Every month we hand pick a particularly innovative outside company and invite them to come in and talk to us about their latest products, services or technologies. The event is open to all and never fails to inspire.
This month we were joined by Mubaloo, who revealed the incredible creative potential in Bluetooth beacon technology.
But what is a beacon? Well, as Mubaloo’s experts explained, Bluetooth beacons (sometimes called iBeacons) are little devices that continually send out a signal, like someone silently shouting “I’m here” continuously in the corner of the room. This signal is picked up by smartphones and other devices that can then get their relative position to trigger something in an application.
The fact is, for all the hype, beacons are surprisingly ‘dumb’ – it’s their ability to give real-world location/position information to applications which makes their potential use clever.
“Beacons are an enabler, an assistive technology, that aid in devising better mobile solutions” – Mubaloo
The most obvious application for this technology is retail. By placing beacons throughout a shop and having visitors open a mobile app on arrival, retailers can serve specific content to users based on their location. That way, the user gets the ‘added value’ of a connected digital and real-world experience, and the retailer gets some interesting analytics in exchange. This ability to add real-world context to digital experiences can help deliver a richer experience for people wherever they go, whether it’s in a shop, an office, a gallery…
Of course, beacon technology isn’t without problems – users must have Bluetooth turned on as well as having an app (capable of using the data) installed and open on their device. On the other hand, it’s still early days for this technology. So as it becomes more widely available and accepted (and so long as applications provide sufficient value for the user) who knows what the future may hold?
The technology is ripe for innovation and experimentation, it just needs to be the right creative solution to a marketing challenge.
We’re really proud of our Ford EcoSport Limited Edition website so we were delighted when it won a Brand Republic Digital Award at last night’s ceremony. Our intrepid team brought back some photos along with the trophy.
A massive thanks to the many many people involved in this campaign – great work team.
It’s always great to be able to ‘put something back’ and provide professional support for the next generation of aspiring creatives. So we’re delighted to have established links with some of the country’s best and most consistently award-winning colleges/universities, and set up a workshop programme for their talented students.
The concept (like all the best ideas) is simple: we set a brief; the students have no more than a fortnight to work on it; then they come in to the agency and present their ideas to three or four experienced Blue Hive creatives who provide a professional critique.
Presenting is a crucial part of the job, so we expect students to stand up and sell their ideas in front of the group. But the workshops are meant to be fun, too. Which is why the daunting experience of public speaking is made a little easier (and more informal) by the provision of wine, beer and pizza.
Our inaugural workshop welcomed the talented guys and girls from West Herts College (AKA Watford). We’d set the students a speculative brief for the Ford Focus ST Estate and they didn’t disappoint with their ideas.
Presenting to senior creatives Nigel Edginton-Vigus, along with John Kelley and Jesper Varlen (both Watford alumni), the Watford crew did themselves proud by presenting a wide range of great campaign concepts.
Nigel said: “I think John, Jesper and I were all knocked out by the passion, enthusiasm and creativity of these students. The ideas were fresh and well considered. And every team stood up and presented confidently and professionally: they were a joy to meet and see in action.”
According to college tutor Tony Cullingham; the student feedback was also positive. We apparently delivered the most professional, helpful and thorough ‘crit’ this group had received to date. In short, our first event was a resounding success. So we’re looking forward to the workshops we’ve lined-up with both University of East London and Bournemouth University.
In recognition of their work for road safety charity Brake, our Head of Copy Nigel Edginton-Vigus and Account Director Anne Fuell, were recently honoured to be guests at the organisation’s annual reception. And where was this special event held? At the Houses of Parliament, no less. We’ll let Nigel describe the experience.
We were proud of the work we’d done for Brake, but we certainly didn’t expect to be invited to the Houses of Parliament to be thanked for it. So we were all really excited, particularly when we arrived and realised we were actually going into the place. One of the team (who shall remain nameless) managed to lose their printed invitation. But despite the thorough, airport–style security checks and a heavily armed Police presence, Alastair Thompson was allowed in on the basis that he could spell the same surname on the list and he had an “honest face.”
To get to the famous Member’s Bar, which looks out onto the Thames, we had to walk through the great hall and various corridors. And although it sounds like a cliché, you could feel the amazing history of the building. At the reception, we heard impassioned speeches both from our clients and parliamentarians. It was also very moving to meet the campaigners and fundraisers who were awarded for their achievements, particularly as many had lost loved-ones in road accidents. Hearing people talk about their experiences suddenly made Brake’s work seem very real and it certainly made us want to continue to help in any way we could. So thank you Brake for having us along and because the number of invites was limited, thanks to the other members of our team who contributed to our ad campaign but couldn’t make it along on the night: Peter Hvid, Mark Doyle, Ivan Mason and Alan Levy.
