Recent Work: Progressive Partnership.

Progressive-Mockup copy.jpgDoug Cook and I worked on this new website for Progressive Partnership.

It’s the main outcome of an overall positioning research project and a revamp of the entire suite of Progressive’s marketing and presentation collateral.

We slightly tweaked (updated) the branding and designed, wrote, built, filmed, photographed and marketed the new site.

We feel it’s a clean crisp, professional representation of a clean, crisp, professional outfit that has punched well above its weight in Scotland for many years.

Here’s to as succesful a future for Sarah, Diane, Carole and the gang as the past has been.

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This may seem a bit new age, but it’s not really, and the sense of it is spot on.

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(Photo Credit: My own)

It’s a quote by a guy called Zen Shin. (They’re all Chinese warriors and philosophers that come up with the best ones are they not?).

Anyway, I spotted it within a talk by Lucky Cloud Skincare at Creative Edinburgh‘s Talking Heads event last night.

What resonated with me is the vanity that pervades my industry and the comparisons we all make with one another for no real gain.

The simple fact is that great work will always stand out by being, great work.

This is my philosophy on how to achieve that;

  • Strong strategy/briefing (follow the ‘Garbage in, garbage out ‘principle as a starting point to keep you straight on that one)
  • Focussed messaging (Meies Van der Rohe nailed that one – less is more)
  • Thoughtfully targeted and placed in the right context
  • Work with (and hire) real creative talent and don’t be in awe (they are as nervous, inside, about any new brief as you are)
  • Enthuse them
  • Immerse yourself in the product/service
  • If it IS great and your client doesn’t bite; sell, and sell hard.  Do not give up.  Do not compromise.  If all fails put it in a drawer for selling later to someone else who has vision

Recent Work: Investors In People Scotland

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This is actually work in progress because there’s more to come.

It was a significant strategic project in which one of the outcomes was a new website that I briefed and was created by long term collaborators Front Page in Glasgow.

It’s a full redesign with a much more welcoming tone and has doubled the site’s effectiveness over the last six months.

Love your business.  Love your people.

That was the theme for the site and it has captured the imagination both internally and externally.  And has helped to move the IIP (Scotland) quite dry personality and positioning as predominantly an accreditation body into much richer territory where users can gain real business insight and high value consultancy.

New look blog for Think Hard.

It’s pretty much the same content but I’ve applied a new, more open, theme (called Hemingway Rewritten) and added better navigation.  Here’s a couple of pointers.

Firstly you can access content by category a little easier by clicking on the sidebar

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Next, I’ve reconfigured my Blogroll and made it more prominent.  This means you can directly access some of my other blogs should you so wish.  The red dots are my own.

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I’ve also raised the sign up button to the top should you want updates emailed to you.

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Otherwise, it’s the same old opinionated ranting.

Recent work.

Along with Art Director Doug Cook and Copywriter Martin Hartley (Sixtythree Creative) we created this campaign of 24 brand press press executions, 8 radio and one tactical subscription ad for Scotland’;s The Herald.

Targeted at existing readers the press ran in-paper and aimed to both complement their wise choice in reading their paper and encourage  deeper relationship with it by increasing purchasing frequency.  It dramatised a vast array of surprising facts about Scotland that we hoped readers might share with their peers.

(Photo research supported by Think Hard’s Head of Doing, Jeana Gorman.)

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(Photo credit: Doug Cook)

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A generation of Creative Greatness at Hall Advertising. The Grand Dame of Scottish Advertising.

I was absolutely blessed to start my career at Hall Advertising.

It was a true hotbed of creativity.

Many of the people written about in this post I consider to be not just my colleagues, but my friends; Mill, Downie, Farrell, Gumm, Taylor, Robertson, Jeffery, Atkinson, Cox, Lindsay, Stanier, Sutton, Gibsone, Wyper, Marr, Redding (RIP), Scott, Grassick, McCowan-Hill.

I met my wife of 28 years (and counting) there.

I discovered gratuitous hedonism there.

I realised advertising was more than just the best job in the world there; I learned that it has enough logic, science and passion-potential to rise above mere fun and can make a difference.

It’s a roll call of Scottish creative greatness and I am honoured to have served them.

Thanks Jim Downie (then Creative Director) for putting this history lesson together.

Enjoy.

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