We’re a creative bunch, and sometimes it’s fun to just make something – hat tip to Alex McDowell, who’s presently part of our successful apprenticeship programme for the design work.
Archive for the 'Vivid London' Category
If you’re very blunt cities are just a collection of buildings, roads and infrastructure where people happen to live and work; they’re essentially just a theatrical backdrop to the daily dramas of each individual’s life – but I like to think they’re more than that.
Cities aren’t just backdrops, they define cultures and movement, some much more so than others. For years certain cities have grabbed their denizens and shown them the lights, whether it be London, Berlin, Köln, New York, Paris or Florence the greatest artistic, political and cultural movements have sprung forth from the cities that spin their inhabitants like whirling dervishes into creative thought and action.
Take the naturalistic beauty of Florence; this is a city that has inspired generations of not just artists, but real masters. You think of Florence and you think of the whole Florentine School cabal which – amongst others – gave us Donatello, Botticelli, Masaccio and Michelangelo; and to this day artists flock to Florence to be inspired, to take in the winsome tuscan countryside, the exquisite architecture and the delicate palette of colours, smells and tastes that float through every Florentine street and piazza.
Or consider the roaring seething orgy that still is Berlin – through generations this city has inspired biting satire, political activism and an art scene that could only be described as brutally honest portrayals of the world around them. Politically this is the city that saw the rise of Communism and National Socialism in the 30s, during the cold war it saw political activism like nowhere else with a plethora of strong protest groups and even today real dissent and anti-government feeling ferments with activists still keeping Angela Merkel’s coalition quite firmly on its toes. Artistically, this political melting pot drives the art scene, from the vicious social commentary of George Grosz or Kathe Kollwitz to the glorious revelry in the debauchery of the cocaine fuelled metrosexual nightclubs as portrayed by Otto Dix; and more recently the free-wheeling poor but sexy Berlin as captured so marvellously in my opinion in the joyous canvases of Ann-Kristin Hamm.
London again twists its inhabitants, the driving ever-changing scene in London opens new doors every day; one person’s crap is another person’s treasure, from the decaying East End of the 1980 that inspired the mega-canvases of multi-cultural faces in Gilbert & Georges seminal work ‘Are you angry, or are you bored’ to the gawking polemic on Britain’s celebrity obsessed culture embodied so well in Damien Hirst’s ‘For the love of God’ (better known as the diamond encrusted skull). Over and over again London like Florence or Berlin has allowed a level of expression that no other city in its shadow could foster. It’s taken in the waifs and strays and given them a canvas to play with: and that – that – is why we love our cities.
Vivid London – it’s not just a name: it defines us, the city we’re based in hones our approach. Life should be Vivid, and London inspires us. It truly is a vivid city; the cultures, languages, art, theatre, cinema, architecture, the whole simmering mass is exciting to be in – and because of that creative thought thrives.
Our thoughts on COI Reform and today’s General Election
On the eve of the United Kingdom’s most interesting General Election in modern times, many in the advertising and marketing sectors are still concerned about the future of the Central Office of Information (COI), the British government’s marketing agency.
As well as being Britain’s largest advertiser, the COI is the Government’s main procurer of advertising and marketing services. Most British agencies are therefore stakeholders in the organisation.
The COI’s current way of working has been called in to question; both by the Government in recent months, and by the battling governments-in-waiting during this election campaign.
As things stand, the Treasury, led by Chancellor Alastair Darling, has ordered a 25% reduction in the marketing and advertising budgets of all Whitehall departments for the current two years. Both main opposition parties, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have no objections to this cut.
But there is more to the parties’ plans for the COI. Campaigns that have worked in the past are now failing to reach their audiences or drive them to action. There have been success stories, like the recent binge drinking virals by VCCP which certainly caught the public’s attention.
Generally, though, the political consensus seems to be that COI campaigns aren’t as effective as they once were – mainly because they are becoming increasingly middle of the road, arguably as larger agencies begin to count on COI business regardless of creative content. Campaigns that fail to reach their objectives and don’t provide a great deal of return on investment are a problem for the taxpayer.
The Conservatives have announced plans to move COI contracts to a pay per results model. At Vivid London, we’d be happy to work under those conditions – we are confident in our abilities – but a lot of other agencies see the practice as unfair. They argue that ads can only promote behavioural change, not guarantee it.
Nothing’s certain in the world of marketing. You can never guarantee that a press release you send out, however interesting the story or full of hooks the content, will be picked up by the media. You can never guarantee that any advertising campaign that you run will change the audiences behaviour (purchasing or otherwise). And you can never be sure that your shiny new communications strategy will reach all of its audiences.
But you can mitigate these uncertainties. Our work at Vivid London is informed by thorough research – meaning that we audit all previous marketing efforts, analyse target audiences counterintuitively and focus on measurable deliverables. We’re upfront about our expected results and are happy to be judged (and paid) by them.
