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This month, the highly anticipated annual Turn Key Away Day took place. After top secret planning, which ensured that no plans were revealed until minutes before, the TK team arrived blissfully unaware of what the day held in store. Our PR and Social Media Executive, Adele Feeney, reveals all…
On Friday 7th November, our London and Leeds offices shut up shop, as the team headed for Leeds city centre. The day consisted of six teams, six black boxes, eight challenge envelopes and just one winner!
Challenge 1: Kirkgate Market Sweep! Teams took turns to barter with the market traders to obtain 30 items from a shopping list with just £40, within 30 minutes. Let’s just say, sales of baby octopus and big pants went through the roof!
Challenge 2: Flash Mob! Teams were given various locations, from the train station to shopping centres, to create and film a flash mob. From slow motion ballet to the Full Monty’s ‘Hot Stuff’ in a phone queue, our creative teams weren’t short of ideas!
Challenge 3: Brand Values. Video representations of Turn Key’s values had to be performed by strangers. Our teams were caught on camera fearlessly scaring the public and sharing their love around Leeds by hugging strangers.
Challenge 4: Head-to-head ten pin bowling. All six teams played side-by-side at MFL Bowl with some intense strike action!
Challenge 5: TK Jungle Challenge. An ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’, inspired game, where grasshoppers, worm soup and dung beetles were on the menu!
Challenge 6: Tick Tock Unlock! Teams had one goal: escape from a room in 45 minutes by solving a series of puzzles and unravelling clues to unlock tens of padlocks!
The final challenge: Dragons Den. Teams were given a budget to buy products from Leeds’ most notorious shopping street to create a brand new product with. Later on in the evening, teams had to present their ideas to a panel of stringent judges.
With the aid of ponchos and our amazing HR team’s planning, the TK away day was definitely one for the records!
Last week saw the biggest UK retail players release their Christmas adverts, with everyone fighting for that Christmas Number One! Here, our Senior Account Executive, Hayley Collingswood, digs a little deeper to see which brands are getting it right…
It’s safe to say that John Lewis has become the new Coca Cola when it comes to launching the Christmas period. This year was no different, with a typically simple notion, ‘The Gift They’ve Been Dreaming Of’. As usual, I think it’s a combination of the beautiful song choice (Tom Odell) and charming filming that does it for me – I have to say the cute penguins help as well! As a Christmas enthusiast, I’m tearful at one watch so that’s another tick in the box for John Lewis this year.
Marks & Spencer
After the success of last year’s M&S advert ‘Magic & Sparkle’, this year offers a slight twist and I’m pleasantly surprised to see it’s not the usual celeb-filled affair. Magic and Sparkle – the two M&S fairies – bring enjoyment during the Christmas period, including zapping the electricity whilst making it snow so all the children play outside. Following the random acts of kindness theme, M&S will be making magic happen up and down the country in the run up to Christmas, supporting the advertising on social media using the hashtag #followthefairies. Enchanting and big-hearted – I like it.
In the supermarket category, it’s Waitrose for me that hit the nail on the head with a less consumer poaching approach. Instead, they focus on their business model and the fact that everyone who works for Waitrose owns a piece of Waitrose and therefore they care. The determination of the girl to perfect the gingerbread despite her initial reluctance, is in the spirit of ‘going all out’ at Christmas, whilst the advice from the shop assistant at each stage cleverly communicates their message. All in all, it’s the notion you want to hear from your supermarket at Christmas – very smart.
It’s also nice to see some of the more premium brands getting involved with the likes of Burberry and Mulberry releasing theirs. Mulberry recreates a gift-giving scene where each present gets progressively more extravagant, until she receives the perfect gift from Grandma – a Mulberry bag. Waving puppies and unicorns fall by the wayside as the lucky recipient celebrates whilst Grandma sits smugly and #WinChristmas flashes on screen. This one’s a nice humorous twist on Christmas, gives it stand out!
