Tag Archives: culture

Interesting Things About… New News

26 May

Each year brings with it a decline in newspaper sales and a decline in TV news viewership, but ‘news’ as a type of content has never been more sought out. As we increasingly move away from the printed page to the screen, and simultaneously from television to mobile, the way in which the news is packaged is changing too to adapt. Here are a few of the media organisations that are paving the way when it comes to innovative methods of communicating the news:

VICE News – Gonzo journalism

vice news

VICE is known for its irreverent, say-it-like-it-is style, both in terms of what they write about and how they write it. When they launched VICE News, they lost none of their trademark style, speaking about complex and serious issues in a jargon free manner. VICE News’ style reads almost like a direct affront to the traditional objective reporting styles employed by almost all ‘big’ news outlets.

Snapchat – News from the front line

snapchat news

Snapchat LIVE Stories are being well utilised to cover the US Presidential Election race.  The team’s internal news team curate the thousands of videos uploaded from the front line before compiling them into strings of news content. The ubiquity of Snapchat’s citizen journalists gives the company access to the heart of stories, whether that’s at the front line of a candidate’s Q&A session or behind closed doors at a fund raiser. Where traditional news companies present an overly refined and official view of the news, Snapchat presents the rough and ready real story.

BuzzFeed – Data driven news


Early this year, Buzzfeed and the BBC made an accusation that match fixing at the top end of men’s tennis had been rife for years. They didn’t have a whistle-blower’s testimony or receive some leaked documents. Instead, they built an algorithm and analysed data from 26,000 matches from the past six years before overlaying it with publicly available betting data from the world’s most popular betting shops. Buzzfeed’s Data Science mine vast data sets and create algorithms to find out news stories that would otherwise be hidden forever. Data sources don’t change their story or hold back the truth.

Why this is interesting…

As new forms of news communications become more popular, traditional news brands are starting to feel increasingly outdated. Whilst news media has always been a lucrative space for brands to place their advertising, they will need to adapt too to make the most of the new innovations that are shaking up the category.

The Starbuck’s way of forming communities by creating cultural value

23 May


Izzy Pugh, Head of Cultural Insight & Marilyn Dutlow from Added Value in South Africa have recently unpacked from an international and local perspective how Starbucks are creating a place and a mind-set that feels like the heart of a community.

Read the full article at The Media Online! on how Starbucks are successfully creating cultural value. (http://themediaonline.co.za/2016/05/the-starbucks-way-of-forming-communities-be-creating-cultural-value/)

Interesting Things About… Authentic Lifestyle Contributions

13 May

In the pursuit of creating something genuinely useful for people’s lives, brands sometimes need to put their label’s name aside if its presence would have an obtrusive impact. L’Oréal and LVMH have both taken note of this fact and launched online initiatives that remain uncredited:


FAB by L’Oréal



L’Oréal has launched FAB (flair, artistry, beauty), an unbranded beauty hub which showcases industry professionals creating trends all over the world 24/7. The website targets the general public as well as beauty industry professionals and the multi-media content puts a spotlight on the expertise of all these ‘artisans of beauty’.




Nowness is an established global video channel showcasing the best in culture reaching from art, design, fashion and beauty to music, food and travel. Both established and emerging filmmakers create content that conveys storytelling designed to provoke inspiration and debate.


Why is this interesting?

It’s not L’Oréal or Louis Vuitton that people care about, it’s the lifestyle they create that’s important. With the initiatives listed above, both brands have created something beyond just their products and stepped into the real world they want to be a part of. By doing this they are not just existing in culture but helping to create it themselves, which is the perfect way for a brand to fully embed themselves in the lives of its followers.

A Real British Home Store

6 May


After a turbulent and troubled time, high-street department store British Home Stores (BHS) has filed for administration. The sad news has got us thinking about how a British home store could best adapt to make itself indispensable within culture and cater for the real British home.

  1. Own a good night in:

Technological advancements have made the prospect of a good night in more irresistible than ever before. Services such as Netflix, Deliveroo and even Tinder have eliminated many of the reasons people would feel the need to leave the comforts of their living room for a night on the town. Collaborating with services such as these to help create the perfect night in shows an appreciation for the changing landscape of entertainment.

