The World of Work…Experience

Lauren Cosson is currently studying for a Joint Honours in English and History at the University of Leeds. She joined the Conscious Communications team for a week in July to see what working life is like at a PR and Marketing agency.

I’m sure I am not alone when I say that my future career path is ambiguous and undecided (and slightly daunting). Studying English and History is both a blessing and a curse in that it could lead to a multitude of career prospects. For this reason, I wanted to experience first-hand what a career in PR and marketing might offer.

I have always felt that my future career may involve writing and I have a strong creative dimension, however, I didn’t realise before a week at Conscious Communications, how well suited to a career in PR and marketing I might be.

The week started off with an introduction to the company and its values, where and how it was started, and a run-down on what exactly PR and marketing are. Following this I was given an explanation of who each member of the team was and what their role entailed and a look at the variety of clients the team works with – I felt like even a year may not be enough time to wrap my head around all this information; let alone one week!

Then it was time to get stuck in – the schedule the team had prepared enabled me to spend time with each team member and to work on a cross section of tasks which meant that I was able to get experience across the board. Some of my tasks included drafting social media posts, creating forward features lists and conducting new business research, alongside an introduction to design from the in-house design team, experiencing a monthly client update meeting and learning how to track coverage and create a coverage book.

Writing press releases, features and a newsletter was where I felt most confident and was able to utilise my writing and creative skills, but I enjoyed the challenge that all other aspects of the company had to offer. On Wednesday and Friday, I was able to go out-of-office, attending a photoshoot and an event the team had organised, which provided an opportunity to see client relationships first-hand.

I thoroughly enjoyed my week and feel I have learnt something from every member of the Conscious Communications team; I thank them for helping me find my potential career path!

GIFs: why are they important?

Chloe, our PR and Marketing Executive, discusses GIFs and how to incorporate them into your digital marketing strategy in our latest blog post.

GIFs (Graphic Interchange Formats) have been around since 1987, they were originally introduced by software writer Steve Wilhite as an innovative way to present images that would load relatively quickly within the constraints of the internet speeds of the time. Quickly adopted by those wishing to share moving images e.g. the banana, they became a favourite feature of online communications.

Millennials started re-embracing the GIF circa 2006-2008, and popular platforms from Twitter to Line are now enabling users to create their own. Brands and media outlets started taking notice and GIFs have now found their way into mainstream marketing strategies. GIFs are a unique way to make your content more engaging; whether that be on social media or in blogs, email marketing or online news articles.

Here are five reasons why GIFs are a great tool to add to your digital marketing strategy:

  1. If a picture can tell a thousand words, how many does a GIF tell?

Surely it’s inevitable for a moving picture to tell even more… If you are trying to tell a story, GIFs are a perfect way to tell it more quickly. BuzzFeed loves to use GIFs within its articles in order to help users skim a story as quickly as possible whilst managing to capture their attention and provide stepping stones to navigate the content. They can also be used to make a story more engaging. We love this example on The Atlantic of a GIF being used effectively to tell a story about gymnast Jordyn Wieber.

  1. GIFs are a good way to convey a company’s personality

It’s the 21st century, so companies need to have an online social presence. Globally there are 2.34 billion social media users, so it’s important for companies to be utilising social media in the best way to reach their audiences. To convey an authentic image on social media, GIFs are a great way to keep current and show your company’s personality. We love to use GIFs to accompany our tweets – take a look at one of our posts for inspiration.
Clearly GIFs might not be appropriate for all businesses, so it is important to assess whether they are suitable for your audience.

  1. Selling something? There’s a GIF for that…

Using a GIF to showcase a product is simple, but genius. Take this Marie Claire tweet for example; why just have an image of a shoe when it can be shown in action?  However, GIFs aren’t purely useful for products that can be worn, or that move when used. Chanel used GIFs in its #ILOVECOCO campaign.

GIFs add another dimension to sales that you can’t get with a still image. Consumers are becoming less receptive to traditional advertising, so being creative can capture their attention.