All in all, this will mean more efficient use of taxpayer money and more heated battles for part of the COI’s £232m annual budget. It will also lead to more stylish, effective and better advertising in the future. This is better for both agencies and consumers – after all, talking to the audience in a way that they understand is what creative agencies are supposed to do! Becoming reliant on government contracts not only impedes an agency’s creativity, but can also lead to disaster when these contracts are withdrawn. Just ask i-Level.
Whatever the colour(s) of the next government, the creative industry needs to become more efficient and adaptable – and it needs to accept direct responsibility for campaign performance. We always have – and always will.
Adam James Morecroft & Camille le Goff
Guido Westerwelle, Germany’s Foreign Minister, is often lampooned for his distinct lack of finesse when speaking English. His political rivals often argue that his linguistic skills are not befitting those of a foreign minister. Amongst the social media public Westerwelle is infamous: A group that mistranslates German press articles in to his vernacular has almost 50,000 fans on Facebook.
It should come as no surprise then, that Mr Westerwelle recently launched the “German – the language of ideas” campaign. It highlights the strength of the German language with events running at Goethe Instituten around the world and counts some of Germany’s most prolific authors amongst its patrons.
We agree; German is a strong contender for the title of ‘the language of ideas’. Of themselves, Germans talk of their nation as being that of the Dichter und Denker (poets and thinkers) – It’s a fair point. Where would we be without Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Immanuel Kant, or Bertoldt von Brecht? Even if you’re not a fan of these, you won’t be able to deny the impact that German writers, philosophers and have had on European and world thought.
We’re commited to having an impact on the European media scene – that’s why our team is largely bilingual, and why we pride ourselves on integrated campaigns that are tailored to specific cultures.
To find out how we can make German the language of your ideas, contact us today!
Luisa joined Vivid London as an intern a month ago to gain new media new media skills. We asked her to compare an aspect of our work that she would experience in her daily life. She chose point of sale promotions in the UK and Germany. Read on!
Special offers versus consistent value for money
Beer, bratwursts and sauerkraut. Sausage, beans, and mash.
If you’re talking about cultural differences, a good place to start is the food we eat every day. Across Europe, supermarkets have become the main source of the food we eat – but that food, and the way it’s promoted and advertised, is still vastly different.
You could say that I’m in the perfect position to notice these differences. I’m from Germany originally, where I’m studying for a degree in commercial communications, but I’ve just started an Internship at Vivid London.
To highlight the differences I’ve noticed, why don’t we take a short trip through a German and a British supermarket?
The main thing you’d notice in a German supermarket would be the fruit and vegetables section. It’s often arranged like a market stall. Each product comes in a ‘normal’ and an ‘organic’ variety. Customers move through the shop slowly, in an anti-clockwise direction.
In Britain, the main thing I noticed was the forest of gaudy yellow signs pointing out this week’s special offers, which confused me at first. I wasn’t used to seeing these blatant ‘buy me’ messages everywhere! On top of that I had to constantly fight my conscience: We don’t have as much junk food in Germany!
Supermarkets are crowded in Britain. This was quite a shock for me: Briton’s are famous the world over for their good manners and affinity for queuing. It’s true; queues are very ordered in the UK, but this order doesn’t carry through to the rest of the shop, with people chaotically rushing through narrow aisles in every direction!
In Germany, it’s normal nowadays for even the most senior of executives to go to a so-called ‘discount’ supermarket with no shame. They may buy their ‘special products’ from a branded chain, but people of all income levels can be found browsing the shelves at their local Aldi, Lidl or Netto.
This isn’t the case in Britain. Campaigns calling for the middle class to ‘change their supermarket, not their lifestyle’ have been less successful: Waitrose and Marks & Spencer still compete for the ‘premium pound’.
There are certainly product differences (It would be hard to convince a German to buy baby food in a tin!), but the overwhelming contrast is promotional: German’s focus on consistent ‘good value’; Briton’s expect ‘buy one, get one free’ offers.
The choice is yours – check out each country’s supermarkets and pick the style you prefer. For me, it would be a mix between the two models.
We keep coming back to it; but only because it’s so true: Our designers here are obsessed with good typography.
A colleague recently came back from a quick browsing session with a great suggestion: Helvetica (an office favourite) cookie cutters!
Don’t be surprised if you’re greeted by some yummy cookies, gorgeously designed, next time you come in to see us!
We’ve been quietly working away over the past few days on a project that we’re really excited about. So excited that we’re now ready to shout it out.
Our new website launched in the early hours of this morning, and reflects both the historical evolution of the firm, as well as the vivid portfolio of clients we service.
Check it out at http://www.vividlondon.com now!