Read, mark, and inwardly digest our thoughts on the world of design and communication.
Read, mark, and inwardly digest our thoughts on the world of design and communication.
Okay so it seems that we have been very quiet for some time, but actually we have been so busy expanding and taking on new business it has been all hands on deck to deliver for our lovely clients. Talking of lovely new clients, we recently won a rather juicy and exciting pitch for Diageo to lead their creative design and production for their new Global Innovation Centre in London. This was a massive win for Blow up against some fierce creative competition!
In a very short space of time we have delivered a ground breaking Instore environment including a whole host of digital and online content for brands such as Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Gordon’s. As this is the tangible and virtual global showcase for Diageo’s brands we cannot say too much at this stage but believe us when we say it’s very exciting!
Blow Creative have been working with the Dove Global team over the past year on the creative design and activation of the new Dove Damage Therapy Comms. We have been working hard on the origination of Global Key visuals as well as a plethora of activation creative (Print / Experiential / POS / Packaging) for Global markets. Like most of what we do on a Global level this has been under wraps for some time though you will no doubt see a great deal more on this in 2011. Look out on our site for more updates on this and other exciting Global BCC projects.
BCC have recently started working with the Jamaica Tourist board and we have all been dreaming about drinking rum on the beach in the glorious sunshine…
The beautiful island of Jamaica is set to star in the world’s first destination video filmed entirely in 3D! You need to sign up now to get your 3D glasses to experience this fantastic video to be released in the next month! (click here to sign up)
We are moving into our new larger offices in Clifton in the coming weeks! Watch this space!
Video Production for UK and Global Clients
At Blow Creative we do a great deal of filming, editing and video production (including 3D visualisation and animation) for a wide range of clients. This month we have been working on filming new innovations for a Global Laundry client. As ever we cannot say too much but what we can say is we had a great time filming for this unusual shoot. If you need video production either consumer/customer facing or for internal use just get in touch and we will be more than happy to help…
Blow Creative developed the packaging for the UK’s first specially-blended aphrodisiac coffee. ‘Amore del Caffé’ by De’Longhi combines a rare Indian coffee bean with essence of oyster. Shoppers were limited to just one cup at the launch due to the blend’s amorous intonations!
This new seductive blend is being offered to shoppers at luxury lingerie store Rigby & Peller in central London, and makers De’Longhi are taking no chances that it will have an immediate affect, by enforcing a one-cup-only rule. Coffee, especially in espresso form, is a powerful aphrodisiac and more commonly used in the UK for a morning pick-me-up, than a seductive tipple. De’Longhi, (the Italian coffee experts behind Caffe Raro the world’s most expensive coffee) have teamed up with top coffee connoisseur David Cooper to launch De’Longhi’s Amore del Caffé. De’Longhi’s Amore del Caffé infuses a rare and unique coffee bean, Indian Monsooned Malabar, with luxurious oyster essence from the seas of South East Asia. Monsooned beans are very rare: left out during the monsoon season, the beans benefit from the moist rain-soaked air which circulates through the beans, giving them a smooth unique flavour with a rich body and long toffee finish.
To create the amorous blend the beans are carefully roasted to a rich dark mahogany, then, while still warm, the oyster essence is infused into the beans creating a seductive blend unlike any other. Kate Rolton at De’Longhi UK says, “With our Italian heritage we pride ourselves on being experts in coffee and felt with this unique blend, we are able to bring some tips on Italian romance and passion to UK shores. De’Longhi’s Amore del Caffé is a rich and dark coffee with the slightest hint of exquisiteness with each sip – it would be impossible not to fall in love with it.”
Nicky Clayton, Creative Director at Rigby & Peller, added: “The one cup limit is a very good idea as we expect De’Longhi’s Amore del Caffé to live up to its name – we hope the coffee will prove irresistible in its own right and raise money for a great cause.” Available for a limited period De’Longhi’s Amore del Caffé will be launched today (18th August 2010) at Rigby & Peller stores in Mayfair, Knightsbridge & Chelsea. Priced at £39 per 100g package, all proceeds will go towards Macmillan Cancer Support as part of De’Longhi’s fundraising for World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.
