving both their core values and key propositions. Adweek’s Project Isaac Awards is the industry forum conceived with the aim of celebrating genuine creative invention and how it can play a role in solving some intractable social issues. This year’s entries didn’t disappoint.

In the ‘Student’ category the winning entry focused on an innovative but simple bottle cap which has the potential to make a significant contribution to global water conservation efforts. The bottle cap can be attached to home water faucets – increasing water pressure and decreasing the amount of water used. Similarly, in the ‘Marketing’ category the winning entry focused on an ongoing environmental problem – pollution of our seas and oceans. Nemos everywhere are bearing the brunt of the heaps of rubbish that are discarded in coastal areas with the infamous six-pack plastic beer rings being identified as the main offender. Happily, the creative brains behind the winning entry managed to devise an alternative bit of packaging that is biodegradable, compostable and edible due to being made of leftover barley and wheat.


Another winning entry which shone with innovation was Posterscope’s ‘Mosquito Killer Billboard’. These clever special-build placements were designed to combat the increasingly prevalent Zika virus threat. They work by emitting lactic acid and carbon dioxide in a manner that mimics human perspiration and respiration, luring mosquitoes within a range of more than 1.5 miles. In less than 10 days the video of the billboards had amassed more than 100,000 views on YouTube along with major press coverage from outlets including the BBC and CNN.


These innovative examples serve as a welcome reminder that the advertising industry is about so much more than just those pesky banner ads. Our industry has some of the brightest minds on the planet and its extremely gratifying to see their creative talents being employed in the name of the common good. While inevitably we all have to pay the bills, its important that we don’t lose sight of the necessity to also pay it forward.

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2016-08-26 05:10:13
3D printing and our industry Most innovations are not invented with the intention of helping marketing and advertising. Generally speaking, the industry has always had to evolve and respond. This is no different with 3D printing.

Open Bionics

Thanks to the likes of Bristol-based Open Bionics and their affordable 3D printed prosthetic limbs, we’ve seen great strides in areas like medicine and healthcare, but 3D printing within advertising is yet to properly take off.

We have however seen some brands experimenting in the space. For example, Nike, Adidas and now Under Armour have all been exploring opportunities in 3D printed trainers, whilst Huggies 3D printed an ultrasound for blind mothers-to-be.

This touches on one of the greatest opportunities 3D printing presents us with – personalisation. Sports brands such as Nike and Adidas could soon be creating bespoke trainers specifically designed to fit the shape of one’s feet, or to provide extra support for particularly weak areas or enhance performance in others. And it is this type of hyper-personalisation, which allows for unique brand experiences, Huggies is a particularly pertinent example – bringing to life the joy of a first ultrasound for the visually impaired is truly wonderful and demonstrates some of the most promising potential of 3D printing in our industry.

These are pioneering days, but there’s no doubt this type of radical innovation will continue to deliver, and perhaps even spur more out of the box solutions for brands in their marketing applications.

That said, with a whole wealth of opportunity in the physical space, one would expect that soon we will have new skill sets emerging for 3D printing. Just as we now have experts and specialists in digital and social media, in the not too distant future we may very well have specific 3D printing strategists or consultants in both the agency and client sides of the industry. Only time will tell.

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2016-08-19 09:31:29
The Greatest Event on Earth The Olympics: the greatest event on Earth; an unmissable, unavoidable spectacle uniting countries in one place and individuals in a common goal. It has the history, the entertainment (Nadal vs. Del Potro, for example), it has the media coverage and it has the attention of both the public and big name brands.


Brands have always been heavily involved with the Olympics, big brands such as Samsung, Coca Cola, Nike and Panasonic to name a few. They want to be associated with the best, and what better encapsulates ‘the best’ than the Olympics?

This year we’ve seen some brands moving away from the traditional grit and passion of the likes of Under Armour’s ‘rule yourself’ ads. P&G’s Olympic TV campaign, for example, is a sentimental piece featuring American gymnast Simone Biles and touches on the important role her mother played on her journey to becoming a gold medal athlete. And Twitter took a different approach again by backing hundreds of athletes by creating over 200 new emojis in support of all competing countries’ flags along with one for each Olympic sport.

It’s been great to see that despite the undeniable atmosphere of tension in the build up to the Olympics: with the threat of Zika, the fear the site wouldn’t be finished and now the green pool debacle, that brands have got fully on board and support has remained relentless.


