Christmas TV Adverts hit our screens

Friday 6th November 2015   by Stuart Bickerton

Yes, it’s that time of year again. As the embers are being extinguished on the bonfires, some of the UK’s largest retailers begin the roll out of their Christmas TV adverts.

The anticipation of these festive adverts now fill our news programs and newspapers at this time, partly as a nod to huge sums of money invested. Retailers plunge seven figure values in the making of their mini masterpieces and purchase airtime of between 4 to 8 times that value.

Here’s the runners and riders for TV Christmas Adverts in 2015

 

John Lewis TV Advert for Christmas 2015

Asda Christmas Advert for 2015

Waitrose Christmas Advert for 2015

Lidl Christmas Advert for 2015

Tkmaxx Christmas Advert for 2015

M&S

Boots

Sainsbury’s

Spanish Lottery

The benefits of business case studies

Sunday 2nd March 2014   by Andy Comber

Here’s the case for business case studies in one simple story. Not long ago, I was at a client work site – a service centre run by a global aerospace company. Our client had been called in to do some high value facilities maintenance work.

I asked the facilities manager how he had selected my client and he said:

“I Googled the service I wanted and they came up on the first page. I liked what I saw on the website. It was clear they could do what I wanted to I called them, and here they are.”

So we have a global aerospace manufacturer and service provider Googling for support services costing into five figures. Telling enough. He also said: “What I like to see on websites is case studies, and clear stories about the kind of stuff we do. That gives me the confidence to call in a supplier.”

Our client could now win similar work at up to 20 of this company’s sites across the UK. And all because it showed up on the Google search.

Another story. A short while ago, the owner of another client, a construction company, came to see me and said: “Andy, I’ve got to say a big thank you. We were pitching to a new client and they wanted to see some examples of our work, just be certain that we can do what he needs. We pointed him at case studies on our website, and he signed a contact worth £125,000.”

My conclusion to both these…case studies, is that business case studies work, and can be very effective as supporting evidence to win new business.

Here’s some additional reasons why you should consider the benefits of business case studies:

  • Business case studies help a potential client in the decision-making process. A senior member of the client team may ask a junior to gather evidence before a purchase. By having information in the form of a case study, the junior can offer the business case study to directly support the decision-making process. The information in a case study can be laid out in a business report style, it can be industry or sector specific, it can contain supporting data and additional technical information – all content that will provide assurance for the senior decision-maker.
  • Business case studies can be targeted at specific types of customers or sectors. As such it can be created to appeal directly to specific types of buyers. There can be no misunderstanding: you provide precisely the service they need, and the business case study shows why.
  • A business case study makes best use of marketing content. You may have written a web story or a press release about the success of your service or product. With a bit of tweaking, it can be quickly turned into a case study, a different beast, which enhances search engine optimisation, and gives customers the precise information they need to make decisions about using your services.
  • Business case studies can be used by your marketing and sales team in customer acquisition campaigns, in face-to-face sales pitches and in marketing additional services to current customers.

So, the point about business case studies is, they add to the mix of marketing content you can offer online, helping you attract more customers through web marketing, they can be used offline as well, to support sales promotions and pitches and they will help you better target specifc customer segments. As the two business case studies above also show – they win you more business.

Watch out for future posts, when I talk about how to create effective business case studies.

 

Multiplot Logo Design

Friday 8th February 2013   by Neil Dicken

Here’s a recent example of a new logo we created for a Shropshire company, MultiPlot

MultPlot are leaders in QC software for the oil and gas marine exploration industry.

 

 

 

Nature’s graphic designers in Shropshire

Wednesday 17th October 2012   by Andy Comber

Sometimes you just have to say some graphic designers in Shropshire have all the tricks. And here at matm, we’ve been enjoying the display being put on by nature in recent weeks. Not sure what you think, but the autumn colours appear to be particularly vivid this year. Here are some trees I spotted on the A4169 between Shifnal and Madeley, Shropshire.

I didn’t happen to have my camera when I first saw one tree standing out, all shocking pink and red against the green of its neighbours, but made sure I had it the following morning. The colour had just gone off, but I hope you get the picture. The moon makes it a bit more special still.

In-game advertising – a double-edged sword

Wednesday 18th July 2012   by Andy Comber

Matt Hughes is spending a week doing work experience with us here at matm. He’s 15 and an experienced gamer. So we asked him to look into an increasingly common aspect of the digital leisure world – in-game advertising. Here’re his views:

In the past 10 years, video games have developed exceedingly fast. This has perked the interest of many companies, including, Adidas, MacDonald’s and Intel to use these games as advertising opportunities.

