We believe that a true reflection of success comes from what your customers say about you, and this is why we are proud to be a RAR recommended agency yet again. In fact, we’ve held this accolade for the last eight years and it’s all thanks to our clients for reviewing our work and, of course, liking what we do enough to recommend us.
The Recommended Agencies Register is an intermediary service that endorses agencies based purely on the opinions of their clients. Some of the key criteria that RAR measures are customer satisfaction, creativity, strategic thinking, value for money, and the agency’s ability to deliver on time and budget.
Thanks again to all our clients for providing feedback and helping us secure this important seal of industry approval for another year. It’s your satisfaction that drives us to continually innovate and deliver brilliant digital experiences, so here’s to more exciting projects and creativity in 2018.
“Content is king.”
So declared Bill Gates in his 1996 article on the Microsoft website, heralding online business opportunities for information and entertainment providers.
20 years later, it’s a phrase that has not just been over-used, it’s been largely twisted in meaning to justify the transmission of endless realms of ‘content’. Just hearing the word brings to mind over-full spam folders, incessant digital ads and Youtube playlists of content about content.
The content ecosystem has turned on the audience, and many creators have forgotten about those receiving it.
In light of this, we thought it would make sense to share our internal content checklist with you, to be used when you’re preparing your very own content:
- Is it useful?
Are you providing new information? And what’s more, is it information that can be applied in the reader’s life to make a difference?
- Is it original?
Has someone else already told your audience this information? Are you just another voice in the endless content chorus? Can you take a refreshing angle or add to what is already being said?
- Is it entertaining?
Even if the information can’t be directly applied in a functional way, is it at least going to make the reader smile? (For example, did you know sloths don’t fart?)
- Is it meant for this medium?
The information may be useful, original and entertaining, but ultimately does it need to be in the reader’s inbox? Perhaps it’s more suited to a blog, news article or your Vimeo portfolio.In fact this content quality checklist actually started out as an emailer, but it grew a bit too long and we adapted it to the blog, and here we all are.
We hope you find this content checklist useful when creating and sharing your own content, and if you’d like to know about our approach to more specialised topics or media feel free to let us know – we love great content.
Long live the king.
As the dust settles following another year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, we thought it a good time to reflect on the standards of 2018’s creativity. On the large, we were blown away by the talent on display and the fresh ideas.
There has been plenty of positive noise coming from the environmental campaigns recently, so here are the best of the campaigns from the conservation industry (in our eyes).
Lacoste’s Save Our Species campaign won a total of 10 Lions, and for good reason. The iconic crocodile logo that sits on each item of Lacoste clothing was replaced with 10 endangered species in collaboration with International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The number of each design made corresponded to the number of that animal left in the world. Only 67 polo shirts were made with the Javan Rhino, and there were just 30 of the Burmese Roofed Turtle shirts. A thought-provoking campaign that encouraged many donations to ‘save the species’.
Without the habitats though, these animals cannot exist at all. This brings us nicely to another inventive entry – Trash Isles. Created in collaboration with the Plastic Oceans Foundation and LADBible, it was one of the most purposeful campaigns, winning 2 Grand Prix.
In the North Pacific Ocean, there is an area of plastic so large it is the size of France. The campaign organisers submitted an application to the UN, requesting that Trash Isles is recognised as an official country. If approved, other countries would then be obliged to clean it up.
A simple yet striking idea – creating an identity for the country with its own flag, national anthem and currency, which sparked interest (and shock) from the public and celebrities alike.
The Lion’s Share fund is also well worth a mention. Launched during the festival, ambassador Sir David Attenborough explained that firms featuring animals in their adverts should donate to wildlife protection schemes, ensuring that animals receive the support they deserve.
If the top 10 advertisers in the world join the scheme to donate 0.5% of their ad spending, £100 million could be generated for leading wildlife charities in the next 3 years.
We’re seeing more purpose-led campaigns that focus on conserving a better planet to fit with the current societal values. With planet Earth losing species at 1000 times the natural extinction rate, the need for change is urgent. Ads like Lacoste’s and the Lion’s Share fund reflect the current shift in consumers’ willingness to help conserve our planet sustainably.