  1. Email marketing

Want to make people notice your emails? Use a GIF! Inboxes can be chaotic, and in an ocean of emails yours needs to stand out from the crowd; using GIFs can do this. According to a test conducted by BlueFly, emails containing a GIF increased click-through rates and engagement with companies or products. Nike regularly uses GIFs in its email marketing – take their LDN Edit email for example…

  1. Educate

GIFs can also be an engaging way to educate! The short moving graphic is a great way to demonstrate something in a simple but appealing way, which is extremely convenient considering this Telegraph article suggests humans only have an eight second attention span.  NASA demonstrated this in a fabulous way when they posted a GIF alongside a tweet about black holes!

A few takeaways…

  • Keep it relevant – don’t use a GIF if it doesn’t enhance the story you’re telling or if your message would remain unchanged without it.
  • Don’t be a copycat – although there haven’t been official, legal decisions made on whether using copyrighted material is infringement, it’s important to remember ‘fair use’ when using someone else’s work!
  • Remember your audience – just as you would when creating a new ad, or writing copy, make sure you keep your GIFs tailored to your audience. If your target market is teenagers, your favourite 80s sitcom might not make the right impression!
  • Make your own – not only provides over 1 billion GIFs, but the site also has a GIF Maker that allows you to create GIFs from video files or YouTube links. Try it here.1270

The great, the good, and the bad advertising

Hannah, our Content and Communications Manager, discusses whether there is such a term as ‘badvertising’ in our latest blog post. 

Everyone remembers a favourite ad campaign; perhaps those that became iconic in decades gone by, or in more recent years the contenders for the best Christmas ad. Not quite as infamous as Oxo’s 16-year-long family campaign, nor surrounded by as much hype as the John Lewis Christmas ads, the Conscious Communications team’s current favourite TV ad is the AA’s ‘singing toddler’.

It could be the simplicity of the ad that makes us love it. It’s a feel-good ad that’s easy to relate to, featuring a toddler singing along in the car to the Tina Turner classic Proud Mary. Despite a breakdown, the father and toddler are able to keep “rollin’, rollin’”, thanks to the speedy arrival of the AA engineer. Some of our team are such ambassadors for the ad that it’s played in our office every time we meet someone who hasn’t seen it! Whether it will live on in our memories in the same way as other favourites have done is yet to be seen, but it has definitely done its job in anchoring the AA in people’s minds as the go-to service to keep you on the road.

In the AA ad, as well as the Oxo campaign and the John Lewis Christmas ads, there is a common theme. The creators have tried to depict scenes that could be ‘any of us’ – characters and plots that we can all easily relate to. These are as ‘mundane’ as the temporary annoyance of breaking down on the side of the road; the more complex emotions depicted by the Oxo family story over the years; and the heart-rending narratives such as in the John Lewis Man on the Moon advert, which highlights the issue of loneliness among those in old age, with a call to action to “show someone they’re loved this Christmas.”

As well as tapping into everyday events like these in order to relate to viewers, brands regularly try to catapult their message further by harnessing the momentum created by current events. Consider Oreo’s reputation for doing this effectively, which it has developed by creating topical campaigns ranging from the reactive ‘dunking in the dark’ tweet during the Super Bowl, to an ad in support of equality during Pride events. This harnessing of topical content propels a brand’s message further than may otherwise have been possible, by ‘piggy backing’ an existing wave of interest, and using already trending hashtags and conversations to increase visibility.

The risk involved, however, with both types of strategy – the everyday experiences and the topical events – is that there’s always the chance that adverts might not ‘land’ well. They may in fact have the opposite effect to what’s intended, creating instead in people’s minds a negative perception of the brand, which might even linger longer than the effects of a positive campaign.

A spokesman for McDonald’s said of a recent ad campaign that they had “wanted to highlight the role McDonald’s has played in customers’ everyday lives – both in good and difficult times” – a similar sentiment to those of the Oxo, John Lewis, AA and Oreo campaigns outlined above. The advert showed a boy talking to his mother about his dead father as he tried to find something in common with him; on arriving at McDonald’s the boy orders a Filet-o-Fish, to which his mother tells him: “that was your Dad’s favourite too.” The advert received widespread criticism, for unsuccessfully “exploit childhood bereavement as a way to connect with young people and surviving parents alike”.