Photo from left to right: Anne Fuell – Account Director, Blue Hive. Sean de Sparengo – campaign photographer. Jules Towsend – Deputy CEO, Brake. Nigel Edginton-Vigus – Head of Copy, Blue Hive. Alastair Thompson – Smoke & Mirrors.
Chelsea 5, Manchester United 4. Reading 5, Arsenal 7. In the same week that these epic tussles took place in the Premier League, so Blue Hive FC faced a titanic battle with 1BO in a different league altogether.
With only a couple of places between them in the league, this game was always going to promise goals. 1BO were perched above in the table and swiftly demonstrated why with a blistering start.
Five goals went in without reply and the Hivers were shaking heads in disbelief.
Sensing a break in play was required, Blue Hive staged a killer act, worthy of an Oscar. Exactly as rehearsed, captain Tom Bray collapsed in a heap clutching his knee after minimal contact. Once carried off the field of play, Blue Hive exacted their revenge.
The ball was suddenly destined to find the net and it was Blue Hive’s turn to start counting. 5-1 became 5-2. Then soon after 5-3. Rapidly running out of fingers to count with on one hand, the Hive ran out of steam at 5-4.
There were some delightful moves in the response, notably a thunder strike from Checkley, rapidly establishing himself as the long distance specialist.
Half time provided many talking points for the pundits and it was anyone’s guess as to who would finish on top. Unfortunately, another slow start afforded the opposition a firm grip on the game. Bray slotted home to keep the contest alive but sloppy goals towards the end sealed the Hive’s fate. 8-12 the final score.
Checkley, Allen and Bray all added to their tally. Downing however failed to continue his early season form, prompting many to consider removing him from their ‘fantasy’ team.
At the final whistle, the ref summoned goalkeeper Hughes over for a quick chat. According to Hughes this was to record the Man of the Match. We have our suspicions however and, seemingly numbers exchanged, we wish Hughes “bon appetite” while dining for two during his sea food dinner.
The 5th of November was indeed another great advert for football. Flashes of brilliance and midfield struggles resulted in the fireworks many predicted. But communication remains an issue for the newly formed team. The talent is there, the talking is not. Testing times lie ahead for the Hive.
I get knocked down, but I get up and again, you’re never going to keep me down! Well known lyrics from the song Tubthumping, lyrics which have been shouted over and over again on dance floors across the land. I make no apologies for repeating this line as it perfectly sums up Blue Hive F.C.’s first win.
It was always going to be hard for the team to perform within such a short time of being assembled.
Bookmakers had even lowered the odds to 4-1 that the gaffer would be the first for the chop this season.
Luckily the doomed “confidence of the board” backing stayed at bay. The players regrouped, licked their wounds and, like any set of professionals, concentrated on the next fixture.
This mind-set paid off from kick off, Lee Dilley using all digits entrusted to him, toe poking in the first after hesitant defending.
There was more to come.
Exceptional interlinking play between midfield and attack brought more chances. Downing, Allen, Bray and Checkley all signing their name into Monday night division 3 Power League history.
The defence were also in the mood. Neil Smith, The Rock by nickname, was a rock in play.
Ian “Smithy” Hughes turned away shots like an unforgiving bouncer.
Frustratingly for the manager, silly errors crept into the Blue Hive game. While thinking outside the box is always encouraged, the rules firmly encourage the keeper to stay inside the box. A couple of cheap penalties and lax tracking back afforded the opposition some comfort.
At the final whistle 13-5 to the Hive the final score.
Like the song, there will be times when we are down, having taken a few knocks. But the measure of a good team is how quickly they respond. And judging by the latest performance, this team is up for it.
In life, Spring brings a sense of new beginnings.
In football, it’s Autumn.
So it was that on October 8th, Blue Hive F.C. rose, like a phoenix from the ashes and flew back into the world of football.
Having never lined-up together in the famous Blue and White shirt, it was always going to take time for the players to gel together as a team.
But as many a great coach has stated, once the final whistle has blown, and opposition hands shaken, you always look to the positives.
And there were many.
The spectators witnessed telling contributions from all over the park. Dilley and Bray were assured in defence. Downing, Checkley and Von Speyr industrious in midfield, while Vyas and Allen led the line with purpose and attacking intent.
Vyas deputising in goal stretched to keep out a goal bound near post effort. Dilley spreading the ball wide was a joy to behold and Von Speyr linked defence to attack seamlessly.
There were goals too. A pinpoint pile driver from Checkley inside his own half left the keeper standing still in amazement before shaking his head to retrieve the ball from the back on the net.
