One of Think Hard’s most interesting projects this year.

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Working with a small Leith-based design and advertising agency, Nexus 24, we gave the business a fair old overhaul.

You can read their full story here.

They are a great bunch and a pleasure to work with and for.

 

 

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Why I’ve joined the Nods team as Vice Chair.

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I was a guest at the inaugural Nods Awards last year and was impressed by its enthusiastic rejection of the usual awards puffery.

  • No suits ( I wore my daughter’s purple hat, inexplicably)
  • No drawn out sit-down dinner with expensive wine. (In fact it was a selection of market stalls selling street food in a really cool venue in the Barras called BAAD)
  • No two hour ceremony with so many awards you couldn’t even begin to work out who had won what.  (It was by contrast a little rushed and in need of sharing the work visually more – but it was all done and dusted in half an hour – the criticism was noted and a balance will be struck this year).
  • No overblown entry fees or ticket prices
  • And, most importantly for me, no profit motive – the proceeds went to the STV Children’s Appeal. But this year, and hopefully for the long term, proceeds will go to NABS (Scotland) well that’s an obvious choice is it not given that NABS is the creative (Communications) industry’s representative charity

This all made the event refreshing, more so when the judges are revealed as global giants, the Chair is a Global Giant herself (MT Rainey) and the organisers are Lux Events and CRAK Marketing, two small businesses wanting to put something back.

Many in our industry have bemoaned media owners using Awards as money-spinning bun fights and whilst I don’t wholly subscribe to that point of view there is no doubt this represents a refreshing change.

So year two now approaches, this time the awards ceremony will swap to Edinburgh and the ethos will be identical, although all of the people and organisations categories have been opened up for FREE entry.  This makes sense as people feel awkward paying to enter themselves for an award.  Instead it will be a Nod of recognition to those that deserve it.

Also we have introduced a craft category – a chance for photographers, illustrators, animators, musicians, film makers to enter for themselves – or for makers in agencies to have a bit of a spotlight shone on them.

I hope the industry will support the awards like they did last year.  It’s a shop window for the winners both to clients and to prospective staff and the awards themselves are keenly priced.

You can find out more here.

But, please note, the deadline for entries is 23rd November.  So get your skates on.

 

 

 

 

 

Free Promotion FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY: Exclusively for attendees of The Nods 2018.

I will be attending the Nods tonight.  To celebrate the launch of this exciting new creative awards initiative I will be offering all new commissions a FREE HAT with every commission.  LARGE or SMALL.

There’s only two commonly used words that can sum that up…

Blimey!

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You know what they say.  Get ahead.  Get a hat!

To avail yourself of this offer simply stop me at The Nods Awards tonight and say. “Hoy, take this work commission Mark and I claim a free hat.”

Please help me raise money for sufferers of the deadly and horrific Mesothelioma.

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Last November my Uncle Willie (Vidler) passed away.  The cause of his death was the horrific cancer known as Mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops from the thin layer of tissue that covers many of the internal organs (known as the mesothelium). The most common area affected is the lining of the lungs and chest wall.  It’s commonly associated with asbestos inhalation and as an electrician working on the construction of Cockenzie Power Station in the 1960’s, which he also saw demolished in his lifetime, Willie was aware of his asbestos inhalation – “we all were” he said.

The disease is the subject of considerable legal action but, more to the point, it’s a horrible way to die and is often described as drowning extremely slowly.  In some ways I guess Willie was lucky insofar as his death was relatively quick compared to some.

At his funeral his amazing family (and my extended family of cousins, partners and a few friends) decided we would immortalise Willie and raise some money for Clydeside Action on Asbestos.

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Action is necessary because, at the time Willie was in contact with asbestos, although there was knowledge of the dangers of asbestos exposure, employers did nothing to warn their workers of the hazards or provide personal protective clothing.

This is not acceptable as many men (mainly) have gone through terrible suffering as a result and their rights need to be upheld.

And so, 19 of us Vidlers’ and Co, are taking part in the Edinburgh Marathon on May 27th 2018 (exactly 245 years after I completed the London Marathon).

It’s fitting because the route passes the site of the former power station.  (A few vickies will be flicked, I’m sure.)

I’m doing the middle leg in my team of four (8.3 miles to be precise) and, as a fat bastard, this represents something of a challenge.

On December 25th I can’t say I was feeling ‘match fit’ although I could still dance brilliantly as evidenced below.

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However, I dusted off my running shoes in February and ran my first tentative steps in over 20 years.

Today I hit a landmark.  Exactly 8.3 miles (and 84 minutes) on the treadmill at Norton House Hotel. (The exact distance I have to run).

The effort is fairly graphically demonstrated through my T shirt, which was only orange and white before my nipples took a tanking.

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So, I now feel the time has come to ask for your support in the knowledge that by hook or by crook I can, and will, l get round the course.

Please give whatever you can.  We’re doing this as a team effort and at the time of writing we are 3/4 of the way to our £3,000 target.  But I think we should be seeing the target at £5k plus.  Just click on the link below.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mesorunners

 

How ‘pulling the rug’ creates truly great advertising communication.

This post starts with a ‘free’ social media campaign that got France thinking about the insidiousness of alcoholism in its national identity.

Betc France created this ingenious social media campaign that is better told through this short case study video than I can do justice.

Suffice it to say it demonstrates beautifully that alcoholism is a social disease that surrounds us and we cannot necessarily spot without stepping back and questioning behaviour.

That was Betc’s brief from its client Addict Aide France and the solution is quite brilliant.

I call this ‘Rug pull’ advertising in which you are led to believe one thing before a twist completely turns the story on its head. It’s exceptionally hard to pull off but is all the more rewarding for it.

The real genius of this campaign isn’t so much the gathering of 50,000 followers for this ‘;fake’ 25 year old but the final post and how that was then turned into a shareable # campaign. All at no cost (other than production – which included loads of champagne and a few yacht hires admittedly).

It reminds me of how superbly the rug was pulled by Troy library in its book burning campaign…

…and the equally brilliant Transport For London, Think Cycle Safety, campaign .

Pull the rug. Discombobulation sells ideas.