On face value it’s difficult to work out why some brands achieve such high acclaim for their campaigns, and yet the McDonald’s campaign seemed to have fallen so wide of the mark. A few of us watched it together recently as a reminder, and there was a mixed response. Some thought that it might be that the topic itself is simply too sad and shouldn’t have been exploited in this way. Others thought McDonald’s was simply the wrong brand to tell the story – there is a sense of misalignment between the fast food outlet’s product and such a sensitive topic. Perhaps it was that, in contrast to the Man on the Moon advert’s call to action, the McDonald’s advert doesn’t end by offering a ‘solution’. Whilst we regularly sign up for the experience of being left shocked, saddened, or fired up to act about an injustice in the world by the TV programmes and films that we choose to watch, we have less control over what adverts we watch on TV and so perhaps that is part of why we sometimes feel affronted by particular campaigns.

Pepsi was also criticised recently for an ad campaign depicting a group of protesters, as the narrative ends with the protestors cheering as a model gives a can of Pepsi to a policeman. Protests are ‘topical’ at the moment, as a result of legitimate concerns about equality and over concerns about politics, for example, and so there has been outrage from and on behalf of some of these protest groups, as Pepsi seems to have trivialised these issues. This feels even more unsettling than the McDonald’s advert, and begs the question of what sort of reaction the Pepsi campaign team had imagined the ad would receive. Perhaps they knew they were taking a risk and were operating under the myth that ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’.

We really think there is – do you?


Zoë, Client Services Director, discusses the Facebook campaign #Shemeansbusiness in our latest blog post

You may have missed the #Shemeansbusiness campaign from Facebook – it hasn’t been overtly pushed on its own platform; having said that, it’s undoubtedly one you should be supporting or at least aware of. Facebook states that the premise of the campaign is: “When women succeed, we all win. When women do better, economies do better.” It was created to celebrate those women who have built up businesses but also to be able to offer support and advice to women who might want to do a similar thing in the future. I’m sure that there is a plethora of women out there who have world-changing ideas that never come to fruition due to lack of funds or that little extra nudge needed to energise them to take the plunge, however the economic possibilities are sky high if they have the right support. According to research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) “900,000 more businesses would be created if the UK achieved the same level of female entrepreneurship as in the US, resulting in an additional £23 billion gross value added to the UK economy.”

Partnering with the FSB and Enterprise Nation, Facebook wants to train 10,000 women in ‘Facebook for Business skills’ in this year alone to try and close that gap. A tall order, but if any business can do it, Facebook can. Although not founded by a woman it now has some serious female players working as influential role models and game changers in the business world. Nicola Mendelsohn CBE is the VP EMEA at Facebook and its Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, was elected to be the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board in 2012 and was also named in the Time magazine top 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

This representation of inspirational women in a business resonates strongly with the team at Conscious Communications. Our Managing Director and founder of the business, Alison Taylor, has built the business from the ground up since its inception five years ago. Today, the business is a thriving PR and marketing agency made up of a team of passionate media relations professionals, writers, digital marketers and creative designers (male and female!). Shockingly, nearly three quarters of women surveyed by Facebook as part of this campaign admitted that they couldn’t think of a female role model running a similar business to the one they wanted to start. And the reason? Lack of confidence and self-belief. It is this self-belief, the driving force behind what she wanted the company to stand for, that drove Alison to create the company we are all so passionate about today…

 Meet Alison – #shemeansbusiness

“Conscious Communications was born out of a passion for communications and a desire to build an agency that delivers a superior service through transparent, honest and long-lasting working relationships with its clients; hence our strapline ‘public relations and marketing with a conscience’. I’m extremely proud to be working with the truly inspirational and loyal team we have created, where our clients are our greatest ambassadors.”

Be inspired by more business women by clicking here – because, in the words of Facebook, “the next successful entrepreneur could be anyone. She could even be you”.

Happy Honesty Day

Alison, our Managing Director, discusses the importance of brand honesty in light of Honesty Day earlier this month.

Like many annual celebratory days, Honesty Day originated in the USA but, unlike most others, this one doesn’t encourage the purchase of flowers and the romancing of a beau, instead, was designed to promote honesty in politics.