UK families are being encouraged to make turkey the meat of choice in their kitchens with the launch of the new campaign, led online, called ‘Change Your Meat Not Your Menu’ created by Blow Creative.
Change Your Meat Not Your Menu aims to inspire cooks and in particular Mums to swap to turkey in their weekly meal planner.
Celebrity chef, Marco Pierre White will front the campaign alongside Olympic gold medallist, Rebecca Romero and nutritionist, Dr Carrie Ruxton. Collectively known as the “Talking Turkey Taskforce”, the trio today launched www.ChangeYourMeatNotYourMenu.co.uk.
Supported by turkey company, Bernard Matthews Farms, the site shows users just how simple it is to swap to turkey with cooking tips, recipe suggestions, nutritional information and active lifestyle hints. An interactive “sat-fat calculator” can help families calculate how much they can reduce the saturated fat in their diet just by swapping their usual meat for turkey, once or twice a week.
Marco explains why he is encouraging the nation to eat more turkey stating,
“Turkey is the nation’s favourite roast on the most important family day of the year, so why not all year round? Turkey has more flavour, more texture than chicken, but for many the only association with turkey is Christmas or Easter, which is down to tradition and nostalgia.”
Blow Creative have just launched Total Management’s exciting and extremely intuitive new website. The online platform delivers a professional ’shop front’ for TM but more importantly allows members to easily find and book events/experiences which automatically updates their very own personal social TM diary. This saves the TM team a great deal of time and provides a 24 hour service for their clients.
Total Management specialises in providing clients with experiences specifically tailored to meet individual requirements. Through their in-depth knowledge and dedication they deliver a breadth of services to businesses and private clients worldwide.
These range from the all encompassing event management for charity fundraisers through to the organisation of unique hospitality at some of the world’s most glittering occasions. Examples vary from the renowned Monaco Grand Prix to the elite Cannes Film Festival, MTV Awards and the Oscars Vanity Fair party.
Thier experience in the world of hospitality and substantial network of contacts enables them to offer exceptional service throughout to guarantee unparalleled event solutions and ultimately an experience to be remembered long after the event has taken place.
Check them (and our lovely creative work) out at www.total-management.co.uk
Spontex is one of the UK’s biggest cleaning product brands and have announced the winner of the ‘Queen of Clean Competition! Blow Creative designed the branding for the exciting campaign fronted by Aggie MacKenzie from C4’s How Clean Is Your House.
Helen Simpson, from Hipswell, North Yorkshire, has spent a staggering 28% of her life cleaning – totting up 9,880 hours in rubber gloves over the past 19 years.
And now Helen has fought off fierce competition from thousands of other house-proud Brits to be crowned the Spontex Queen of Clean – and celebrated her win by spending an afternoon swapping tips with TV dirt detective Aggie MacKenzie. Helen will now enjoy an all expenses paid trip for two to Switzerland the worlds cleanest country!
After being shortlisted for two of our front cover designs we were informed that our design for Surf Twilight Sensations was the overall winner. Unfortunately the power of the web cannot show the specialist print techniques used on the cover that hopefully helped secure the win. We are working much more closely with magazine publishers by using technologies like heat revealing inks, spot UV’s with frosting textures, build up texturing and scratch and sniff technology to really push the boundaries on reader interaction and brand engagement. This year we are pushing these technologies even further changing the way readers engage with advertising.
Mindbubble, branding and web creative developed by BCC, is Face Group’s online co-creation community for the historically challenging to target 25-50 female market. The innovative tool was included in a very informative article on the New Media Age website earlier this month. It included Mindbubble as an example of an effective tool that brands can use to collaborate and connect with their consumers, something we at BCC strongly believe is the future for brand development.