Creativity is a chance to change the world and make people look up. If the marketing world can continue to build campaigns for good like the examples awarded at Cannes Lions 2018, it can only do good things for the conservation of both our planet and its inhabitants.
Are you looking to up your marketing game or want to find the right agency to launch a campaign for good? Get in touch.
Since the dawn of human society, each new era has been defined by the technology that ushers it in.
From fire to bronze, to steam to the internet, the story of innovation has catapulted us into the future. So, when Ericsson wanted to show the world its pioneering real life case studies with 5G connectivity, we saw an amazing opportunity to tell a new chapter in that story.
Harleys was asked to create a global strategic marketing campaign that would showcase Ericsson’s ground-breaking R&D programme, and build awareness and perception of Ericsson as an innovator and leader in 5G.
In order to appeal to a broad audience with a low technical knowledge threshold, we focused on the human and social impact of Ericsson’s research collaborations with industry partners, like King’s College London. In the King’s 5G Research Lab, Dr. Mischa Dohler and his team are developing some truly jaw-dropping technologies, with real potential to improve lives.
The ultra-low latency of a 5G connection, in conjunction with cloud computing, immersive virtual reality and haptic feedback technology, enables the recording and sharing of physical movement. From surgeons to mechanics, pianists to pilots, any expert can teach their skill to any number of people, anywhere in the world.
Already a great success with the audience, the campaign has been nominated for the European Excellence Award in Storytelling. It’s an honour to be among Europe’s top communicators, and a step forward in the development of the Harleyss creative strategy. We look forward to meeting our peers in Hamburg!
Earlier this year, less than a week after its release, McDonalds was forced to pull one of their TV adverts in the UK and issue an official apology. This decision came after the advert sparked a series of complaints and national headlines accusing the food chain of exploiting childhood bereavement.
Of course, emotive advertising is nothing new. From John Lewis’ tear-jerking Christmas ads (remember Man on the Moon?) to Coca-Cola’s classic Holidays are Coming, advertisers are increasingly tapping into emotions to build memorable, genuine relationships with customers. And it works; documented studies have proven that the emotional response to an ad has far greater influence on our intent to buy than the ad’s actual content.
However, emotive advertising involves an element of risk, especially when brands choose to align their message with pressing social issues. Just look at Pepsi`s recent PR catastrophe, for example, The in-house Kendall Jenner advert was meant to take “a more progressive approach to truly reflect today’s generation and what living for now looks like.” Instead, it was pulled the next day following complaints that the ad appropriated the Black Lives Matter movement for commercial gain. Pepsi’s global message of unity, peace and understanding failed to convince its audience.
Getting emotive advertising right is hard, and the backlash can far outweigh the benefits as brands risk alienating customers. That begs the question, where do we draw the line? Unchecked creativity can be a difficult beast to manage and must be harnessed to be effective.
Perhaps the fault with these emotive campaigns was a lack of rational, objective evaluation? Whether a neutral party such as a test group is consulted or it’s integrated into the development phase itself, the final part of any creative process must include a self-critical stage that takes into consideration any potential misinterpretations and how to mitigate them.
Going back to John Lewis and their Man on the Moon advert, the campaign certainly had the potential to step on toes, and Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty received strong critique, but was an overwhelming success worldwide. Perhaps because the brands here successfully integrated their brand values with the social issue in question and attempted to offer a solution?
Instead of simply talking about the issue, Dove created a fund and partnered with organisations like Girls Inc., Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Girl Scouts, while John Lewis partnered with Age UK, a charity that provides lonely old people with much-needed company, and launched a charity range to help them raise vital funds. These campaigns had substance; they became more about raising awareness and helping combat the social issue than any potential commercial gain. In terms of the emotional rollercoaster within the narratives, they ended on a definite high, and most of us probably still remember them vividly because of how they invoked a real sense of emotion.
At the end of the day, emotive advertising needs bold creativity and when you get it right the results can be phenomenal. Isn’t it worth the risk in the end?