matm gets heads turning and cameras clicking with our latest exhibition stand design

Friday 25th February 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

“The stripes got a lot of positive feedback. Students took pictures, the show organisers took pictures and a rug manufacturer on the last day asked if they could copy the idea!”

Some very pleasing feedback from Jonathan Carter, Marketing Manager at Telford luxury bath manufactuer V+A, commenting on some work matm did on the company’s latest exhibition stand. Thanks JC!

V+A needed a design for two 84″ x 24″ light boxes – something that perfectly matched a brand that’s both timeless and very fashionable.

Using industry-standard illustration software we created some classic organic designs, full of colour to fit the light boxes perfectly, says Tom Blockley, a designer at matm, the marketing, graphic design, web development, digital media and PR agency at Jackfield near Telford.

Here are the stripes in the proposed stand design.

V+A IDS exhibition stand visual

V+A IDS exhibition stand visual

And here they are in real life!

Graphic design from matm – a logo with a loud bark and brand bite

Wednesday 23rd February 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

RedHector Logo

At matm we believe attention to detail is everything in a new identity.

RedHector, a building, renovation and handyman company in London, approached marketing, design, web and PR company matm, at Jackfield near Telford, Shropshire, to create a logo for the start-up business.

Designer Tom Blockley created a bespoke logo, drawing inspiration from the owner’s red setter dog – yes, you’ve guessed it – called Hector.

A side on profile of the dog provided a sketch visual and then developed into a classic shape that would be memorable and instantly recognisable to new and existing clients.  The bespoke elements were created to give the typeface its unique identity.

RedHector logo design

So, the attention really is in the detail on this logo: bespoke typeface, handcrafted graphic & perfectly proportioned exclusion zones to give the maximum impact in any design.

matm is currently developing RedHector’s new website. In the meantime, why not visit (and like) RedHector on Facebook?

Mobile ads – right message, right person, right time. Sounds familiar, asks matm?

Monday 21st February 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

Here at matm, we found this BBC News report on the explosion of mobile phone ads an interesting video

With social media behomoth Facebook and search engine colossus Google just two players working hard to dominate the advertising dollars of the future, it’s going to be an interesting time.

However, of all the talk of a new era in marketing and advertising the main message is not a great surprise to Stuart Bickerton – MAKE IT RELEVANT

Fan boxes, fbml and branded landing pages, 5 ways to promote yourself on facebook

Wednesday 16th February 2011   by Neil Dicken

You have just created your facebook page, but what is the best way to promote it? Here are five great ways to attract followers.

1. Use FBML
FBML is Facebook Mark-up Language. It is web coding that allows you to customise your facebook page. Adding a basic static page that incorporates your company style can greatly increase the impact and attractiveness of your page. You can use regular SEO techniques here too.

2. Put a Facebook Fan Box on your blog
Initally this can be daunting when you have only a few fans, but once you have your first few, why shouldn’t you show how popular you are? By the way, would you like to become an matm fan?

matm facebook page

3. Post a tweet or two
With Twitter a major influence within social media, you will be suprised at how many new fans you will get.

4. Add a link to your email signature
A straightforward addition, but very often overlooked.

5. Submit your facebook page to bookmarking sites

With pages like Delicious, becoming increasingly popular, you may attract followers who might otherwise miss you the chance to see what you have to offer.

Once you have 25 or more Facebook Fans, you can give your facebook page its own unique url. For example:

Doing these five things will be a good start to promoting yourself on facebook. And there’re a lot more things you can do. If you want to know more, get in touch with Neil Dicken, here at matm.

We’re loving that! No s@*t Sherlock: even matm’s in programming jeopardy!

Tuesday 15th February 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

Here at matm, we like to think that we are up to date with the latest programming techniques, such as HTML5 and the very latest WordPress developments.

Step forward Watson, the IBM Supercomputer taking on past champions of the US Quiz Show Jeopardy! in a fascinating battle in this legendary show.

Viewers can follow Watson’s thoughts on screen and even see when his mega thinking capacity has gone into overdrive

ps @IBMWatson if you want to follow him on Twitter


A classy slice of graphic design for Shropshire’s newest pizza restaurant

Tuesday 15th February 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

New pizza restaurant Peepo Pizza turned to Shropshire marketing and graphic design agency matm to create their new menus.

Simple, elegant design makes the menu easy to read and sets the Peepo Pizza brand apart in a market sector with plenty of competitors.

The design is being used in table mat menus in the Bridgnorth restaurant as well as a handy takeaway menu being distributed to homes via the Royal Mail Door-2-Door service.

matm organised the printing of the menus too. That’s a tasty take on design. And the pizza is great too!