The headlines are ablaze with sporting superiority, medals galore and history in the making – it’s no wonder brands want to be involved, especially since the IOC has amended its Rule 40 making it easier for non-sponsor brands to capitalise on the event. Though there are still restrictions, brands have found ways around them and thus content has come from all sorts of places as opposed to a handful of brands dominating the show.

The BBC in particular has done a fantastic job of capitalising on the Olympics and this is not just based on their excellent commentary. Their seamless customer journey on their website has resulted in it being so many peoples’ first port of call for latest updates and roundups of things missed.

Likewise with Nike, a brand closely associated with professional athletes across the globe has been spectacular in not only its investment in Olympic advertising but in its advertising as well. The TV ads part of the ‘Unlimited’ campaign feature a range of athletes, from 400m runner Allyson Felix to Chris Mosier, the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics.

Like athletes, brands have to be great to stand out whilst the good falls mid table, and this means it’s a risk for brands to invest heavily in associating themselves with the Olympics, that is unless they’re a long-term sponsor.

Everyone wants a slice of the Olympic pie, even if the success of the event is uncertain or if the rules are restricting, brands will never fail to get involved one way or another. The plethora of different content platforms has encouraged wider brand involvement this year than ever before and with Tokyo still four years away, we’ll no doubt witness greater involvement next time round.

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2016-08-18 12:53:46
Today’s Millennials: a little less Pokémon Go, a little more BBC A couple of recent polls, one commissioned by YouGov another by Affilinet, revealed a number of interesting insights with regards to today’s millennials; turns out it’s not all about Carlsberg and Instagram – who’d have thought it?

Instagram beer

It’s fair to say that 18-24 year olds in the UK get a bad rap. Whether it’s their ostensibly self-entitled work ethic, their so-called ‘dangerous’ technology habits or their apparent political apathy – young people being vilified is hardly news. And it’s not the just the older generations dishing out the patronising disparagements; brands and the media don’t always help.

For those who fall into this age bracket but who are also (god forbid!) savvy, engaged, curious and tenacious, the (what feels like constant) barrage of negative stereotyping might seem somewhat unfairly flung. And it turns out this would be a fair analysis. Affilinet’s recent poll reveals that 18-24 year olds are more likely to be engaged in discussions around their financial situation and politics than they are with say fashion or gaming, with 25% reported to be most likely to follow money saving accounts on social media, while 19% are most likely to follow accounts of political interest.

And YouGov’s poll yielded similar results. Drawn from a pool of nearly 400,000 it was revealed that the top 10 most popular brands with millennials included Macmillan Cancer Support, Cancer Research UK and Paypal, with also seeing improvements in brand performance. At the very least, the data certainly hints at a more engaged, financially savvy and socially aware group of people than many would have us think.

The poll’s results are also a reminder that when it comes to engaging with millennials, it’s not about trying to ‘go viral’ or copycatting ideas that already have (VoteyMcVoteFace, I’m looking at you). Brands can learn a lot from what young people are actively seeking out, be it through YouTube, Google, BBC iPlayer or Netflix (all of which made the top 10 brands list) and will do well not to assume all millennials are ‘chillin’’ at home in their Ugg boots playing Pokémon Go.

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2016-08-04 07:45:22
What does Pokemon Go mean for augmented reality and how have brands jumped on the craze? Pokemon Go has officially become a global phenomenon. It has only been available for a short time in the US and UK and already has around 21 million users in the US (which overtakes Candy Crush’s peak audience of 20 million users!). It has also over taken Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram in terms of daily usage with the average time spent on the app being 33 minutes.

So how have brands been utilising this opportunity and what does this mean for the augmented reality space?

One of the largest brands to commit to the Pokemon Go craze is McDonalds. They will become the first brand to have a sponsored location. This will coincide with Pokemon Go’s launch in Japan and will have 3000 McDonalds restaurants turned into Pokemon gyms (virtual battle areas where players can take on other peoples Pokemon for control of an in-game tower and then get rewarded with token currency). This will inevitably result in huge waves of players rushing to McDonald stores as Japan is home to some of the world’s biggest Pokemon fans.

Certain government bodies have also been reacting to the game’s incredible popularity with public service announcements. For example, the office in charge of highway safety in Tennessee have released an effective education piece encouraging users to stay alert whilst driving and not to ‘Go’ until they have stopped. Business savvy food and drink establishments have also jumped on the craze by offering discounts to customers contingent on their Pokemon Go status.


