Now one of the media’s most prominent trends, the selfie has become ingrained in the social media feeds of millions of people worldwide. Our PR Senior Account Executive, Lauren Turner, talks about the impact of these modern day self portraits and why the craze is here to stay.
Everyone’s doing it, Ellen DeGeneres alone managed to crash Twitter at the Oscars with one epic celeb selfie. The Telegraph commented, “It says so much about our age of self-regard. All the buzz from the Oscars 2014 has not been about the quality of the films or the merits of the winning performances, but a selfie on Twitter.” The power of viral social media rears its head yet again.
But beyond what some might deem as just a vain attempt at gaining social approval and validity through ‘likes’ and ‘favourites’, the selfie perhaps represents a more in-depth form of messaging than it would first seem at face value (get it?!). As actor, James Franco recently said, “selfies are tools of communication”.
Technically, the selfie is a new visual genre for a digital age; a self-portrait demonstrating an emotion, time and place that would have previously been captured by the likes of instant polaroids and even portraiture paintings of days gone by. And with the right profile and circumstance behind it, they have the ability to make headlines.
We all know the power of a picture, but when the subject is so personally, emotionally and seemingly in control of its message, it’s a tantalising insight into a private life that you wouldn’t otherwise see. As a result, celebrity selfies have some serious influence. Take Obama’s controversial snap at Nelson Mandela’s funeral and Rihanna’s numerous ‘questionable cigarette’ Instagram posts; just two examples that have not only taken the media by storm, but have significantly influenced a person’s profile, (for better or worse) as a result.
Selfies even have the ability to start online trends. Ellen’s aforementioned Oscar selfie has now been recreated by a whole host of people, incorporating viral internet favourites like ‘the grumpy cat’, as well as getting complete redesigns, most recently by The Simpson’s Matt Groening!
However, the reality is that in the hands of the average person it’s incredibly rare for a selfie to have mass impact. But one thing’s for certain, this form of social media snap is definitely not going away anytime soon, and here at Turn Key I’d say we’ve become pretty accomplished at taking our own selfies, what do you reckon?
In a world that insists on faster, more accessible information at our fingertips, more brands than ever are opting to commission their very own apps. Our Development Director, Andrew Markham-Davies, talks us through two of Turn Key’s most recently developed apps and the importance of identifying a clients’ needs.
In June 2013, the Apple App Store saw its 50 billionth download and reported that 800 apps are downloaded per second – not including updates. Numbers like these are causing customers to expect an app, be it for holiday search, TV listings or online banking. And as users increasingly seek faster information, expecting them to make do with a mobile version of a website just isn’t always enough.
One app we recently created for our client, Depuy Synthes, allows sales staff to log sales calls and product demonstrations with a just few clicks. Logged information is then sent to each line manager in the form of graphs to demonstrate performance in real time, which means managers can now receive information sent from the field, as it happens.
However, not all apps need to be super interactive to prove their power. Another Turn Key client, Cuadrilla, required a slick way to bring information to local communities at Public Consultation events in a clean, factual way that’s easy to digest and for this, an iPad app was the perfect solution.
The Cuadrilla app uses videos and interactive panoramic shots of local areas to educate the public on the company’s practices. When creating this app we ensured all information is easily controllable by the user without requiring too much interaction and this has proved central to the app’s success.
At Turn key, we recognise the importance of understanding a clients’ needs in order to create an app that becomes part of the users’ natural workflow. A successful app isn’t built for the sake of ‘having an app’, but because we know and have proved how an app can offer new opportunities.
A sophisticated yet user friendly website is fundamental to any brand’s success. Our Digital Senior Account Manager, Carly Hill, talks about how Turn Key delivered just that with our fully responsive website for boiler and heating specialist, Ideal Boilers.
With the number of tablet and smart phone owners on the constant increase, it’s now more important than ever for websites to be fully responsive. So for the new Ideal Boilers site, myself and the Web Developers here at Turn Key decided the best approach would be to build the site mobile first.
Building the site mobile first means that the larger the viewer’s device, the more additional features are added, as opposed to the much-used approach of removing functionality as the device gets smaller, and in turn gives a faster, more optimised user experience. Our developers have also used some Scalable Vector Graphics, which enabled them scale up and down in size whilst maintaining crystal clear quality across high resolution/retina displays.
To ensure that every visitor finds exactly what they’re looking for, we included really clear call to action buttons as well as essential functionalities such as ‘Find an Installer’ and the ‘Product Selector’ tool, which enables homeowners to find the boiler that best suits their home.
One of the biggest challenges the digital team faced was launching the site on a new domain. We had to ensure that all parts of the site were optimised so that we didn’t lose domain authority, which can often happen with a change of domain name.
Since its launch, the results of the new site have been incredible – traffic from tablets and mobiles has more than doubled and both customer and client response has been fantastic. Unlike anything else in the current market, the structure and sleek design of the site really elevates Ideal Boilers as a brand, and has also already served as an effective launch pad for other marketing activity including PPC and email marketing.