According to former press secretary of Maryland, M Hirsh Goldberg, creator of Honesty Day, the average person lies about 200 times a day (admittedly, some of them are white lies!). In political terms, many of these untruths may be explained away as propaganda or campaigning. But we all know that promises made and un-kept can be extremely damaging to the reputation of the originator.

Few would argue against honesty being one of the most prized and precious qualities in human relationships of any kind. This includes our relationships with brands. In the same way that people form bonds with people who share their values, people also form bonds with brands that live up to their own ethical expectations. Honesty is an integral part of the decision making process that leads to purchase and brand loyalty.

If we consider the fashion industry, with its highly complex supply chains, history has shown how difficult it can be for brands to be 100% sure of the origins of their products and to monitor the ethical behaviour of their suppliers. Yet, it is vital for them to do so if they are to maintain their customers’ loyalty, as brands like Primark and H&M have found to their cost. Whether they were guilty of knowingly buying from unethical sources, or were the victims of suppliers’ dishonesty, the legacy of their issues will continue to damage their brands for many years while they rebuild customer trust.

When crisis strikes, there is much truth in bestselling author and entrepreneur James Altucher’s words: “Honesty is the fastest way to prevent a mistake from turning into a failure”. But, the harsh reality is that once the damage is done, it can take many years to rebuild trust in a brand’s honesty.

As an agency founded on the principles of a conscious business, honesty is embedded deep in our culture. Our brand of honesty isn’t the ‘honest guv’nor’ variety sometimes associated with the ‘spin’ of agency operations. It is a real, deep rooted honesty which we communicate through our core values, helping to keep us on-brand in our internal and external operations.

In the words of William Shakespeare: “No legacy is so rich as honesty”.

Three of our favourite social media tools

Social Media Tools main image.
Social media tools are essential for creating and managing your social media accounts in a professional and efficient way. The Conscious Communications team has chosen three of its favourite tools that will assist you in each step of your content creation – and better yet, they’re free!

Select: Pixabay
When choosing an image to post on social media you need to ensure that the images are free of any copyright laws that could potentially get you into hot water. There are a number of websites that you can turn to that offer thousands of royalty free images and will ensure you adhere to these laws. One of our favourites is Pixabay. All images on Pixabay are free from copyright under Creative Commons CC0, which means that you can download, modify and distribute the images as you please. Pixabay has over 930,000 stock photos, vectors and art illustrations for you to choose from. You also have the option to refine your search by media type, orientation, category, size and colour so you can find exactly what it is you are looking for quickly and easily.

Design: Canva
Once you know what it is you want to say, and know the image you want to use, you need to then create great looking content. Producing a social media post with both text and image doesn’t only look great but research by eMarketer found that adding an image to your post can result in an 87% interaction rate on Facebook and Media Blog suggests that adding an image can trigger a 35% increase in retweets on Twitter. Canva is a great tool for content creation – one of its main attractions is the ease in which you can navigate the programme; you can simply select which template you wish to use and build your content from this. ‘Social media’ is our most used template as it creates an image which fits the image specifications for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can then upload your chosen image or select one of the images already available to you on Canva, and choose a font or template text design to write your text onto the image. For example, at Easter you might wish to create a post that includes the message ‘Happy Easter!’ for your social media audience accompanied by a photo of a chick, egg or bunny in the background – a fun and vibrant way to convey a message to your followers. However, there are also pre-made layouts for those that aren’t as creatively confident as others.

Send: Hootsuite
After you’ve created your social media posts you now just need to post them! We recommend using social media scheduling tools to send posts for ease and efficiency. Hootsuite is a great tool to manage different aspects of your social media accounts, allowing you to schedule content in advance so you can be sending out content even when you’re away from your desk. This platform has a browser-based dashboard which supports a wide range of social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube, so all of your key social media channels can stay active for maximum exposure.

Once you’ve posted your content you can sit back and watch your posts get liked, retweeted and reposted by your social media followers and beyond and watch the engagement on your social media channels flourish!

The evolution of a logo

evolution of a logo main image

Paul, our Creative Director, discusses what’s in a logo, and how a logo can evolve over time in our latest blog post.