However, the games industry have had mixed feelings on in-game advertisements, as it may be seen as ‘selling out’. This has caused some businesses to lose respect from customers.

Although a lot of businesses have gained millions of dollars from the revenue they have earned from the advertisements. One well known in-game advert was an advertising billboard for the Obama 2008 election in a game called Burnout Paradise.


This billboard was positioned on the side of a main highway, where the players would pass regularly and see the message.

Obama also appeared in NBA Live 08 where he featured on an advertising board with the same ‘EARLY VOTING’ message. It made a regular appearance next to the basketball court, which would have been viewed millions of times by players of the highly popular basketball franchise.

In my personal experience, I have never been put off a game because of it’s in-game adverts.

However if the development company were to extend the amount of adverts they add to their game even more, to the point that it may have advert breaks in the game, or if the game were to have advertising billboard on every available space, I would feel betrayed as a gamer, as I buy games to enjoy them, not to have corporate advertising rammed in my face every five minutes.

I feel that the addition of in-game advertisements adds to the realism as it creates a recognisable atmosphere that is relatable to the player of the game. However, if the developers were to abuse this, they may be criticized by the media, games reviewers and gamers.

Since in-game advertising has arrived in the last couple of years, a lot of game developers have had the ability to produce free-to-play games with no hidden costs or charges.

This has enabled them to use these games as a blank canvas for testing features to use on their new games, for example a game called Team Fortress 2 which was released in 2007, was originally priced at £8, however in early 2012, the game was made free to play.

This has allowed Valve, the game’s developers, to experiment with different features and create a better gaming experience for the future. They have used advertising in their game to help fund the development process and continue to produce new content for the game.

My view is that a lot of smaller, independent games companies could benefit from in-game advertisements because the extra income, which in some cases might be substantial, could offset development costs, making it easier to break into the market.

As well as advertisement, product placement has also become more popular in the gaming industry, with large businesses like Lynx placing their products in games, and well known characters taking Coca Cola from a branded vending machine.

This idea of showing the product in the game has proven very successful for many companies, for example, when Activision released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Mountain Dew also released Modern Warfare 3 themed drinks in which were several collectable cards that gamers could trade for in-game items and ‘Experience Boots’.

This boosted the sales of Mountain Dew significantly, as many of the gamers that play Call of Duty will do anything to get ahead of other gamers.

On 15 July 2012, in an article about growing alarm at our increasingly digital world, The Sunday Times said the average British adolescent spends up to 5 hours a day online and 10 to 11-year-olds have access to 5 screens at home.

Advertisers have realised that to reach a target audience, especially the highly prized younger audience, they must place their products where the audience is, and that is increasingly in cyberspace, not the real world.

Advertising on Facebook and Youtube is now the norm, now the ad people are beginning to shift over to games, as they know that a large percentage of the people that use computers regularly in their spare time are gamers.

The upside, is that this new element of the advertising industry is creating thousands of new jobs. The downside is that it is clear we will never escape seeing something we never knew we wanted.

ŠKODA plugs “youthful” Citigo on Facebook

Friday 8th June 2012   by Neil Dicken

Skoda.uk - Meet Tiesto

ŠKODA UK is using the power of Facebook to make itself more attractive to younger car buyers with the launch of its new car, the Citigo.

It promoted a free concert by top international DJ Tiësto at the LG Arena in Birmingham through Facebook.

The  approach made perfect sense as ŠKODA is seeking to attract a younger buyer for the car.

“The new Citigo is youthful and fresh and this partnership with Tiësto fits perfectly with our positioning of this new car,” said Helen Bainbridge, ŠKODA National Communications Manager.

Users signed up to the competition through Facebook to win tickets for the gig. Winners could send friends details allowing them a greater chance of also winning tickets.

Winners printed out their tickets via the ‘meet Tiësto app’ on the ŠKODA Facebook page.

 

The app also allowed friends to organise to meet up at a certain place, and app users could win the opportunity to meet Tiësto after the gig.

 

I was lucky enough to win a ticket. The gig was great and more intimate than previous ones I had been to, maybe also part of the ŠKODA plan to make you felt you belong. As yet, though, I haven’t bought a Citigo.

We’re Loving That! Ironbridge’s very own Olympic Champion – at cuddling!

Wednesday 27th July 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

Ironbridge teddy bear maker Merrythought has launched its official London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Commemorative Teddy Bear – exactly a year before the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27th 2012.

The cuddly bear is based on a design from 1948 – the year London last hosted the Olympic Games – and is made from from the finest gold mohair.