Downing teased his opposite man with step overs which drew “Olés!” from the crowd. This was football as its best.
A ticker tacker move straight from the Barḉa playbook sliced through the opposition and after Von Speyr had delicately flicked the ball into Bray’s path, the skipper put the cherry on the cake with a composed finish.
Unfortunately football can be a cruel game too.
The bottom line is that there were many lessons learnt that night: keep the structure, close the opposition down and don’t eat a foot long subway half an hour before the game.
But all of these lessons can be and will be rectified.
The Blue Hive F.C. boys are back in town.
Claire Milton reports back on the recent Ford Fiesta Style Showroom event in London’s Soho.
Saturday 1st September, London W1
Our UK Blue Team (Mindshare, Ogilvy and Wunderman) have been busy refreshing and revitalising communications for Ford Fiesta, targetting stylish young women (who are as ‘effortlessly cool’ as the car’s technology), the team recently organised an innovative and exclusive event: The Style Showroom with Fiesta.
On arrival, guests were treated to delicious cupcakes, mocktails and a goody bag (complete with the latest magazines, as well as Fiesta brochures) while sharply dressed hosts made sure everyone was made welcome and the talented Fiesta DJ kept up the party atmosphere…
‘Clients’ at the beauty salon received amazing hair, make-up and nail makeovers by experts. In the style area they could chat to enthusiastic stylists who shared their knowledge of fashion and the latest trends, as well as a team ready to talk about the Fiesta’s cool technologies; such as the vehicle’s Bluetooth link-up with Spotify. A professional photographer was on hand throughout to capture the glamour of the moment – which was particularly fun in front of the Green Screen, where visitors could have their photo taken with the Fiesta against various backdrops.
As if that wasn’t enough, there were even hourly competitions with winners collecting gorgeous prizes from the spacious boot of a vibrant red Fiesta.
The event was a real success, engaging style-savvy Fiesta customers in both a relevant and entertaining new way. And by involving Marie Claire, Look, InStyle and Now magazines, Ford was positively associated with these popular brands in the minds of potential customers. Of course, this initiative also showed an understanding of the target audience as a whole, not just their car buying habits and behaviour.
Last but not least, visitors were encouraged to share their experience via the #FiestaStyle hashtags ensuring the social media aspect was covered too.
Thanks to the UK Blue Team for their hard work in creating such a unique and successful event. Here’s to the next one!
Charlotte Rose reports on IDENTITY day at the Digital Shoreditch festival.
Digital Shoreditch is a new festival that celebrates outstanding creativity and with over 50 events held over a 5-day period I sadly couldn’t get to them all!
But even attending just one day I left feeling more informed about the different perspectives creative agencies, organisations and brands (along with key individuals) have on the ever-evolving digital world we live and work in.
It was particularly interesting to hear alternatives on how to engage consumers – from charitable and sporting organisations, for example. And as well as the art, it was fascinating to discover more about the science and psychology that drives digital communication too.
The first speaker to really capture my attention was David Erasmus, CEO and Founder of GIVEY.
David spoke about using social media for social good and not only did he tell us about the opportunities it can offer, he showed how social can provide an effective alternative to current methods of charitable donation.
Perhaps the most profound point he made was how we’re able to contribute to things “bigger than ourselves.” And whilst we spend a lot of time and effort detailing our professional and social profiles through LinkedIn and Facebook, there is no social ‘timeline’ that documents our good deeds.
David’s aspiration is to develop a platform that will enable millions of people to make millions of small actions, and by following, sharing and, ultimately, encouraging each other in these actions we can make millions of positive changes to the world. An amazing concept and like all great ideas, brilliantly simple!
The second speaker who really inspired me was Holly Clarke, Group Head of UK Operations Team at UNRULY. Holly’s theme for discussion was, ‘I share, therefore I am’.
She spoke about children’s online personas, their timeline recorded histories and how the importance they place on their perceived image from such an early, impressionable age could later trigger social anxieties.
Holly commented on how individuals create specific personas for specific platforms, using social media to express themselves and self-validate through likes. For social grooming and nurturing relationships kids join groups and follow trends that carve a specific identity. And for E-world domination, (trend setting), they build up a following via twitter, which involves the perpetual search for new content and reactive sharing that is now second nature.
The insightful message, in short, was; children should concentrate on their off-line identity and socialisation skills and ‘digital literacy’ must be implemented from a young age. Children must be taught about privacy, safety and ultimately be actively encouraged to power down, switch off the computer and enjoy life offline, in the real world.
All in all, a fantastic festival and one I’d highly recommend. Can’t wait for next year!
Find out more about Digital Shoreditch.