I couldn’t be happier with the new site, and the results speak for themselves! See it for yourself here.
As a Designer in a world of creativity and precision, Paul Hainsworth’s portfolio is a far cry from the scruffy doodles that filled his school books as a child. Here, he tells us how he’ll always make time to sketch with just a pencil and some paper.
The only thing that has ever held my interest for more than a couple of years was art. When I was a kid I was always drawing, doodling & making things. At school my books were covered in sketches and my teachers often said I would never make a living from drawing and tell me to concentrate on the lesson at hand.
I studied art and design at college and university, and when I wasn’t out partying I spent my free time designing album covers and logos for friend’s bands and start-up companies.
Now, having worked in a design studio for six years, it’s become apparent that my hobby has become my livelihood. I don’t know why this was a surprise as it was what I’d been working towards most of my life.
Most of my time at work is spent in front of a Mac. So when I get home I like to relive those days spent as a kid, drawing whatever comes into my mind. I’m not too precise with my sketches and as hard as it might be, I’m learning to love the imperfections that drawing free hand allows.
Drawing is so more than just a hobby that aids my professional development, it’s a way for me to relax and be creative without any constraints.
As a self-titled unlucky lady, Molly Kellet never dreamt she’d be chosen as the winner of a scholarship for a prestigious financial college. After just six months on the scheme, Turn Key’s Finance Assistant and youngest staff member talks of her apprenticeship with Kaplan, and how she feels as lucky today, as the day she was awarded her life-changing scholarship.
I have always thought of myself as an unlucky person. I was born on the 13th, I was always the kid in school who got hit by a football in the playground, and I’ve never won a game of Monopoly! So, when I won the Kaplan Accountancy Scholarship, I was lost for words.
Just three months prior to sitting my A-level exams I decided to go down the apprenticeship route, despite being accepted at four universities, attending several open days, and re-drafting my personal statement around 15 times.
I applied for no less than 30 finance-based apprenticeships before I was acknowledged by financial college, Kaplan, who helped me to secure interviews and gave me pointers on CV and Cover Letter writing.
I heard about the Kaplan Scholarship, but never thought I’d be able to win something so sought after. Not one to give up without trying, I applied to the scheme and kept my fingers crossed.
A few weeks later, I received an email stating that I had been selected for interview in front of a panel that would include both Kaplan representatives and two well-known Accountancy firms in Leeds. I had to prepare a presentation on a topic of my choice and of course, be ready to have tonnes of questions thrown at me!
After presenting to the panel in my interview, I got a call later that day – I had been chosen as the winner of the Scholarship. My first reaction was to burst into tears and it was only after a few days that I came to terms with what I had achieved.
Now six months down the line, I absolutely love my job at Turn Key and I am so glad I chose this route. Whilst studying one day a week, preparing for exams and working the rest of the time makes me incredibly busy, the scholarship has given me endless opportunities to try new things such as attending radio interviews and appearing in the Kaplan Scholarship video to promote apprenticeships.
I hope my story will inspire other young people to take the apprenticeship route – it’s so important that school leavers know there are other ways in which to qualify in the world of finance and accountancy.
You can see Molly in action in the Kaplan advert below.
Whether you’re completely loved-up or feeling cynical this Valentine’s Day, this national celebration of love is now harder to ignore than ever. As companies worldwide cash in on Cupid’s Holiday to showcase their products, we’ve taken a look at some of this year’s out-of-the ordinary campaigns.
Our PR intern, Beth Armstrong, talks us through her favourites.
This year, Wilkinson Sword came up with the great idea of swapping a shave for a bouquet of flowers for their loved one with its ‘Beards for Bouquets’ campaign, offering a total win win situation for men out there today!
Domino’s Pizza has also thought outside the box with its flirty ‘Fancy a date with Domino’s’ Tinder campaign, encouraging everyone to make a date with Domino’s this evening. This is a fantastic time for Domino’s to use Tinder in its campaign as it is such a huge craze right now.
Evian has gone down the ‘personal touch’ route and has decided to invite the world of Twitter to express their love by using #ILoveYouLike to win some Sugapova Valentine’s treats and receive a heartfelt, personal #LiveYoung Valentine’s message.
One of my personal favourites has to be Free View’s ‘Valendine’s TV Dinner’, the first ever all in one 3 course ready meal complete with a candle for the perfect ambiance. This is the perfect idea for the millions of couples who prefer to stay in on the most loved up evening of the year.
Finally, here is a little something to melt your heart, as even the most avid Valentine’s Day dodgers won’t be able to help themselves feeling the love with this one. A royal navy crew who are travelling home to Portsmouth today after being deployed for nine months, which is one of the navy’s longest missions has joined together to spell out their Valentine’s message of ‘I love you’ for their nearest and dearest.
Check out our own vintage-inspired gentleman’s chat up card by our Executive Art Designer, Jac Morton and, whatever you are doing this Valentine’s Day make sure you feel the love – even if it is just a little bit!