The article discusses strong examples of how brands are successfully using all sorts of social networks and communities to close the void between themselves and their target market:
Other FMCG brands are experimenting with tapping into third-party communities. Mindbubble, an online community aimed at women aged 25 to 50, was launched in May 2009 by co-creation agency Face, allowing collaboration with brands on product development and marketing.
Aquafresh, Boots, Comfort and Surf have been involved in piloting the concept. “It provides a platform for exploring ideas more dynamically, building on consumer feedback iteratively with input from various people internally as well,” says Joel Dawson, head of digital marketing at Boots UK. “This approach has proved to be a useful tool for product innovation and has provided us with a number of ideas which are currently being brought to market.
For the 3rd year in a row Blow Creative supported the annual Macmillan De’Longhi Art Auction by providing free design and consultancy. Even in the current climate the evening raised over £80k for Macmillan, an extremely worthwhile cause. Some of the BCC team went along (the photograph shown is Tony Steadman – BCC Client Services Director, Fearne Cotton from Radio 1 and Nicholas Feurtado – BCC Creative Director) to take part in the auction and picked up a wonderful piece for the studio by James Jessop! Other Artists from this year and past have included Sacha Jafri, Gavin Turk, Sir Peter Blake and Damien Hirst.
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer. They provide practical, medical, emotional and financial support. They are a force for change: listening to people affected by cancer and working together for better cancer care. Click here for more details on Macmillan.
Rather than our usual type of ‘painting’ Blow Creative downed tools for a bit of well earned Paint Balling fun. We have no idea which of us are in these photos, but we still have the bruises to show from the day!. Our Creative Director made some wonderful ‘designs’ on the back of one of the artworkers…Living art!
Brand Style Guides / Activation guides / Brand DNA documents are an extremely effective tool for any brand/activation/marketing manager. We still find some brands are not using these, and paying the price, so thought it would be good to note the worth of such a tool.
Style guides are an important addition for any brand or marketing manager. Not only do they drive consistency across communications but they also save a great deal of time, money and minimise the chance of any mistakes being made when deadlines are extremely tight. They are an effective tool for internal brand understanding as often there is a great deal of change within organisations and people are required to hit new roles running. With detail on history, tone, strategy and brand application a guide is a perfect way to get an overall understanding of a brand’s makeup.
Blow Creative has developed our teams and systems internally to allow the required flexibility to effectively run style guide projects from initial conception to refinement and roll out. We have worked on master brand guides, activation guides and corporate brand guidelines in the UK and Globally. In order to deliver in a short time frame, keep costs down and the on-brand creativity high, it takes an agency with experience and expertise in this field. I have often seen guides running into the tens of thousands of pounds when this is purely down to poor management, understanding and experience.
Style guides require a rigid agency support structure as well as a number of other key factors:
- Creative team, Artwork studio, 3D studio and New Media
- Account handlers with direct style guide experience
- A dedicated studio trafficker, who is office based. This allows amends to be fed into the studio even when Account Handlers are in meetings
- A dedicated studio artworker who takes responsibility from a studio design perspective on the development of the guide and becomes an internal brand guardian
- A 4 stage signing-off process.
Blow invests a great deal into the latest hardware and software to ensure we can work as efficiently as possible. Account handlers have the technology to pick up e-mails when on the move ensuring nothing is missed.
Whether you require translation of your above-the-line campaign or complete origination for below the line we are on hand to give you the creative assistance you need. Corporate clients will also see the value and effectiveness of such a tool and we can help drive clarity and consistency for your business.
As a through-the-line agency we can create everything you need to build a comprehensive brand bible. If you want to know more please e-mail us on: email@example.com
With any economic downturn every company naturally looks at its outgoings to see where they can make cut backs. Reducing the marketing budget can seem like a quick and easy fix, after all it’s not going to effect sales in the very short term, and can make an instant sizeable saving. Some of the biggest names around including Coca-Cola have reduced budgets in reaction to the current climate. Its surprising that this is the case as history has shown that continuing spending through a recession can reap big rewards when others are pulling back. With less competition the impact per £1 spent will be more effective gaining valuable market share and voice.