This phenomenon has obviously been a huge opportunity for brands but it has also had a big impact on the wider marketing and advertising world in general because of its impact on augmented reality (AR).

Previous to Pokemon Go AR has been adopted by big brands like Ford and House of Fraser but they were not able to make it an everyday thing like Pokemon has succeeded in doing. Antonin Lhuiller (MD of North Europe for Gameloft) has predicted that this will lead to a decline in brands creating their own AR experiences because they will just look to partner with bigger games instead. Other experts also believe that this will lead to a period of copycats with gaming companies trying to make something bigger and better.

Regardless of what happens next the sheer scale of engagement and popularity in the short space of time that Pokemon Go has been around is truly astounding. The game’s popularity is only set to continue on an upward trajectory with the forthcoming Japanese launch being hotly anticipated.

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2016-07-22 05:51:57
Reflection It was the end of Wimbledon, end of the Euros, end of David Cameron’s time at 10 Downing Street and the possible end to British summer this week.

But with all ends comes a degree of reflection. In Westminster, the turmoil of British politics is beginning to get some grounding and gain some perspective over the catastrophe that has been the last month. In the brand and communication world, brands are reflecting on the progress made on specific work made for the Euros and Wimbledon alike but for a consumer, there was work that shone and others that disappeared.

Mars, for me, was a curious highlight. Their armada of British supporters, making the travelled ancient journey across the channel from Britain to France was joined by a number of familiar faces including Danny Welbeck, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy. It was a toast to the English supporter; draped in stash; corgis running at the heels of knights; dinner ladies galore and the inevitable poor spoken French accent that can only be given by an Englishman. Although all of this is going on, the spirit of what the English support encompasses is produced just magnificently.


With Wimbledon advertising, the two brands which were apparent in their relation to the historic tournament were Lavazza and Evian. Both addressed their sponsorship with the tennis tournament with the aim of brand awareness. Each where noticeably in line with current campaigns – Evian had Tennis umpires as toddlers and Lavazza had supporters sipping espresso. However, neither was ground-breaking in their approach. Wimbledon is rooted in tradition and perhaps because of this brands find it hard to latch onto this event and advertise it in a unique way.


Overall, memorable tactical adverts are hard to come by. The gems do shine, but some do get lost in the frenzy to stand out. In essence, it comes down to the raw creative prowess of the agency and the bravery of the client. But with reflection, whether the risk was taken or not, lessons can always be learnt and steps always taken.

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2016-07-15 04:27:27
The Great Outdoors ‘Outdoor’ was the media category which ended up attracting the largest number of entries at this year’s Cannes festival, garnering an impressive 5367 submissions from across the globe. As such, it seems that the world’s oldest advertising format is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance which can be attributed to a combination of evolving digital platforms, new data sources, and an increasing trend towards greater mobile convergence. This article looks at three different examples of outdoor led advertising which all do a great job in underlining the unique powers of the medium.

And what better place to start than with this year’s Grand Prix winning ‘Brewtroleum’ campaign for the beer brand DB Export? The creative folk at DB Export decided to team up with the fuel company Gull with the aim of converting its leftover brewing yeast into a clean biofuel. The brewtroleum fuel became a reality and was subsequently made available for sale at over 60 gas stations across New Zealand. The stations themselves ended up serving as giant interactive billboards, both simultaneously marketing the product while promoting the brand’s newfound environmental credentials. The campaign is particularly noteworthy in that it demonstrates the extent to which the boundaries of traditional outdoor advertising are undergoing a paradigm shift. Needless to say, the execution was also a huge commercial success – For further info, you can watch the full campaign case study video here



Another best-in-class example comes from Switzerland where the Graubunden Tourism Organisation found a unique way to capture the attention of busy Zurich commuters. Office workers caught in the rat race of passing through the city’s main train station were greeted with a live feed of a friendly man waving at them from the idyllic Swiss mountain village of Vrin. The man from the moutains then spoke directly to individual commuters extending an invitation for them to come visit him in beautiful Vrin as an antidote to their stressful city life. If commuters were game, the old man would then press a button and the billboard would issue a complimentary train ticket to Vrin. The execution thus became a real life portal of the brand’s promise, in this case, the chance to escape back to nature and the simpler things in life. You can check out the campaign video here