London 2012 Olympic Games Commemorative Teddy Bear

The teddy comes with a choice of three different coloured ribbons – blue, green or pink, rather than bronze, silver and gold – and only 2012 bears sporting each colour have been made. So a limited edition of 6036 bears are available to buy.

That’ll make them almost as rare and sought after as an Olympic ticket.

 

Facebook for business – get noticed, get liked and build relationships with matm

Friday 24th June 2011   by Neil Dicken

Facebook is the global social media powerhouse.

It’s the place more than 350 million people make friends, fall in love, chat, laugh, share ideas, tell people what they’ve done, are doing and plan to do, what they like, what they love and who they love. Oh, and what they spend their money on.

So Facebook is a great place for a business and show off your brand to be as well.

Which is why we’ve developed a range of highly effective and affordable design and function options for business Facebook Pages. If you run a business, charity, sports club, community group or public service, there will be an option that’s right for you.

 

matm - Facebook for Business

Great graphic design can be good for your health – especially when created by matm

Monday 7th March 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

Here at matm, we’ve built up significant experience in designing health promotional material for quite a number of clients, honing our skills in a wide range of projects, designs and approaches.

Key elements of this work are creating messaging that is creative and has clarity and impact within clear brand guidelines.

For example, in a recent project for for Telford and Wrekin PCT we created a range of promotional material for the Health Trainer service which provides personal advice to people who want to be healthier and fitter.

The promotional campaign, called “My Health Trainer”, sought to highlight the highly personal one-to-one support the health trainers give their clients.

Collateral included a four-page leaflet, a suite of posters (pictured below) were designed and printed as well as a number of promotional items such as printed water bottles, stress balls and pens.

Health Trainer Posters

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

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.

Mobile marketers are rapidly catching on to quick response barcodes

Monday 10th January 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

In between numerous episodes of CSI (my guilty pleasure of the moment), I’ve been watching Delia Smith talking about posh pastry on behalf of Waitrose.

Given their strong corporate ID I had a bit of a moment when I saw a large jagged box on the TV, writes Lindsay Crayton, Senior Creative at matm, the marketing, graphic and web design, web development, PR agency at Jackfield, near Telford in Shropshire.

It took me back to a conversation I had with a colleague sometime ago about these ‘boxes’, it went something along the lines of:

Me: Stuart take a look at this!

Stuart: What is it?

Me: A bar code that you can scan in using your mobile phone, it can hold information like a web address or text.

Stuart: Eyes have glazed over…

Moving swiftly on, a bit of research found these boxes to be called QR codes, QR being Quick Response.

They were originally developed, as long ago as 1994, by Denso-Wave in Japan for tracking car parts for Toyota. The main objective was that they could be read at high speed from any angle.

The QR-Code carries information horizontally and vertically whereas a standard barcode contains data only in one direction.

Also, a standard bar code can only hold 20 digits but a QR code can hold more than 7,000 and can be made to be a fraction of the size (approximately one-tenth) so less room taken up on packaging.

Companies are now increasingly using the technology to market products and services via mobile phones.

Pepsi using a QR code on a promotional billboard. It helps that the code looks arty and intriguing

A smart phone with a camera and decoding software can be used to capture and read the information on a QR code – whether it appears on the TV, billboard, in a magazine advert or on a t-shirt. The process of is called mobile tagging, while the the specific act of linking from a physical object is called physical world hyperlinking.

You can also create your own QR codes using free software. The social media site Mashable recently explained how to do it.

Facebook has a dedicated QR-Code page with lots of creative and business uses. It’s also finding its way into the art world.

An edible and scannable waffle created at NYC Resistor in 2010

I wasn’t able to scan the QR-code on the TV, I have an older phone, but if anyone else has I’d love to know…

matm uses advertising, social media, print and video in Shropshire smoking campaign

Thursday 30th December 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

matm has helped devise a major New Year marketing campaign to encourage thousands of smokers in Shropshire to ‘Pledge to Quit’ in 2011.

We’ve been working working with Help2Quit, an NHS stop smoking service.

Help2Quit runs drop-in clinics across Shropshire offering one-to-one support for smokers. It also provides a free workplace service where smoking rates are high. Results show smokers are four times more likely to stop with Help2Quit support.

Key elements of the New Year campaign include bus shelter advertising, a leaflet drop to 40,000 homes, video clips of people explaining why and how they quit and a social media campaign.

Pledge To Quit leaflet designed by matm as part of Help2Quit's 2011 campaign

Stuart Bickerton, Director of the matm marketing, graphic and web design, web development and PR agency at Jackfield near Telford in Shropshire, says: “It’s vital that you use the right methods to reach target groups to generate the best value for money and the greatest impact.