  1. Make home improvement a celebratory affair:

The British are notorious for the pride they take in their homes, which underpins a relentless pursuit for improvement. A recent study conducted by wooden-blinds-direct.co.uk found that 84% of people would change something about their houses. These changes don’t need to amount in a giant upheaval, they can be small as the same survey found that 83% of people said they would probably be happier if they could change just a few things about their homes. By understanding the emotional connection we have with our homes, brands can provide simple yet personable solutions for enhancing our homes. Dulux has achieved this with their colour of the year campaign which elevates the colour a person chooses to paint their walls into a style statement.

  1. Understand the home can be fluid:

There is a generation of people in Britain that feel excluded from the housing market with many no longer aspiring to own their own home. This has lead to the concept of the home becoming more fluid. A home is no longer necessarily about having four walls and a plot of land, it is something that can be taken with you.

We love the idea of a shop aimed at the British home, but to have real cultural traction it’s crucial for them to understand that the British home itself is ever evolving and shifting.

Beyond Westeros

3 May

game of thrones

The rabid success of Game of Thrones – especially amongst achingly cool hipsters – has been impossible to ignore. But we think that the show can push further. We think it can go beyond mere entertainment, and turn its much-admired houses into product ideas that can attract even the most cynical members of Gen Y.

Our suggestions would include –

House Stark – “Winter is Coming”

This range of functional basics – including vests and flannel shirts – is crafted from cutting edge hi-tech performance fabrics that both insulate and wick away sweat. They’ll keep you cool in the summer, and snug in the long, doom-laden winter.

House Lannister – “A Lannister Always Pays His Debts”

As their unofficial motto states, House Lannister is very keen on shrewd money management. This slick app keeps track of all of your financial interactions, enabling you to pay your share of everything from artisan cereal street food to your Uber Lux home.

House Greyjoy – “We Do Not Sow”

We know that not everyone can find the time in their hectic taxidermy schedule to home grow food, so this twice weekly organic, foraged vegetable delivery service means that you never need to fret.

House Martel – “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”

Modern clothes can look so inauthentic. This service takes your dull, mass-produced threads and returns them to you as hand-distressed, uniquely broken-in vintage classics.

House Tyrell – “Growing Strong”

Your vegan diet can make macro-nutrition pretty hard to nail. This scientifically advanced, all-natural protein bar supplies all of your energy needs in one simple, rustic seed ball.

House Baratheon – “Ours is the Fury”

Finding marathons a bit passé? This gruelling 30 mile obstacle course forces you underground and over barbed wire in a frenzied and furious scramble to the finish line. Can you vanquish your opponents?

House Targaryen – “Fire and Blood”

This edgy restaurant serves only one dish – flame-seared, super-rare bison steaks. Watch your selected hunk of meat be licked by fire right before your eyes.

Interesting Things About….Being Fashionably Ethical

21 Apr

It’s Fashion Revolution Week this week, an innovative initiative launched to challenge traceability within the fashion industry. Here is a little more about the initiative, alongside some other fashion brands taking a stand on ethical issues.


Fashion Revolution Week


  1. Fashion Revolution Week #whomademyclothes

Using the #whomademyclothes fashion conscious individuals across the globe are taking a stand against traceability by posting their labels and asking their favourite brands where their clothes have come from, and how they have been made. Fashion Revolution Week was launched by Carry Somers in response to a factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh which left 1134 workers dead.




2. Noveaux Magazine

Berlin based fashion magazine Noveaux champions fair and vegan fashion with a range of articles and features. Its content which is pulled from a variety of sources proves that fashion can be made in a safe, clean and beautiful way.


H & M


3. H&M World Recycle Week featuring M.I.A.

H&M have launched their World Recycle Week with the release of a new video from MIA, the face of the campaign. In the video the artist encourages viewers to “rewear it” and “regenerate the nation” and shoppers are receiving £5 off their next H&M shop every time they drop of a bag of clothes.


