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Blue Hive enters Parliament

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.




Microsoft IMAGINE Conference

Microsoft IMAGINE Conference, November 2012 – Rochelle School, Shoreditch, London.

Philip De Meulemeester reports from the Microsoft IMAGINE Conference.

As a promotional event for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Microsoft Surface, the IMAGINE conference highlighted three fundamental trends in mobile/digital for the coming year: Connectivity (with the arrival of 4G); Customization (a new world of apps customized to individual needs); and Multi-Screening (more people using several devices at a time).

Andy Hart, of Microsoft Advertising UK, emphasised a new approach to Permissions Based advertising. With so much clutter out there, more personalised devices/systems and very assertive consumers, Andy made the point that advertisers will need to get permission for invading peoples lives. When they do, those advertisers are more likely to gain both attention and trust.

As an anthropologist, Anna Kirah has been working with Microsoft to research what the new device landscape means from a user’s POV. Some of her findings prove that people don’t really watch ads anymore and there can be distrust between brands and consumers. Anna also showed that communication language has changed, with more people living further from their family and friends. Which is why they seek a community in the digital world.

Dave Coplin from Microsoft Advertising claimed we still think of the web in a very old/traditional way: the web = websites. He proposed we should be talking about the ‘Web of the World’; something personalised to you rather than somewhere you go to. The three pillars to this are:

  1. Knowledge: collaboratively building the world’s knowledge to be available at everybody’s fingertips.
  2. People: search will be more connected to your SNS.
  3. Places: search will have more accessibility information about places.

He also talked about Mobile Disruption where mobile will become completely personalised as your window into the entire digital world.

Jennifer Creegan and Stephan Kim, also from Microsoft Advertising, introduced Windows 8 to the audience. The most noticeable change is from traditional desktop to new personal interactive interface. This is an app platform that users can customize through tiles showing everything from weather and personal files, to your news feed. Users can dive into every app or feed and browse more from within that same interface. And from the moment you go deeper into a feed (e.g. promotional movie trailer) brands have the opportunity to advertise in that environment. The exact possibilities are still a bit unclear, but there are certainly some interesting opportunities.

Overall, I’m pretty excited about the new features of Windows 8. The personalized interface will become your portal to all the information you need and everything you interact with. But how advertisers will break into this is a challenge and it’ll need to be considered responsibly. Microsoft Surface also looks like an incredible tool, but is it a tablet or a PC? Maybe it will close the gap between the two. Time will tell.




For one day only! The ‘pop-up’ Style Showroom with Ford Fiesta

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…

The Style Showroom with Fiesta     Mocktails and cupcakes     Fiesta Style DJ

‘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!

Be a DJ with Ford Fiesta     Ford Fiesta




Inspired by Digital Shoreditch

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.

Digital Shoreditch montage

Making the world a better place: a good deed at a time

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!

Growing up on the net

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’.

Digital Shoreditch montage

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.

Digital Shoreditch portraits

Get a life… beyond the laptop

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.




It’s our birthday!

Have you heard? It’s our birthday! We turned one year young in May. To celebrate we set off by the coach load to spend a day (and night) beside the seaside in sunny Brighton.

Glad rags on and party bags in hand we prepared to strut our stuff at the lavish Proud Brighton Ballroom. Wining, dining, and dancing until dawn we celebrated being one year older and wiser with style (and a little help from our Proud hosts).

After a well deserved Friday-morning fry-up we made the most of Brighton’s sights. Exploring the Lanes, playing the arcades on the pier, and feasting on seaside fish and chips.

It was a great way mark our first year as a collective, and an even better way to kick off the second. So here’s to many more seaside celebrations to come.