Bill Bernbach once wrote ‘People read things their interested in, sometimes it’s advertising’. It’s so true. An ‘ad’ must have impact, cut through and engagement. And sometimes, longevity. Above all, ads must be smart. Not clever for the sake of it, just intelligent. If it can’t tick these boxes it’s not an ad; it’s an ineffective piece of communication that’s had money unwisely spent on it.
We’re a creative agency so it’s no surprise that producing effective advertising is at the core of what we do. But we maintain a very open mind on what advertising is. We don’t critique creative by saying ‘that’s a press ad’ or ‘that’s TV’. When it confronts us, we say ‘that’s an advertising idea’. How we then make that come to life is all part of the necessary fluid creative development process in collaboration with a client’s business objectives and media budget.
Our advertising campaign delivery experience covers all above and below the line disciplines. Added value is inbuilt, such as our deep understanding of TV and radio commercial creative and production, which helps clients navigate the tight legislative standards that advertisers have to adhere to in the UK.
We also fly our flag as a brand communications agency.
We are engaged by clients to deliver this discipline in the truest sense of the description; brand communications. So think beyond ‘we need a new logo’. Think engaging with stakeholders to write brand strategies, commissioning independent research to unlock audience attitudes to deliberately challenge the internal view. Think peer group and sector brand audits. Think finding a brand’s essence. Think creating a brand’s tone of voice. Think authoring brand handbooks that stakeholders actually find to be useful tools to control and protect brand communications.
Our brand consultancy experience includes positioning and creating global, pan European and UK based brands. In addition, we have a reputation for creative brand collaboration; working with existing brand programmes that need enhancements to be fit for purpose for the UK market without wholesale reinvention.
(Oh, and yes, we have ended up creating the odd visual identity along the way!)
Direct and Digital
Generating hits, leads and responses is a common ask from the brands we work for.
Direct response that delivers a measurable action represents around 40% of the campaign work we deliver for our current client stable. Some of it is overtly ‘make the website crash’; some of it more ‘start a conversation’. What we know from experience is that you need to be creative with your delivery and don’t rule anything out. Despite what many preach, traditional direct response print still works hard where it’s right to use it. It works even harder when you can integrate a digital aspect into the call to action.
Our experience in response generation includes offline and digital advertising, email and social media, broadcast, on-demand TV and video, door drop and live sales engagement.
Media Buying and Planning
A thoughtfully implemented media campaign lets an idea breath and flourish.
Media Point is our specialist independent media planning and buying consultancy. We have consciously retained an in-house media capability and knowledge over the years in the face of the trend towards more centralised, formulaic and commodity buying. Many clients still say they get better value from bespoke consultancy; especially those in the B2B sector.
Building audiences is critical to successful campaign delivery and Media Point has built strong relationships with regional and national print and digital media owners over the last 20 years in order to give clients an advantage.
Our service delivery covers channel audits, planning, negotiating and buying as well as tracking and efficiency reporting on budgetary ROI. And as it’s a consultancy, Media Point can be bought without the need for buying the full service of the creative agency.
Internal communications often fall out of branding or change management programmes. But their importance are often overlooked. Of course, not every organization needs them. But where they do, our approach to engaging internal stakeholders, wherever they sit in an organisation, has always been to create the right tone of voice first. Sometimes this has to be flexible because very often one size does not fit all. And understanding culture is critical; both internal political culture and national culture have a massive part to play in creative articulation.
Our internal communications work has seen us deliver messages across single site organisations as well as simultaneous messages across territories and time zones.
Outputs have been varied; interactive websites, informational websites, employee handbooks, employee personalisation, internal awareness building campaigns and inter-organisational challenges and competitions.
Political and Community Engagement
Let’s be clear (as a politician would say), we’re not a PR agency.
But what we have in our collective experience is the ability to deliver a message from the front when advertising isn’t the answer. It delivers valuable sound bites but it’s more communication engagement than out and out media relations.
Clients involved in community or political change programmes with no formal audience or media handling skills use us in this way, as do brands or organisations needing representation at a local or national political level.
And what better way to get the message across than from the horses mouth; we generally write the campaign messages in the first place so accurate and consistent delivery are automatic.
Our activities in this area have seen us get MPs onside, lobby Parliament, and galvanize community groups all as a precursor to more visibility for public sector campaigns through mainstream advertising channels.