We’re loving that! Feel the force of a top TV advert from VW

Tuesday 8th February 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

Every self-respecting six-year-old boy believes he has supernormal powers – right? VW takes this concept to create a super-powered TV advert to launch its new Passat.

VW plays on humour, family and the big kid in all of us as a mini Darth Vader tries to use The Force around his family home.

The company chose its strategy wisely (my son). It launched the ad first on YouTube, creating viral interest like a gathering storm. Then it gave it a first TV airing in the US during the Imperial sporting battle to beat all sporting battles that was Superbowl 2011 at the weekend.

At an estimated cost of £4m for the full minute.

Add the back story of the six-year-old Max ‘Darth Vader’ Page who was born with a heart defect and we think the team who planned the Volkswagen Passat advert deserve a hearty pat on the back.

VW’s ad is now fast approaching 20 million views on You Tube. It is interesting, in itself, that we are measuring the success of a TV ad in terms of how much it is seen on the internet.

Here at matm, we’re wondering if there’ll be a sequel…or even a prequel?


matm’s Freaky Friday – we’re loving the TV ad about the fish that can mend a broken heart

Friday 4th February 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

The British Hearth Foundation has launched its ‘Mending Broken Hearts’ appeal with a very subtle yet eye-catching TV ad. It’s a touching story in two parts – seen from the view of a woman and a zebrafish. That’s right – a fish!

Amazing facts about the zebrafish

  • Their hearts mend themselves – if part of a zebrafish heart is damaged, it is repaired in a few weeks, just like mending a broken arm (human, not fish…silly)
  • They are see-through – in their early development, they are transparent, allowing scientist to watch the development of their heart and blood vessels
  • Zebrafish are commonly studied by genetics scientists, looking to develop new medicines and therapies


Mending Broken Hearts Appeal – British Heart Foundation

Nick Radmore, BHF’s Head of Social Marketing and Brand, said: “The idea was to bring the science to life. The zebrafish helps people understand how complex regenerative medicine [on human hearts] could bring hope to millions of people in the UK.”

It’s not very often an ad such as this makes me want to go and google about it, said Neil Dicken, a designer at matm, the marketing, design, web development and PR agency, at Jackfield near Telford, Shropshire.

But as it came to an end, I already had my Iphone out, reading up on this amazing fish!

Find out more about this BHF’s Mending Broken Hearts Appeal.

Find out more about matm’s transparently effective and affordable video service.

Creative copywriting #2: Remember, remember the Rule of Three

Friday 4th February 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

Three is a magic number.

As great communicators from Julius Caesar to Barack Obama know, good things come in threes. In fact, there is the Rule of Three.

Constructing facts, ideas or expressions in three parts just feels natural. It is a structure that is pleasing to the eye, easy on the ear and creates the biggest impact.

There – two uses of it in one paragraph. And I wasn’t even trying, says Andy Comber, PR Manager at matm, a marketing, design, web development and PR agency in Jackfield, near Telford, Shropshire.

That is why being aware of the power of the number three in copywriting is so important. You may use the concept naturally. Sometimes it is good to deliberately make use of the dramatic benefit it brings.

The number three appears everywhere: there are three-line and three character jokes (think Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman), three picture comic strips (think Dilbert), three act plays and, often in news media, the three line factfile.

There is even a name for the concept. A constructed phrase such as “Veni, Vidi, Vici.” that has three grammatically and logically connected elements is known as a Tricolon.

Speech-writing author Dr Max Atkinson has analysed many famous speeches and says three-part lists almost always appear somewhere. He includes the technique in a six part (that’s 2×3) list of successful speech-writing techniques:

  • Contrasts
  • Three-part lists
  • Contrasts combined with lists
  • Alliteration
  • Bold imagery
  • Audience analysis

The two most important, he says, are contrast and three-part lists. Here are examples from President John Kennedy’s inaugural speech in 1961:

  • Contrasts: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
  • Three-part lists: “Where the strong are just, and the weak secure and the peace preserved.”
  • Combining contrasts and lists: “Not because the communists are doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right.”

Adolph Hitler is one of the most notorious users of the Rule of Three. Winston Churchill fought back – with blood, sweat and tears. Only he actually said, “blood, sweat, toil and tears” but the Rule of Three is so strong, most memories have deleted his toil.

So, whenever you write any copy or make any presentation, think of the Rule of Three. And remember, the reader or audience will only ever remember a maximum of three things you ever say.