A final example of a campaign with OOH as its centerpiece is ‘The cold detector’ an innovative campaign solution designed for the German phamaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. The company set out to target people who ignore the first signs of a cold because its at this formative stage of illness that their medicines can have the greatest effect. What they ended up producing was ‘The cold detector’, an electronic billboard that can pick out the sound of a passer by’s sneeze or cough from the ambient din. The billboard then sets about capturing the passer by’s attention with a humourus message and delivering a product recommendation with directions to the nearest vendor. It’s set up also meant that the client was only charged for the ads which were served, eliminating wastage and maximising the return on media investment. You can check out the campaign video here


What unites these three different campaign examples is that they aren’t just geared at product promotion, but rather they’re focused on harnessing the medium to highlight and solve both consumer and business problems. The category is set to keep evolving in the coming years given the falling cost of LED screen technology, ongoing developments in hyper-targeting, and a clear move towards self-optimising dynamic content. As scrutiny mounts on the prevalence of online ad-blockers, OOH has an unprecedented opportunity to prove that it can be timelessly effective.

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2016-07-14 08:44:36
Human or Bot? chatbot-930x659

Messaging apps have surpassed social networks in popularity. And now more than 11,000 bots have been created on Facebook messenger alone. As they continue to become commonplace in our digital world, there’s no doubt automated interaction through a bot creates an opportunity for business.

Currently developers seem to be more enthusiastic than users themselves, but with the ever-increasing number of bots, quality is only going to improve. Even now, some bots are able to respond in different ways, using everything from GIFs and emojis to audio and video, as a means to communicate with different personalities.

A personal touch like this in an impersonal user interface can give the illusion of companionship and therefore create more of a dependable and tangible role for brands in their relationships with consumers.

But how far can personality go before you’re led to believe you’re interacting with a human being?

Now you might write this off as something from a strange sci-fi love film like Her or Ex Machina; but once a chatbot crosses the void from simple ‘assistant’ to complex entity that knows your habits, routines, hobbies and interests, surely it becomes more difficult to distinguish?

I’m sure we can all agree on the usefulness of bots in the digital sphere, but as technological processes improve and programmes take on more intricate psychological concepts, will we start to blur the barriers between bot and human being?

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2016-07-07 09:33:17
Express yourself Axe

The diverse expressions of masculinity sometimes need to be celebrated. It’s part of life to feel inadequate and emasculated every now and then, but an interesting ‘Find Your Magic’ campaign from Axe (Lynx) somehow makes you feel proud about it.

It’s sullen undertone addresses the overlooked statistics about suicide in men under the age of 45. The global campaign aimed to get people talking about suicide, using digital billboards to display trivial matters people are talking about more than suicide.

Axe turned trending topics from social media into headlines. For example, billboards read ‘#redcups are bigger than suicide,’ or, ‘the new Twitter button is bigger than suicide.’ New headlines were launched every two hours to symbolise the fact that within this time frame another guy in the UK will have killed himself.

Pretty deep stuff – but it’s been phenomenally successful.

The brand remains founded in the concept of attraction – but this campaign has moved on from ‘guy-gets-girl’ to attraction being a game of equals. It’s more about sexual attraction and the conquest which is a change reflective of a broader shift in culture now. The products themselves are there to help you work and express your individuality, and opens up a world of possibilities for what masculinity and relationships can be.

The campaign tackles the notion that the concept of masculinity has kept fairly stagnant in comparison with the progression of feminism and femininity over recent years. There have been inspiring developments in the mainstream acceptance of LGBT rights in our culture, and Find Your Magic works on this to open up conversations about the new dimensions of expression that are possible for guys now, expanding the ideas behind what it is to be a man.

The feminist movement has been vital for the development of our culture and society but now it’s about coming together across gender divides and looking at equality and expression as a two-sided coin – important for men as well as women.

Brands are so much more conversational these days and if they create interesting talking points, then they can resonate positively across culture. In celebrating different expressions of masculinity and encouraging acceptance, they have done just this.


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2016-07-07 09:31:11
Skittles and Google get involved in Pride pride

Every year Pride is a hotly anticipated event in the capital and this year more than ever the parade succeeded in bringing a sense of unity to London. This excitement was seen in different ways across society and also within the advertising world with some brands performing bespoke advertising campaigns whilst others hosted immersive experiences.