The logo – a graphic mark, emblem or symbol commonly used to identify a company or product; it is not the brand, nor the identity, but more of a graphic summary.

If you liken it to a cake, a logo is the cherry on top, which rather than describe the company or product, should symbolise it in a distinct and more importantly, memorable way.

Over time our familiarity with a logo adds to its strength and its main function – recognition.

The good, the bad, and the ugly

Rather like a painting in an art gallery, beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder. Our opinions on logos are often very subjective – take the 2012 Olympic logo for example:

As a sports fanatic I dislike this one as it evokes none of the ‘joi de vivre’ I feel an Olympic logo should exhibit. It is certainly different from past Olympic logos but I’m not convinced that being different makes it good.

I prefer the logo for the 2016 games in Rio which to me feels human, celebratory and relevant.

Rio 2016 logo
The evolutionary process

Many logos stand the test of time extremely well – they have a timeless quality about them – the V&A Museum and World Wildlife Fund are both good examples:


V&A logoWWF logo




Well-known brands often update their logos over time so that they remain relevant and ‘of the now’. This is done via an evolutionary design process so that the essence and equity already established with the existing mark is retained.

A great example of this is Qantas, Australia’s largest domestic and international airline. Established in the 1920’s, Qantas was originally called ‘Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services.’ Last updated in 2007, the logo has recently evolved once more to include a new, paired down, icon and new typography.

Qantas 1st logo images

Qantas 2nd logo images

Qantas 3rd logo image

Released in 2016, this is a recent favourite of mine. I liked the previous logo which was bold and confident; typifying Australia for me. The evolution of the icon and the sophisticated typography brings an already striking logo into the present beautifully.

Accenture, one of the largest consulting firms in the world, recently updated its logo. The new logo uses a new typeface along with a new identity system.

Accenture logos

This is a classic case of modern logos becoming just a little too bland. The old logo at least used a distinctive typeface which had character, whereas the new logo seems to have been stripped bare of any character. The new visual identity is appealing but the logo doesn’t do it for me.

Accenture logo 2

Conscious collaboration with international colleagues

Whether the UK is in or out of the European Union, the Conscious Communications team will continue to thoroughly enjoy our international working! We are incredibly privileged in our day to day activities to work with people from across the globe, from Cambridge to Washington, Germany to China.

We are currently getting to grips with gamification through our work with REACTOR – an exciting project with Anglia Ruskin University and the European Regional Development Fund. REACTOR was launched on the evening of Wednesday 29 March at the Big Games Challenge 2017 introductory seminar: the Challenge put to local SMEs is to consider the ways that applied gaming can enhance visitors’ experiences to the region. It’s not too late to participate – the Challenge is still accepting applications.

Since 2013 the team has championed Marshal Papworth through our work with the charity, which enables students from developing countries to develop practical agricultural and horticultural skills and valuable knowledge by attending training in the UK. In turn the students return to their local communities and are able to share what they have learnt to better meet the future needs of generations to come! The students also host a Taste of Africa event each year in which they, supported by the team at Marshal Papworth, can showcase some of their home cultures – click here to view images of the 2016 event.

The Conscious Communications team works closely with members of the International Baccalaureate (IB) team, based in The Hague, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Morocco, Spain, Germany, Turkey and the U.A.E, to name just a few. This gives Sophie, Senior PR and Marketing Executive, as well as the wider team, regular insights into the cultures and customs – and different (!) climates – of these countries, but even more than that we have been able to develop a real appreciation for the IB’s ethos, in which being internationally-minded is a cornerstone.  In fact, the IB values an international outlook so much that its programmes are designed to increase future generations’ understanding of languages, cultures, and how to be active participants in a global society.

Hannah, our Content and Communications Manager, is embedded in the team at St Mary’s School, Cambridge and has recently worked on the school’s termly magazine, Accolade, which on this occasion celebrates all things Modern Foreign Languages (MFL). The school actively embraces and celebrates its diversity – the student body boasts 30 different nationalities and a similar number of different native languages (and the two do not always correlate)! The magazine looks at how important it is for schools to invest in MFL, and the opportunities languages provide to young people (and older people), but also looks at the experience from the other perspective: that of all the day and boarding students, and staff members, for whom English is not a native language and yet is the common language of the school and the language used in lessons.