But finally, it’s a late entry from Sainsbury’s that has everybody talking. Their representation of what happened on Christmas Day a century ago (in association with The Royal British Legion) is without doubt the most moving and beautiful advert of the year. The question on everybody’s lips though, is should it be so beautiful? After all, WW1 resulted in one of the biggest loss of human life in history. The sentiment for me – finding happiness in the darkest times – is moving and it’s amazing to have Sainsbury’s raising awareness of the sacrifice of so many men and women at such a poignant time. But should it be in the form of a supermarket TV advert, which ultimately aims to get shoppers through its doors this Christmas? The public will decide.
With a passion for travelling and blogging, it’s no surprise that our London Managing Director, Phil Dean, wanted to share his recent cultural visit to Barcelona with us! Here, Phil rounds up what Barcelona has to offer…
On the surface, Barcelona appears to be a sprawling, modern Spanish city that has lots in common with Madrid, Valencia or Seville. But scratch the surface and lots of hidden complexity comes into view.
The Spanish civil war casts a very long, silent shadow over the city. At the very centre of the battle between the government and the rebels, Barcelona wears its history quite lightly but it doesn’t take much for its passion and militancy to reach the surface. Wandering around the city recently on a book club trip, we embarked on an unofficial civil war walking tour that took in some of the key civil war locations in Barcelona. In truth, there is very little to see 70 years later. Where the socialist rebel headquarters once stood, there is now an Apple store and although the hotel that Orwell stayed at is still intact, the Ramblas it overlooks is transformed from what it was in the 1930s.
Manic tourist streets make way for tranquil passageways that, in turn, lead to peaceful squares. Cafes beckon and cool beers are sipped in frosted glasses. Shuttered windows silently survey the blissfully dark streets, designed to take the sting out of the fierce Catalonian summers. Cobbled streets and tiled hallways speak of the city’s history, the ever-present graffiti reminding the visitor it’s actually 2014.
Gaudi’s spectacularly unfinished magnum opus, La Sagrada Familia, sits oddly in a residential district on the outskirts of the city like the unfinished remnant of an alien civilisation. It’s hands down the weirdest and most remarkable piece of architecture I’ve ever seen and never fails to move me. Gaudi died in the 1930s and his masterpiece is still far from finished, but is testament to his wild imagination and feverish vision. The final touch will surely be an elaborate gold leaf kitchen sink on the highest spire.
In stark contrast is the museum of modern art — MACBA. Angular and modernist, the building sits alongside pan tiled rooftops and ancient battlements, seamlessly integrated into the fabric of the city. The collections are willfully obscure and eclectic, challenging, constantly pushing the boundaries of acceptance. Whilst skateboarders noisily take advantage of the plaza outside, gallery visitors amble the airy walkways in an oasis of artistic nonsense.
But ultimately, Barcelona charms. Its sheer scale dictates a district-led approach but if you stay around the Gothic Quarter as we did, you will be well served with masses of tapas or pincho options and cool bars on every back street. The city rewards the patient and serendipitous traveller; try not to plan too much and Barcelona will show you a completely different side.
Read more from Phil’s travel and food blog, Globetroffers, here!
2014 has marked several milestones for Turn Key, including opening up a London office and growing our team of experts significantly. Our latest big piece of news is our expansion into the United States with a physical presence in Los Angeles that we announced earlier this month.
Visiting LA in September confirmed to me that bringing Turn Key’s blend of creative, fused with digital, social, PR and branding expertise to the US, is the logical next step for us as an agency.
We know that brands are demanding an integrated approach to keep their presence consistent, particularly online, and the US is a market where there is a real opportunity for Turn Key to make an impact. Whilst there are opportunities across our entire offering, as in the UK, it is our design work that opens the door for us to enjoy these conversations with like-minded brands.
My trip also confirmed that some of the LA clichés really are true – every waiter/waitress that you meet genuinely is an actor looking for work. Everyone has worked on a blockbuster movie at some point. The weather is truly awesome. But genuinely, there are many people wanting you to succeed, both as a person and in business. They are also happy to help you by introducing you to people and contacts. The added bonus of star spotting whilst networking just comes with the territory!
I’m extremely excited about this next journey for Turn Key – it really does open up opportunities for everyone in the agency. I’m proud of the talent and vision in the team that has enabled us to take our potential as a global agency one step further.