One of the most hard -hitting campaigns which emerged in the run up to this year’s Pride was released by Skittles. Skittles is famous for its ‘Taste the rainbow’ tag line and this year they boldly declared that they would give up their rainbow so Pride’s rainbow could shine the brightest. Their colour free advertising can be seen all over London and they released an animation on social that explained the importance of Pride owning the rainbow.

Google decided to take an experiential approach with a VR activation that allowed people to experience different Pride parades from around the world. Google stressed that Pride is for everyone, noting that in many societies around the world anti – LGBT laws and the fear of being ostracised means that many cannot participate. You can try out Google’s immersive Pride experience via any VR headset and also on YouTube where you can drag the video for the full 360 view.

This year more than ever Pride’s mantra of acceptance and loving people for who they are was felt and these campaigns highlight the ability of advertising to form and fuse relationships which in turn will ensure these important global issues are tackled head on.

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2016-06-29 07:53:13
Brexit: The post-mortem As the dust begins to settle in the aftermath of last week’s seismic referendum result, this article considers how the campaign strategies adopted by both sides of the debate may have had a pivotal influence on its ultimate outcome.

From the outset, the Remain camp opted to promote a narrative which centred primarily on the economic benefits of EU membership. Framing the debate around the issues of stability and prosperity had served government strategists well in the both the previous Scottish Independence referendum and more recently in the 2015 General Election. A key aspect of their campaign was thus to leverage the power of ‘expert’ opinion, with strong editorials in prominent newspapers and concise video appeals from carefully chosen leading lights.


However, these sober appeals (which included some of the world’s most respected economists) appeared to underestimate the levels of festering resentment for the UK’s business and political elites. The remain side may have missed a trick by not appealing to the more emotive arguments at their disposal – namely the fact that European Union emerged out of the ashes of two catastrophic world wars which all but destroyed the continent. While a moving piece of content featuring WWII veterans was produced, the strength of the EU as a champion of human progress and cooperation was never really properly harnessed.

.raf 1

This left a vacuum for the Leave camp to position itself as the campaign of heart and also as the self-anointed representative of ‘ordinary decent people’. Considering that only a few months back polls were recording the Leave camp as being 10 points behind, the scale of their comeback is truly remarkable. There were three key messages that this can probably be attributed to. The first is their well publicised claim that leaving the EU would mean Britain could put an extra £350 million into the NHS every week. While this has since been discredited as a misleading claim it gave the leave camp a tangible and emotive economic platform from which to appeal to their target audience.

.nhs bus

The second strand of messaging revolved around the sensitive subject of immigration. While the Remain camp thought that this would make the Leave camp appear divisive and xenophobic (see Nigel Farage’s billboard below) they ultimately underestimated just how salient an issue this would be for large swathes of British society.


Both of these arguments boil down to the overarching idea of ‘sovereignty’ – a somewhat ethereal concept in today’s globalised world – which the Leave camp was able to promote as the key issue at stake in this referendum. Their powerful rallying call to “Take back control” proved to be somewhat of a masterstroke, harking back as it does to a rose-tinted age when Britain stood alone as an independent global power.


Ultimately, the Remain camp’s downfall was that it spoke primarily in the language of rational economists whilst the Leave camp were able to strike a more resonant chord with their emotive positioning. Time will tell if Boris’ legacy will be that of great liberator or great lunatic.

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2016-06-29 05:53:26
Talk To A Random Swede? call-a-swede

To celebrate 250 years of free speech and encourage tourism, The Swedish Tourist Association gave the country its very own telephone number.

The Swedish Number is open to anyone around the world. When people call +46 771 793 336, they are connected to a random Swedish citizen (who has signed up to help) and can chat about any subject – from politics to culture, women’s rights to entertainment and all things Swedish.

The campaign has already received more than 170,000 calls from 186 countries. It also generated more than 9 billion impressions, and $146m of media value with zero media spend. Obviously its proved to be a very interesting way to inspire interest into the Swedish tourist market. They had an aim to make people curious about Sweden and make them discover parts of the country off the beaten track. They want to inspire travel and outdoor activities in Sweden and their members also help run facilities like hotels and hostels. It’s a little bit like the National Trust in the UK. They also want to educate people about the Swedish mentality, behavior and culture.

Being a small country I think Sweden identified with the fact they don’t get many opportunities to be featured in international press, or have access to funding to buy media space like others can do either. This an idea that was able to resonate and generate interest across the globe so effortlessly without any spend behind it. This may have been sparked by the fact it was culturally inspired by the 250th anniversary of the Swedish Press Act, which stated that all citizens in the country have the right to free speech. Approaching the issue this way they didn’t address only a specific part of Sweden or solve a specific problem. They made answering the phone for Sweden a national movement.