Switching from Modern Foreign Languages to Mathematics, Senior PR and Marketing Executive, Kathryn, has been working with Cambridge Mathematics to promote the work they are doing. Director of Cambridge Mathematics, Lynne McClure, spent a week in Beijing reviewing the differences and similarities between the mathematics curricula in the UK and China, and discussing how the two countries can collaborate to create a mathematics education that benefits students from all countries and backgrounds – taking the very best from both countries to develop evidence of best practice from around the world.

As a country we may be obsessing about Brexit, but we expect to meet and greet, correspond and collaborate with international colleagues as much as ever before!

Top 10 Typography Tips

Typography main image

Typography is the art and technique of arranging type (letters, numbers and punctuation) to make written language legible and appealing when displayed. To master the arrangement of type, you must first look at the basics. Alan, our Senior Designer and Sophie, our Senior PR and Marketing Executive have shared their 10 top tips on how to make your typography effective.

1 – Learn the basics
Your first step towards more effective typography is to learn about the art. If you’re unfamiliar with its concepts, you might think that typography must be a fairly simple discipline. The anatomy of a typeface involves very specific jargon, our graphic below displays some of the terms that you should familiarise yourself with.

Anatomy of Letters Typography

2 – Watch your kerning 
Kerning is altering the space between characters or letters in a piece of text to be printed, and is usually specific to headlines and subheads. It is important to note that this is a separate issue to tracking, which adjusts the space between all letters over large areas of text.

Conscious Communications’ top tip: One tip we find particularly useful is to kern upside down, as this allows us to see the letterforms and the spaces between them without actually reading the words.

Kerning graphic

3 – Tracking
It can be a tempting fix: you’re short of space, and you need to fit in a certain amount of text, so what can you do? You make the tracking (or letter spacing) a little bit tighter. The problem is, when your letters are too close readability is significantly decreased and can make your design look crowded. Edit the copy (where possible) as a solution to this issue. Conversely, headlines can often benefit from a little negative tracking as spaces between characters tend to ‘open up’ at larger point sizes.

4 – Leading
Leading applies to the vertical space between whole lines of text from one baseline to the next between successive lines of text. Leading is usually set (in points) to a greater size than that of the type, preventing ascenders and descenders clashing. The spacing between lines also affects legibility – you don’t want the spacing to be too tight or too loose; both make copy hard to read and a visually ‘off’ design.

Leading graphic

5 – Contrast your fonts
Choosing contrasting fonts is the first of two typography ‘combination’ secrets to create interest in your typography. This prevents the design from feeling too heavily weighted in one particular style, creating something that feels modern and balanced.

Conscious Communications’ top tip: Pairing a serif (fonts such as Times New Roman) with a sans serif, meaning a font without a serif (for example Univers) is a fail-safe trick to keep a design looking fresh and relevant. Take a look at our first graphic to remind yourself of what a serif looks like. The graphic below shows how the impact of a traditional headline can be changed with the addition of a contrasting fonts.

Contrasting fonts in logos
The anatomy of a serif

6 – Size and weights
This tip goes back to the time when type was set in metal. Each letter was set in a block and the size of the block was the point size, not the character on the block. Type a word, select the font Times New Roman and set the size to 18 point. Type the word again and choose Helvetica in 18 point. You will see that even though they are both set to 18 points they appear different sizes.

Conscious Communications’ top tip: It’s worth noting that type sizes are not fixed so the point size will be different according to the font you are using.

7 – Punctuation marks
Apostrophes (’) and quotation marks (“ ”) are not the same as inch mark straight quotes. Go to the preferences in your desktop publishing application and activate Smart Quotes (also known as typographer’s quotes, curly quotes). This will stop you typing the inch mark. Smart quotes will vary between serif and sans-serif typefaces and will be angled, curly or curvy however they will never point straight up-and-down.
Punctuation graphic

8 – Double spaces
Do not double space between sentences. Even though many of us grew up learning to type placing two spaces after a full stop, that practice is now considered outdated and unnecessary. Double spacing creates visual breaks in a block of text that interrupts a reader’s flow.