Overseas in America and in the UK the likes of Diageo, Kellogg’s and Kleenex have been increasing their marketing expenditures in relation to forecasted sales. The good advice is to keep spending, yes we would say this, but again looking back this can be a wise move in a knee jerk environment. In a downturn consumers think longer and harder about what they expect in order to part with their hard earned money. Brands need to work harder, not pull back, to motivate purchase and build their brand equity. When the bust turns its ugly head back into a boom the brands that have spent smart will be riding high and reaping the rewards – sounds simple right? Okay, it’s not that simple, as many factors determine whether marketing expenditure in a downturn will really reap the rewards. This is when it comes down to the knowledge, insight and understanding of your consumers and the right agency to originate and activate your communications.
The recession can leave consumers tainted and your consumer’s behavior can be very different to what you once knew. With less spending by brands on building equity and consumer’s propensity to question a brands value and consequently their loyalty to it, it can be a real uphill struggle.
Brands such as Kellogg’s have been increasing expenditure with great effects. Even in light of a mild recession in 2001 they continued to spend money and in 2007 spent $1 billion on advertising, a first for them. They increased their price points following increases in higher production (ingredients) costs which many would have advised against in view of the markets. Their second quarter profits were up just over 9% proving that this was a good move. Mark Baynes, Chief Marketing Officer stated, “Brands are much more than flakes in a box. We believe it’s critical, when the economy gets tougher, that people should be seeing the value of our brands constantly.”
Strong spending now feels like a real risk to those holding purse strings but with risk comes potential large rewards. It’s imperative, now more than ever, that a marketing/brand manager has the right ‘real time’ advice and the right agencies in their tool belt.
Packaging design in both visual and physical sense is inextricably linked to consumer preferences. The difficulty is that with trends there can be a wrong time and a right time to use these to a company’s best advantage. If you are too early you could miss the attention of your target consumer and if you are too late the early bird will have defiantly taken the worm.
The application of trends within packaging design need a great deal of consideration. Many questions need to be asked and considered and decisions made to ensure the designs fit with the brand strategy in the long term. Big brands can be very hesitant to market due to the potential pitfalls of following trends early and often the difficulties put in place by the logistics of the organisation. Unusually Coke have taken a big step with 5 limited edition cans for this summer which, following a packaging fiasco for Tropicana, is a brave move. A move that we like though, with its clean and crisp design that does not stray too far from the can design we are familiar with. This usual hesitancy of big brands normally paves the way for smaller innovative brands taking the reign and heading towards the fire of early adopters in the hope they have got it right. The bigger brands will follow later when the trend is ’confirmed’ and the business case is strong to follow.
It’s no easy task to discover an emerging trend and there have been many cases when brands have got it wrong which can be a costly mistake (as with Tropicana). The best safe guard would be to arm your organisation with real time consumer understanding collected specifically to feed into a brands consumer understanding. Within packaging you must understand the views, opinions and motivations of consumers when they are making their purchase decisions. It is important to understand not only what they think but also what importance they put on each consideration they make. The critical factor here is also what effect price has on these motivations. Working within packaging boundaries that motivate your key target demographic will keep a brand on a steady path. In an ever growing packaging savvy market place the understanding of trends is imperative.
Utilising Trends Too often design agencies are blinkered or rely on out of date information when looking to understand packaging. Trends in the fashion industry tend to filter through relatively quickly and fashion moguls are hard wired into the key areas where fashions trends are born. For example leading fashion stores often trawl fashionable London markets like Portobello looking for ideas from small designer stalls selling their wears. Music, internet, theatre and underground sport are also breeding grounds of early trends which often make their way into the mainstream market place. As they filter in and influence the mainstream they take many twists and turns and can become diluted, which is a safer bet for the big brands.
Timing Knowledge is key but with action in the right place at the right time the output will not be as fruitful. Brands need to understand when, how and why to use a visual trend. We are looking to motivate, excite, inform and improve the purchase experience at the key point of the shopper journey. To understand consumers you cannot look at them from afar you must work with, listen to, and understand them. To discover an emerging seed of a trend we must understand how cultural, political and social trends are shaping the society we live in.