“That’s one reason why social media, such as Facebook, will play a part in the campaign. Video provides excellent social media content and can be packaged differently for a range of purposes. Because we have the expertise to shoot and edit the video ourselves, it’s very cost effective.”

The bus shelter advertising campaign will be focused in the Telford and Wrekin area on busy main roads close to supermarkets. The leaflet mailing will be targeted in other areas of the county where there are high levels of smoking.

The Pledge to Quit message challenges smokers to think about the personal benefits of giving up – and explains the range of help at hand if they want to quit.

Find out more about Help2Quit: 01743 366940, www.Help2QuitShropshire.co.uk, facebook.com/Help2Quit

Graphic design from Shropshire that creates an advertisment really worth noticing

Tuesday 30th November 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

Making a marketing impact in a cluttered and fast-moving world can be a bit of a challenge.

Which got us here at matm thinking, how many adverts are we exposed to every day?

It appears from a huge amount of in-depth research – well okay, about 10 minutes on Google – that the answer is not clear.

In 2007, the New York Times quotes 5,000 (up from 2,000 in 1977). Then again, that is for the USA where they would tattoo an advertisement on the inside of your eyelids if you let them.

Another textbook figure that pops up a lot is 3,000. A blog has even been created solely to explore the phenomenon.

In Australia, one intrepid blogger, Matt Granfield, set out to actually count how many adverts he saw in 24 hours – that IS dedication for you. He got to 91 in the first hour and concluded it wasn’t looking good for the 3,000 figure.

Some experts break the figures down a little. A recent study, again in the USA, found that 34% of all ads targeting children or teens were for sweets and snacks – and that tweens were the most heavily targeted, seeing more than 20 food ads a day.

And at the conservative end of the scale, some put the total number of ads viewed at 300.

Okay. Whatever the case, we get to see a lot of adverts – and more now than we used to.

That’s why it is so important to make your message stand out from the crowd.

We recently helped Douglas Macmillan Hospice in Stoke on Trent do this by designing a promotional money collecting box for them. When every penny generously donated really counts, it’s important to get things right.

So here’s our top tips for designing promotional material:

  • Know what your key message is. It might not be profound – but it always has to get right to the nub of the matter, and fast.
  • Be clear about what and who you are promoting. You have a blink of an eye to achieve a connection and trigger a reaction.
  • Use bold, contrasting colours – which always reflect your brand. Contrasting colours help the whole design stand out.
  • And in that cluttered world mentioned earlier, less is always more. Keep it simple!

We hope that when you see a Douglas Macmillan Hospice collecting box, you’ll put a few coins in. It’s one of the hundreds – or is it thousands? – of ‘adverts’ you will see in a day that is really worth succumbing to.

Mirror, Signal, Outmanoeuvre – matm client teams up with Audi

Thursday 11th November 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

Which machine is the real star of this picture?

Audi R8 Spyder: 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds. Nationwide Platforms scissor lift: 0 to 10 metres (32 feet) in 55 seconds. Put them together and you have one of the most memorable advertisements of 2010.

matm PR client Nationwide Platforms played a key role in bringing to life Audi’s dramatic ‘Mirror, Signal, Outmanoeuvre’ TV ad for its new supercar. Rogue Films, the makers of the advert, hired a mixture of electric scissor lifts and booms for the shoot, which took place at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands.

We know through experience how important it is to have the correct equipment for video shoots and photoshoots and, the machines pictured above look perfect to support lighting rigs. We thought the image was striking enough to share with you – so come on – which machine is the real star of the picture?

How charities may benefit from the comprehensive spending review

Tuesday 26th October 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

With  marketing for hospices and charities a regular conversation here at matm, specialist marketing agency from Shropshire, we have been interested to read Stephen Cook’s thoughts on the influence of the comprehensive spending review will have on the third sector.

He reports that the Chancellor, George Osbourne, has acknowledged that voluntary organisations will be expected to pick up what the trimmed-down public sector will be forced to let go – and has allocated £470m over the next four years to support charities and community organisations. This will be the Big Society in action.

Stephen Cook says: “Although the comprehensive spending review will reduce public spending by 19 per cent over the next four years, it promises a bigger role for the voluntary and community sector.”

FULL ARTICLE HERE

As an agency that takes pride in working with third sector organisations on a wide range of projects including marketing, public relations, web design, graphic design and telemarketing – and, let’s be honest, welcomes the income that work generates, we’d be interested to hear your thoughts.