Our ‘Beyond Boundaries’ mantra has taken on a whole new meaning!
Everyone loves a good Zombie around Halloween time. To celebrate this cult in style the designers at TK have burnt, slashed, butchered & eroded all of the once beautiful TK team (through the art of retouch that is).
Long live Zombies!
Turn Key’s senior designer, Phill Smith, elaborates:
Often when we begin a job, there’s some form of brief – not in this case! The only rule? Make the team look as horrendous as possible.
Our Creative Director, Rich, called me over to say he had an idea to zombie up the guys for a little Halloween fun. From there, Studio took part in a zombie master class, led by Rich himself, and then the fun really started.
Everyone in Studio was given a subject and we all got to work creating some truly terrifying results through the art of retouch and image manipulation.
There aren’t many agencies that have retouch skills in house, so we’ve not seen this done before. We took a bit of a risk but the good people at TK have received their makeovers really well!
Boundless creativity on a job, what designer doesn’t want to be a part of that?
See our zombie pictures here!
With an obsession for food and social media, it’s no surprise that our Senior Account Manager, Samara Ullmann’s Instagram feed is jam packed with delectable dinners. Here, Samara shares her passion for food and filters…
Despite being probably the smallest person in the agency, it’s safe to say (and I am sure my colleagues would agree, Darren) that I do in fact have one of the biggest appetites. We’ve all heard the famous saying, ‘live to eat’ or ‘eat to live’, well; you only have to look at my Instagram feed (see what I did there) and my involvement in the TK burger challenge to see that it’s very obvious that I in fact, live to eat.
My passion for food, but in particular my passion for Instagramming food could very nearly be on the verge of an unhealthy (they just keep coming) obsession. Whether it’s a big, juicy burger bursting at the seams, a healthy (ish) salad, or a simple but yet totally underrated plate of Heinz spaghetti on toast, you’d be hard pressed not to find it on my Instagram.
The culture of snapping before snacking has definitely changed the way in which we view food. Restaurants and cafes now openly encourage and incentivise customers to snap and share their food delights, so it’s no wonder we’re now seeing credible press like The Telegraph writing features on the top 10 food accounts to follow on Instagram.
Now, I can only aspire to be as creative with my food and filters as these folk, but I don’t think I’m too far off…. am I?
Since opening our London office back in May, the whole TK team has been excited about the opportunities the new office has created, and none more so than Marketing Senior Account Executive, Olivia Thew who’s the first Leeds TK-er to relocate to the capital for a taste of London life.
London may be known for its packed tubes, crowds of people and long commutes…but I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be. After living in Leeds for the past six years and being in the north for the past 10, I fancy a change of scenery, and what better change than a move to the most cosmopolitan city in the world.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m going to miss Leeds, especially the colleagues that have become friends at Turn Key. I’ll also miss the ten-minute stroll to work, which will soon become a 45-minute commute made up of one train and two tubes (ouch!).
Having worked on numerous London-based accounts over the years, to be working from the new Turn Key office in the gorgeous surroundings of Clerkenwell feels like an amazing opportunity that would be impossible to turn down. I’m ready for new challenges and cant wait to get stuck in to new projects.
With my life in Leeds coming to an end, at least for now, and London navigation apps downloaded, I’m excited to head down south for the next chapter!
Any marketer, PR professional or Digital expert worth their salt knows that content is king. Here at Turn Key, we understand the importance of copywriting techniques for every medium. Here are our PR Account Manager and TK copywriting expert, Lauren Turner’s top tips for writing for a digital reader.
All content requires copy, but not everyone knows the key differences when it comes to writing for various mediums and audiences.
Although copy is there to engage, illustrate and explain, writing for an audience online is a completely different ballgame to writing for the likes of printed media or marketing collateral.
Challenges faced online:
The key thing to remember with online audiences is that attention spans are extremely short. For example, think about the last time you went searching for information on Google. Did you read every single sentence on each web page? Probably not. Did you possibly read the headline, and then boycott the entire page after deciding it wasn’t relevant? Very likely. These are common problems faced by brands online, and there are a few simple steps you can take to instantly improve the effectiveness of what you’re trying to communicate.