Politics are interesting as politicians seek out trends to be an early adopter and a leader of ideas. When they get this wrong they ensure amends are made as quickly as possible whipping up plenty of spin on the way. The issue they have is the opposition will always be quick to remind them (with supporting recorded evidence) of the mistakes they made. Luckily packaging design is often far more considered…
In the time of a recession understanding trends is important. Yes it was foreseeable that the likes of Aldi and Asda would do well in an economic downturn but consideration must be taken at the tail end when consumers who have traded down return to the more premium brands. Their experiences in this downturn will directly affect their purchase decisions in the future. Will many have realised that a well known baked bean brand tastes very similar to its Value rival? The only real difference being the packaging? This is the time to protect and enforce the brand message but will this be effective enough to motivate?
The end is nigh! The environment, and the protection of it, is not new news but it seems that way in the past few years. The trend to be environmentally protective is on its way to the top of the bell curve and gaining momentum. Everyone is jumping on the me-too band wagon with very few left behind. The early adopters such as Toyota with its Prius, which is the car of ‘choice’ for celebrities all over the world (parked next to their petrol guzzling Hummer no doubt), are keen to ensure consumers know they sold the original hybrid car in their latest campaign. Looking back this trend seemed obvious so why such late adoption by many key brands? Did they not foresee the power and impact of such a behavioural change in the market place? Or was it a case of waiting for others to try the water first? Now everyone is swimming.
So what’s the next big trend for your brand and its packaging? What will your consumers be doing next? What do they think? find out: firstname.lastname@example.org
Blow Creative was invited to Martin Miller’s Glencot House for an eccentric Flaming Art Auction sponsored by his very own Gin label. It was all in the aid of charity and guests were asked to bring along art they wanted to ‘see the back off’. It all sounded sacrilegious until you noted some of the art that was brought along.
A few pieces were of merit and eagerly purchased by the raucous crowd who gave their judgement on each piece by either bidding or shrieking ‘BURN IT!’
One piece, even though it was a log of wood, was not sent to the flames as it was a original tagged Banksy and was auctioned off for a ‘mere’ £1600…
We highly recommend Glencot house for a weekend retreat of eccentricity…
It’s good to focus on the positives so here are a few topline stories of companies who designed their way out of hard times:
In the 1980’s Swatch designed the Swiss watch industry out of trouble after it ran into a serious crisis when Asian companies swamped the market with Quartz Crystal technologies. Swatch has produced more than 350 million Swiss-made watches in tune with the latest trends in the streets, sports and fashion.
Net-A-Porter, an online fashion store, was launched at the peak of the dot com bust in 2000. It weathered the storm and its fresh, innovative website and considered packaging have seen the company grow from three people to over 300 with a turnover of £37 million.
Virgin Atlantic developed a new seat design in late 2001 at the time of the atrocities of 9/11 and rising fuel prices were adversely affecting the travel industry. They knew the market would return to strength and were well positioned on its return. ‘We knew the market was going to come back, when it did we wanted to have the best product on the market, everything slotted into place,’ says Head of Design Joe Ferry.
Following a Space invaders creative piece for Pot Noodle we thought it only right to take this one step further and get some up in the studio…
1 litre™ is an award-winning water extracted directly from sources in Canada and the USA. Its revolutionary packaging design, which features an integrated cup, combined with a uniquely fresh, crisp, invigorating taste, has made 1 litre™ a must-have at the finest hotels, restaurants, casinos, spas and resorts in over 24 countries. The product is available in one litre and one half- litre sizes. We love the simple chic packaging design.
Forget ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ – We have ‘Cat on a Mac!’ Sometimes taking work home is not that easy… Our Client Services Director’s cat was more interested in Felix meaty pouches rather than Innocent Veg Pots! (lucky for him we have worked on both!)