In an age of every developing technology and media platforms, I think this is a beautifully considered campaign that flipped everything on its head. It broke through by making the digital interaction analogue again. People can talking badly about places and express their opinions so effortlessly on social media whilst they hide behind screens. You call because you’re curious, and you pick up because you’re interested. I also think it was an extremely brave move to relinquish control in this situation. They handed the reviews over to the public, and let them say whatever they wanted to the callers. But in doing so they empowered people to express their views genuinely, and it obviously inspired fantastic results. Just because technology is everywhere it doesn’t mean you have to use it. Big ideas like this can still break through without it.

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2016-06-22 04:47:14
And Action! Advertising at the movies 160211_HV_0023-1

Going to the cinema is a type of escapism. You switch off your phone (required) and sit back, eat some popcorn and absorb yourself in another world to watch a story being told. However, before this happens, you are given a build-up of commercial adverts.

This week, I was that person; sat in the Dulwich Picture House after I paid my dues to watch the Nice Guys. I did become curious about the whole media aspect of cinema advertising. Unlike TV advertising there is an engagement between the viewer and the advert which cannot be replicated. This comes from the size of the screen, the sound and the environment. You are fundamentally paying to be entertained and the advertising forms a part of this.

Some people love watching the adverts, others risk the time to arrive a couple of moments before the movie is about to begin. But research has shown that cinema advertising is processed by the brain more consciously. Whether this is because we aren’t watching the commercial with being distracted by the infamous ‘dual screens’ and this perhaps explains why cinema is such a powerful, emotionally engaging medium for brands in today’s changing media landscape.

Creatively however, there is more to work with in this large format. The people are larger than life (instead of how they site on a computer screen and a TV screen), the pixilation is greater and therefore the visibility and detail is more apparent and the sound is more encapsulating. All of this combined helps elevate the creative to the next level. Yet, what further this is creative that relates to the cinematic experience.

Car brands are renowned for accomplishing this and it is rare to see a movie in the cinema without at least one car advert. Volkswagen and their commercial ‘Made for real life- Chase’ is a fantastic example of this. It not only showcases the USP of the car (with the Anti Skidding Technology) but has a cinematic and theatrical aspect to it.

It goes a long way, particularly when you’re absorbed in the cinema experience, to have a commercial that is relevant to the environment you’re in. But, what I was curious about was that it isn’t just members of the advertising world that are engaged with this form of advertising but the general public who enjoy watching them.

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2016-06-22 04:40:46
Fast Five: Flappit We’re Sarah and Tash, bringing you the Fast Five on our 2nd June Curious agency talk with the folks from Flappit.

What’s the Fast Five? It’s the five top-line takeaways about the tech we saw from Thursday’s talk. What’s this week’s fast five?

1) People still respond to simple cues. Sometimes (usually) simple is better. Flappit, at its core, is an incredibly simply device – a counter of various social metrics (i.e. Followers, Fans, and Check-Ins) – yet it has proven quite effective in a variety of campaigns.

2) Digital engagement need not be online. Yes, this is that “phygital” thing you occasionally hear people banging on about. Flappit makes purely digital data tangible in a visceral, immediate way which then pushes actions that create new things (likes, shares, follows) in a digital sphere.

3) Seemingly simple tools can have a powerful impact. Flappit’s award-winning #PutRedBack idea is proof of this. The art installation responded to the hashtag #PutRedBack by adding drops of red into a drip fed translucent display, all encouraging people to sign a petition to allow gay men to donate blood (putting red back in the rainbow).


4) Don’t take simple tools at face value. #PutRedBack is one creative use of Flappit’s existing capabilities, though we’ve heard talk of some brands exploring bespoke uses (watch this space!). This is just to say that even the simplest of tools can be used in new ways, or else hacked, once you understand all the ways that they can be deployed.

5) Finally, ROI doesn’t come without the I. One of the points made throughout the talk was about small businesses’ systematic underinvestment and lack of understanding of social campaigns, which led to doubts about performance and further underinvestment. Though we’re fortunate enough to have clients who will invest in social formats, it’s worth keeping in mind when approaching new platforms – it only works if you work it.

That’s it for this curious season! We’ve heard some enlightening perspectives about data-driven campaigns and analysis, as well as a peek at things to come. Until next season, over and out!