The golden rules of online copy
• Explain your page
Your audience should be able to immediately understand what your page, (or blog post), is about as soon as they land on it, so ensure that your title and opening sentences are clear and concise.
• Make it ‘scannable’
If you skimmed over your page would you be able to find the different sections and points of information easily? If not, you might want to rethink your structure and headings.
Long sentences with long words may look impressive, but when it comes to writing for web it’s been proven that short, sharp sentences are best. Keep your English plain so your audience can understand it.
Don’t cram your copy full of keywords. Keep your page style ‘natural’ and reference your key point a couple of times where it fits – that’s all that’s needed.
Last week saw the long-awaited announcement of the new Apple Watch and the iPhone6. Here Senior Web Developer, Myke Davis talks about another Apple revelation that’s probably its biggest development to date…
The Internet went into frenzy last week as Apple announced the new ‘ground-breaking’ Apple Watch, the iPhone 6, and the iPhone 6 Plus.
However what you might not have heard, amongst all the watch and iPhone excitement, is that Apple also deployed a pretty nice looking, fully responsive version of its website. Responsive websites adapt to the screen size they are being viewed on in an attempt to utilise smaller spaces and touch screens – this technique steps away from having different versions of a website for different platforms. From a development point of view this reduces costs and means less bugs can creep in and it also helps from an SEO point of view allowing URLs to be shared easily between devices.
Apple’s resistance to accommodating mobiles and tablets (its biggest revenue generators) has always been a bit of a mystery. Rumours have been rife that the technology giant prefers customers to use the official app to get their Apple fill, but whatever the reason Apple has now caught up with the rest of the Internet – which from a web development perspective shows just how important responsive design is.
And it really is important. The figures are pretty conclusive; 67% of respondents in a recent Google survey stated that they would be more likely to buy from a company that provides a mobile friendly website. Mobile/tablet traffic accounts for 30% of Internet browsing (this figure is predicted to increase significantly in the next five years) so it’s too large of a demographic to simply ignore. It doesn’t just stop at e-commerce either, 61% of respondents in the Google survey said they would navigate away if they did not find what they wanted quickly on a mobile site.
Whatever the website, from a one page landing site to a large e-commerce solution, responsive design can, will, and does improve your users’ experience which in turn improves the website’s impact on potential customers.
We’re all guilty of it, and now it’s time to come clean. Here, Designer Carl Holderness tells us his #FoodPorn confessions, and how M&S’ new campaign is making him do it…
Look around in a restaurant and you’ll usually find someone precariously perched over their table, holding their phone at an obscure angle to instantly snap and hashtag photos of their dinner whilst their food (and company) goes stone cold.
When visiting a burger restaurant it’s practically customary to take ‘that’ obligatory shot of your juicy, meaty burger with cheese sauce and pickles oozing temptingly down the side of the glazed brioche bun, your basket of perfectly seasoned rustic chips placed (deliberately) naturally in the background – this, my friends, is #FoodPorn – and I’m guilty of it.
Thanks to M&S, #FoodPorn doesn’t end in restaurants anymore but with our gastronomic creations at home. Roll back ten years to when M&S shook up the FMCG market with its iconic “It’s Not Just Any Food” campaign. We all started racing to our nearest M&S, bypassing the Grandma clothes, to grab our Dine In For £10 meal deals.
To mark the 10th anniversary of this, their most successful campaign to date, M&S is shaking up the luxury everyday food market again with a series of adverts that place a variety of delicious-looking food in elegant moving displays, from spinning lemons and crushing red berries to oozing chocolate desserts, all set against a refreshed clean and minimal brand with a symphony of sound from Clean Bandit.
In short, it’s beautiful and I love it. It moves the brand forward in a very clever yet simple way. No doubt there will be an army of imitators at homes across the country posting their M&S food creations to Instagram, resonating exactly why this campaign works so well.
I for one will definitely continue to feed my #FoodPorn habit.
If you haven’t seen the advert yet, check it out here
*Images courtesy of M&S.