Monday, 25 January 2016

recruiting in the bus industry is tough, but think differently and it can work...

Here's our recent campaign for First which aims at challenging the stigma attached to working for a bus company.

With a little humour, a dash of honesty and some real positive benefits we created a campaign that's going to get noticed.

But make sure you look a little closer. Because like a job working for a bus company, things aren't always what they seem...

click to enlarge

Thursday, 21 January 2016

we transform an OK bus company into a modest one…

This month's trip back in time to reinvigorate the branding of a defunct bus company, sees us look at OK Travel in the north east.
Here's when OK Travel used to look OKAY...

Here's how they look after we've repositioned and rebranded them...

To see more of the OK Travel bus rebrand and livery click here

When we first looked at the old OK Travel branding we weren’t convinced that continuing to have the word OK in your name was the best way to go. Why would you claim to be just “OK”?

You’re not setting standards of a premium brand, nor are you clearly targeting the lower end of the market. You are, by default, all set to become a “nothing” brand. And what bus company wants to be one of those?

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Transdev get set to launch their revamped 36 service

If you're travelling between Ripon, Harrogate and Leeds with Transdev sometime soon, then this little video is just for you.

The company are set to launch their revamped 36 service on January 24 with the tagline 'Riding. Redefined' .

With a glass roofs and quilted leather seats, are we seeing the dawn of a new era in the specification of buses? Let's hope so.

It would be interesting to see what advertising activity they have planned for the service. This is the type of product that you could really create something special for.

If the riding has been redefined, the advertising should be too.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

does your agency really know what they're talking about?

When my son was a toddler he put every question through what me and my wife called “Twelve Degrees of Why.”

Here's an example...

“Dad, why do flowers have different colours?”

“Um, to attract insects”

“Why do they want to attract insects?”

“Well, they don’t actually want to, it’s just that those that do tend to have more success reproducing”


"Because insects pick up some of the material from flowers and then go to other flowers and transfer this material which helps them reproduce..."


It was not just valuable for his learning. It was valuable for me, too. After the twelfth “why” I found out whether I really understood something or not.

Why are we using this medium? Why is this a good idea? Why do you believe that statistic?

A smart client doesn't stop after the first "why?" A smart client keeps asking why until he finds out if the agency really knows what they're talking about, or if they're bluffing.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

the Super Bowl ad that's not really like a Super Bowl ad

I've just come across this ad for Google which appeared during the 2010 Super Bowl.

As a general rule, Super Bowl ads are big productions that include animals and try to be funny. This ad is neither of those things yet is probably a lot more memorable.

When you know all the brands you are competing with will zig, just goes to show you have to zag to stand out.

Friday, 8 January 2016

the story of Cadbury, their ad agency and that gorilla advert

Back in 2007, a pretty big chocolate company ran an ad on TV, the likes of which the British public had never seen before.

Lot, and lots, and lots of people still remember it to this day. And they remember it because it was different - it was the X in a sea of 0s.

Selling work that's different, as an agency isn't easy, buying it as a client even more so. But the gains for both parties can be massive.

The article below appeared in the Guardian on Thursday 7 January, 2016 and tells the story of the ad from start to finish. A great read for anyone who create ideas or spend budgets.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

at last - an energy company trying to be different

First Utility is the largest of the independent energy providers, even though they are claiming just a 4% market share.

Bearing in mind all the independent suppliers combined have a market share of 14.6% that's actually a pretty decent chunk. The big six however get themselves the remaining 85.4% - not bad going when they are all providing basically the same thing.

The British public are particularly apathetic when it comes to changing energy provider - in fact 40% have never ever switched, while 70% are on the most expensive tariffs with the big six. The result is complacency of service levels and a plethora of vanilla advertising that does its best to send potential new customers to sleep.

First Utility see themselves as a challenger brand intent on making a marketing stand and creating ad campaigns that will stand out against that sea of blandness.

Their latest campaign sees them launch mock energy company HD Electricity, which promotes the “power of unicorn horns” to emphasise that people shouldn’t pay more because “all energy does the same”.

A bit different to work the likes of npower and British Gas pump out, and a definite challenge to the big six that First Utility are determined to stand out against, and pinch some of that market share.

Created by ad agency VCCP, the campaign will run across TV, outdoor, press, social and digital.