9 – Hyphens, en and em dashes
Hyphens (the minus sign on your keyboard) are used when a word breaks into two lines or to join two words, for example family-owned. The width of an ‘em’ dash equals the point size currently in use, while the ‘en’ dash is half that width. ‘En’ dashes usually appear with spaces either side whereas the ‘em’ dash does not.

‘En’ dashes are used to join two numbers together, for examples 22 – 23, or to join words that describe a range, e.g July – October 2017.

‘Em’ dashes tend to work better than commas to set apart the unique idea in the main clause of a sentence: “Sometimes painting for financial return—rather than full creative pleasure—is really fulfilling.”

10 – Webfonts and the rental revolution
If you were designing a website during the early 1990s, there was a limited amount of fonts you could safely use. Theoretically you could use any font you wanted, however in order for that font to display correctly on the user end, the computer would need to have the font installed on it. To address this, Apple and Microsoft incorporated propriety fonts like Arial, Georgia and Verdana into their respective operating systems. Consequently these fonts, along with around 10 others, formed a core set of fonts that were referred to as ‘web-safe’.

To overcome this issue, we suggest using technology such as Typekit, Font Squirrel or Google Fonts which allow commercial fonts to be served to and embedded into websites remotely without the need for them to be present on the end users computer.

Our favourite marketing moments (part two)

Last week, half of our team shared their favourite influential campaigns to commemorate the Advertising Club of New York’s 120th anniversary. This week, the same theme continues. What’s been your favourite marketing moment?


Friends Furever by Android

Chosen by Sophie, Senior PR and Marketing Executive

“Besides the obvious ‘aww’ value, Android’s Friends Furever is the ideal complement to the ‘Be together, not the same’ campaign that the company launched in 2015. Showcasing a series of cute animals always shares well, and it certainly did in this case as Friends Furever received 6.5 million shares and is the most viral advert ever according to unruly.”

Android’s effort shows us that by adding clever brand messaging (and maybe a duckling or two), you may have a hit on your hands. Friends Furever was one in a series of TV adverts that featured in the ‘Be together, not the same’ campaign, which was launched to set Android apart from Apple. The campaign focuses on the tailored services its devices offer (i.e. customer screens with widgets); poking fun at Apple and its ‘iSheep following’.


The Cinzano series featuring Joan Collins and Leonard Rossiter

Chosen by Paul, Creative Director 

“Although this campaign was very much of its time (late 70’s) it was clever and memorable for all the right reasons. Everybody remembered the ads – and subsequently the drink!”

Between 1978 and 1983, Joan Collins and Leonard Rossiter appeared in a series of TV adverts for Cinzano Vermouth. The ads were built on a witty repertoire, which managed to incorporate pleasant descriptions of the drink (highlighting Cinzano’s USP) whilst keeping viewers entertained. Last year, The Telegraph even reported that the drink could be making a comeback!


Should’ve by Specsavers

Chosen by Alison, Managing Director

“My favourite long-term campaign has to be Specsavers ‘Should’ve’ – it is such a strong concept that is has carried the brand for years. My favourite in the series has to be the over 60s one where the old couple sit on a bench to eat their sandwiches and find that they’ve actually sat on a rollercoaster.”

‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’ is a line that has become part of UK culture, evolving to become an integral part of its long-term TV campaign. Having invested nearly £500 million in advertising over 30 years, the company commands a dominant share of voice and consistent revenue growth for the business. A broad appeal, commitment to humour as an advertising tool and distinctive, familiar brand assets that build memory structure have all contributed to £1.1bn of incremental profit over 30 years.


One Doughrection by Pizza Express

Chosen by Hannah, Content and Communications Manager

“I thought it was so clever that Pizza Express used its iconic dough balls to show off their brand personality and to create topical social media content. I feel like this was quite advanced at the time and before everyone else was creating ‘off the cuff’ posts in such timely manner!”

Pizza Express has used its dough balls for a number of characters, or just a way of commenting on popular news, as part of its social media strategy. The One Doughrection image was tweeted the same day as the One Direction, This Is Us, concert film opened in the UK (August 2013).

Click here to start building your PR and marketing strategies