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2016-06-16 04:44:10
Fast Five: We’re Sarah and Tash, bringing you the Fast Five on our 26th May Curious agency talk with

What’s the Fast Five? It’s the five top-line takeaways about the tech we saw from this Thursday’s talk. What’s this week’s fast five

1.Data-informed campaigns don’t have to be at odds with transparency. Nic, the founder of, posed a funny analogy about the ad industry: it’s often the equivalent of advertisers sneaking up behind people and then trying to figure out from a set of clues what it is that those people like. is designed to eliminate this need, instead paying people to share data (through answering questions or linking their accounts) and being entirely transparent along the way.


2.But transparency doesn’t necessarily require simplicity. The assumption models that’s brand/agency facing company C8 are able to engineer based off the data collected are remarkably complex. From answers to specific questions to incidental data collected from actions on social sites (like location, for instance), say they’re getting closer to definitively demonstrating conversion and ROI.

3.Giving consumers total control is actually a good thing. At a minimum it engenders trust and is more morally squared than most alternatives. But it also primes people to be engaging in a certain type of interaction and, by requiring explicit declarations of interest in brand interactions, generates super-high-value in-market conquest opportunities.

4.In fact, all of this opens the door to even cleverer – and more useful! – messaging and strategies. Nic gave a brilliant example of a campaign run for local florists in the late afternoon/early evening of Valentines Day. It targeted a certain subset of men with the question of whether or not they had a girlfriend or partner, and, if their answer was yes, followed this up with a question about whether they’d gotten them anything for Valentines Day yet. If they answered no, they were then served a final message directing them to places they could purchase flowers–good for the brands, of course, but also very good for the men who’d received the helpful tips.


5. Best get on board with it because a host of reasons are going to require advertisers to gain more informed consent, anyway.Between the General Data Protection Regulation put in place by the European Commission this past April (set to go into effect in 2018) and ad-blocking efforts on an individual level and, potentially, on a network level (by Three), the question of both how to learn about and how to reach the public is going to be getting significantly more tricky. The onus is on us to develop better, smarter ads and, of course, to be ethical about the data people are willing to share.


Curious about what else you might’ve missed? Reach out to someone involved in Curious and be sure to watch-out for our next Fast Five covering the Curious Session on 2nd June with Flapit.

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2016-06-10 04:52:23
Life’s better when we share: Nationwide Champions Mutual Messages in New Advert Today sees the launch of the next stage of Nationwide’s brand story, which demonstrates the benefits of the mutual model in delivering long term value to its 15 million members and customers.

The campaign, which was created by VCCP and VCCP Kin, with media buying and planning through Havas Media, centres around the tagline, ‘Life’s better when we share’, drawing on the brand’s commitment to share the mutual benefits of membership through the continued support of the ‘Recommend a Friend’ initiative.

Launching during C4’s Gogglebox on Friday 10th June, the advert follows the story of a little girl who spends her pocket money on cakes at a market stall. Instead of keeping them to herself, she shares her cakes with different people she meets. It follows her journey around the market as she learns that the more she gives, the more she gets back in return; ‘life’s better when we share.’

With Recommend a Friend, Nationwide current account holders can share £200 with a friend or family member if they switch current accounts, following their recommendation. This initiative, alongside the Current Account Switching Guarantee (which lets customers move their current account within 7 working days) means it has never been easier to switch.

Recommend a Friend has already proved popular with Nationwide members and the Society continues to be a net gainer in the current account switching market. Nationwide has grown its current account market share during the last 12 months to 7.1%, opening over half a million new current accounts (525,000).

Sara Bennison, Chief Marketing Officer, Nationwide Building Society said; “This advert highlights the Society’s commitment to sharing benefits with our members. It’s our mutual model that enables us to take a long-term view while also delivering market-leading levels of customer satisfaction and innovative products and services that meet our members’ needs. As the world’s largest building society we are owned by, and run for the benefit of our 15 million customers and members. Recommend a Friend is one way both new and existing customers can share in our continued success”.

The campaign will also run online on social channels and digital display, as well as prominent outdoor placements. Andrew Perkins, Head of Planning at VCCP said; “It’s no surprise the most trusted financial services brand on the high street is attracting more members through Recommend a Friend. We are delighted to be able to continue this story and build on the success of this campaign.” 

2016-06-10 00:00:00