Brand films are a uniquely powerful promotional tool, allowing us to communicate key messages dynamically, and offering the potential to engage with clients in a way that print simply can’t. Our Designer, Sean Simmonds talks us through his tips for an effective film.
The key to a successful piece of motion work is to keep the viewers’ full attention throughout and at the end, make them want more. To do this, it’s important to strip out all unessential information and find the core message you need to communicate.
Too much information, either by reams of copy or voice-overs, will lose the viewer’s attention very quickly – we have to remember that in today’s world of information at our finger tips, it’s harder to hold your viewer’s attention before it wanders.
Working closely with our Executive Art Director Jac, my role is to bring his story boards to life and create something visually attention-grabbing that will make key messages memorable.
Many of the films we produce can include numerous different elements, from 3D animations to still imagery and video footage, so one of the biggest challenges I face is how to combine all these elements into a film with consistency and flow. It’s also my job to figure out how to actually produce the more complex animations the team decides will work well for a specific film. One crucial component is also the music, selecting the right piece is essential as it sets the pace and mood of your film.
For every project that I manage, there is a completely new set of challenges and obstacles to overcome in order to create the perfect film, yet for me, it’s this learning process that is the most enjoyable part of anything.
Together with other members of the studio team, we find the solutions for our client’s brand or product, and every time the final piece lands in the clients’ hands, there is a huge sense of achievement.
See our work for yourself in the below stills and show reel, of just a handful of films we’ve produced here at Turn Key.
If there’s one thing that’s ingrained in us here at Turn Key, it’s to exceed our clients’ expectations. And after kicking off the New Year doing just that for world-leading hair extensions brand, Great Lengths, our PR team has also managed to scoop two prestigious PR Moment Golden Hedgehog Awards.
Running for three years now, The Golden Hedgehog Awards celebrate excellence and outstanding talent in the PR and Communications industry in the regions across the UK.
The first of our nominations is for ‘Media Relations Campaign of the Year’ for Great Lengths’ Men-hancements campaign. The PR team has been recognised for achieving incredible results in the form of blanket national coverage in both consumer and hairdressing professional publications, as well as securing a live TV makeover on ITV’s primetime slot, This Morning, which aired in front of over 1.4 million viewers.
Also making the PR Moment shortlist is our very own Senior Account Manager, Samara Bott, who has been shortlisted for the highly esteemed Golden Hoglet Award. This award recognises the brightest and most promising PR communicator under 30, and we couldn’t be more proud. Samara has proved her PR prowess by beating off competition from national agencies across the country, and whilst we already knew she was a superstar, it’s fantastic to see her recognised by the Golden Hedgehog Awards.
We’re thrilled to be nominated for two such respected awards, and can’t wait to find out the results. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for how we get on!
Congratulations to Digital Junior Account Executive, Ignas Gudelis, who has been awarded our most recent Agency Star accolade. Despite suffering serious injuries when he was involved in a road traffic accident at the end of last year, Ignas returned to work full of enthusiasm just days after being discharged from hospital, with his leg still in a brace.
For his bravery and admirable efforts since being back in the office, the entire agency would like to say a huge well done. Ignas has also been recognised for his fantastic work on the DHP Croft website and his incredible attitude towards any task he is given. Ignas is a true Turn Key grafter, and in just a few short months has become a key asset to the agency. His reward couldn’t be more deserved!
As a seasoned performer and theatre lover, our Senior Account Manager, Rachel Phipps’ latest leading role has taught her one of the most important lessons in performance, how to go beyond boundaries when art imitates life.
They say that when you’ve been bitten by the bug, you’re hooked for life. True of Acting, true of Advertising, and I have been seduced by the charms of both.
Now I get to combine both by playing Jo, a Senior Account Manager in John Godber’s “The Office Party”, a play set in Leeds which both celebrates and desecrates the advertising world.
But is John Godber’s play truly art imitating life?
For me, there are certainly recognisable aspects. From the team’s die-hard dedication to the cause (be that working hard or playing hard…), to the banter, practical jokes and general hilarity that help to diffuse the more stressful moments. From the brilliant Creative Director who will not allow anything less than absolute perfection leave the agency, to the hyperactive Account Handler, expertly spinning plates and committed to making the client’s vision inspire great creative, whilst keeping the design team motivated with chocolate and after hours beers.
John Godber has really captured the magic and mayhem of the advertising world. Exhilarating, fun, sometimes unpredictable – an adrenalin-fuelled melting pot of charismatic, passionate enthusiasts, all united with one true aim: to produce game-changing creative work.
I can’t promise our stage play will produce game-changing theatre, but it will certainly be a blast! Do come and see for yourself.
Now, I must get down to that tedious business of learning my lines…
The Office Party, John Godber will be showing Upstairs @ The Carriageworks, Wednesday 26th February – Saturday 1st March 2014, 7:45pm.