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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.
Here at Turn Key, maintaining efficiency without compromising on quality is high priority, especially when it comes to our ever-growing Digital department. Sharing his expertise this week is Senior Web Developer, Dave Walker, as he talks about an intriguing concept of efficient ‘lazy developers’.
Bill Gates was once quoted as saying; “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job, because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”
In web development, so-called ‘lazy developers’ will always find the quickest, most efficient way to complete a task. That’s not to say the end result is any less of a completed product, more that the finished product is more concise and free from needless overhead. Ultimately the finished website is more maintainable and reliable for the client, which is exactly what we aim for here at Turn Key.
We use automated tools for deploying and testing website builds, increasing the team’s compatibility to work in an agile environment. We use cutting-edge web browser tools that instantly detect and load any changes, saving the time it takes to press the refresh button thousands of times a day. We even hacked our internal instant messenger software to speed up the tea round. The software now electronically nominates the next person in the team to make drinks with a simple “maketea” command (Steve Duffin it’s your turn)!
When it comes to web development, a small investment of time in the short term can save lots of time in the future and will continue to do so the more the work is re-used. The developers here at Turn Key apply this logic to every project we complete, maintaining DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) principles, which results in more robust and maintainable solutions for our clients.
We may only save minutes here and there by using these simple tools, but when you multiply these small chunks of time across a team of developers over a day, week, or even a year the time really starts to add up. Combine this with the confidence that these automated processes provide consistently high standards of performance, and you begin to understand the true concept of efficient, ‘lazy developers’.
Unless you’ve been without an internet connection this summer, you’ll no doubt have watched hundreds of videos of your friends, family and that girl you attended one university lecture with 10 years ago, pouring water over their heads. Here, PR & Social Media Director, Emma Streets talks about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge campaign.
The ice bucket challenge took our summer by storm, filling our news feeds and newspapers, as global celebrities – Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Sir Richard Branson and Victoria Beckham to name a few, got involved.
Starting out as a US-based campaign intended to raise money and awareness for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association – the UK Motor Neurone Disease Association, its British equivalent, has also benefited from the spotlight, receiving £2.7m in just one week this August. Water Aid and Macmillan Cancer were also name-checked as causes for donations.
The numbers tell a great story – the BBC reports that between 29 July and 28 August 2014, ALS received $98.2m. Last year, this figure was $2.7m. To date, more than 2.4 million ice bucket-related videos have been posted on Facebook and 28 million people have interacted via uploading, commenting or liking these posts.
Facebook’s algorithms and features boosted the viral spread of the ice bucket challenge videos, as it began auto-playing videos in its News Feed feature this summer. Directly challenging others by tagging them also encouraged mass sharing, and getting the public to do ‘the ask’ part of the donation themselves – notoriously the sticking point for charities – was simple and powerful.
We’ve seen this before. The #nomakeupselfie campaign earlier this year saw women posting barefaced pictures of themselves online in return for donations. Cancer Research UK, (which did not start the campaign), raised £8m in six days and received 221,488 mentions on Twitter.
Good causes often end up being a collective of social media reflection. Yes, social problems continue even after you stop the videos, but by tapping into our culture of sharing our every move online, our desire to become involved – whether it’s motivated by building our own personal brand or by genuinely feeling like we’re making a difference – is translating into progress for the charities that strike gold with these virals.
So as this particular campaign fades, partly because we’ve reached saturation – literally – of the ice bucket challenge in the news cycle and also because we’ve moved on to the new series of X Factor, there’s a lesson here about the power of social media for the non-profit sector and yet more insight about our online culture.
This latest success highlights the opportunity that social media provides to reach an audience in a way that no other channel delivers. It’s personal, instant gratification. And ultimately charities gain income as a result of their 15 seconds in the limelight. Everyone wins.
See below some pictures of the staff here at Turn Key doing their bit for the charity.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, so does our approach to web build projects, as we ensure we’re working as effectively as possible. Here, Digital Account Director Tom McCambridge talks about introducing agile development to the team here at Turn Key.
Typically, the process of building a website has been very sequential from specification, design, development through to testing and beyond – with various handover points along the way. While this has served us well for many years, at today’s pace, we need to become more flexible.
The need to visualise across desktop, tablet and mobile devices has also evolved the need for responsive design. Ideally we need a way to create style guidelines that can be easily translated across all devices and develop websites on a per-task basis – especially as web technologies and sitemaps become more and more complex.
This is why at Turn Key, we’ve introduced agile project management with a large e-commerce project that we’re working on at the moment. Put simply, agile embraces a much more iterative and collaborative workflow across departments, encouraging continuous improvement and making us faster and more flexible in our approach. It allows us to build the site with the usability of the end product at the front of our minds, developing certain modules and elements task-by-task.
Daily 5-minute scrum meetings ensure that everybody involved in the project is fully up to speed with what the team is working on and that any potential issues can be resolved efficiently. It also means designers are working much more closely with developers to ensure everything is consistent and seamless.
Agile development is a big step for the digital team and for Turn Key as a whole. This way of working cements our integrated approach to each and every project we are involved with, whilst moving us forward in pairing top-class creative with cutting edge technology – our ultimate aim.