Why is this interesting –

As the examples above highlight, brands will have the biggest success when standing up for ethical issues if it’s done in a way that feels authentic to who they are. For example by using a current recording artist to front their recycling efforts, H&M have made the campaign feel as relevant as any of their more conventional ones. Brands wanting to have a social impact should make it feel like an extension of who they are, rather than a corporate responsibility for their efforts to resonate most successfully.

Get in Character: Using Archetypes to Breathe New Life Into Your Brand

15 Apr

Just like the myriad personas we find on stage and screen, character can also be applied to brands and in fact often holds the key to breathing truly new and differentiated life into them – as well as making them totally recognizable across all touch points. In the spirit of sharing, we decided to get down our top 5 tips for winning with brand character.

Read the full article at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-tarbox/get-in-character-using-ar_b_9585696.html 

Interesting Things About… The Death of Sponsorship

1 Apr

fsfdBrands have traditionally used sponsorship to communicate their essence, but people are demanding more now. They want brands to do something – to contribute something – not just to whack their logo on a poster and stump up the cash. We are seeing brands go further than simple sponsorship, they are increasingly looking for partnerships where they can collaborate to create content.

  1. Uniqlo x Tate Modern – Uniqlo are collaborating with the Tate Modern under their new campaign ‘This Way to Utopia’, which celebrates London’s vibrant cultural scene. Not only will Uniqlo be hosting a series of late night events at the Tate, the institution will also be curating quarterly exhibits at Uniqlo’s flagship store.

  2.  Clarks x V&A Museum – The V&A’s recent exhibit ‘Pleasure and Pain’ featured the world’s largest shoe collection, and was built off over four decades of fashion history. Clarks have taken inspiration from the collection to produce a limited shoe line that revives the spirit of 50s and 80s footwear.

Why is this interesting?
It is no longer enough for brands to take part in mere monetary sponsorship. To play an active role in culture they need to lend more than just their name – they need to use their unique skills, resources and talents to create something genuinely new and valuable to people.

Full steam ahead for the “RRS Boaty McBoat Face”

24 Mar


“Boaty McBoatface” is steaming ahead in an online poll launched by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to name their new Royal Navy polar research vessel.  The name comes in response to the NERC’s request for name suggestions that highlight the ground-breaking work the ship will do. Even though Boaty McBoatface doesn’t quite fit the original brief, we’re delighted that the NERC are joining in on the fun.

It’s a truth that’s been proven time and again: if you turn to the public for help, you must allow for mischief and irreverence. In a world where brands can no longer keep control of every aspect of their image, and have no choice but to open themselves to people, we think a large helping of wit and playfulness is often in order. People may not always respond in the way a brand intended, but keeping a sense of humour is a smart and savvy response.



“Trainy McTrainface” was seen pulling into stations throughout the South West yesterday, suggesting the support for Boaty is still on the up. We are backing him all the way!

Interesting Things About… How To Market To Kids

3 Mar

Replicating reality seems to be the latest priority for toymakers, with several brands releasing new ranges that try to reproduce an accurate representation of the real world.

Here are three brands making shifts to be more in tune with reality:



  1. Lego’s Stay At Home Dad

The Lego City range will soon be gaining some new arrivals in the form of a stay at home Dad and a career driven Mum. The Lego figurine Dad will be dressed in a lumberjack shirt with a hipster beard, and the Mum will have slicked back hairstyle and will come equipped with a briefcase. Lego has said the new figures are an attempt to better represent the world we live in today.




  1. MyFamilyBuilders

These toys come from a collaboration between an illustrator, a child psychologist, an educational specialist and a product designer. MyFamilyBuilder’s main priority is to represent all adults and children. Using magnetic connecting devices these characters can be combined in multiple ways to become representative of people of all ages, genders and ethnicities.




  1. Curvy Barbie

This new line gained a lot of media attention when it was released earlier this year. The range encompasses 4 body shapes, 7 skin tones, 24 hairstyles and 22 eye colours , making her representative of a wide range of people.


Why is this interesting?

Toys have always acted as a gateway for children to let their imaginations run wild, and they are increasingly being allowed to imagine a world of rich diversity and nuance. Brands seem to be taking incredibly seriously their responsibility to represent the world accurately to children – we hope it enhances their powers to help kids build imaginative worlds that don’t adhere to any rules, rather than become something merely tokenistic.