13 August 2012 - Design
HROC is celebrating after picking up its second Golden Chip award of the year after winning gold in The Drum’s Fauxlympics competition.
The Drum magazine invited the best creative talent in the industry to come up with a host of advertisements that challenged the boundaries of Olympic advertising.
The competition had four categories: The Sprint (Guerrilla ads that would be taken down faster than Usain Bolt can run 100 metres), The Long Shot (Ads which probably should be allowed to run, but probably won’t), The Hurdles (Ads which manage to get around the advertising rules) and The High Jump (Funny ads which break all the rules).
Entries to each of the categories were uploaded to The Drum website and voting took place on its Facebook page with the highest rated ads being shortlisted for each category. The shortlisted entries were judged by Chip Shop Award’s Chairman John Jessop with the top three winning Bronze, Silver or Gold.
HROC’s entry was awarded the gold in the Long Shot category and went on to be crowned the Golden Chip.
Chris Marshall, Senior Designer at HROC and creator of the winning advertisement, commented: “To win our category was an achievement in itself but to be awarded the Golden Chip is a real honour.
“The entry was a team effort and shows how much talent there is at HROC and what can happen when you push creative boundaries.”
For more information on the design, advertising, PR and digital services offered by HROC, call 0121 454 9707 or go to www.hroc.co.uk
7 July 2011 - Design
A strong company brand has a lot of time and money invested in it and, when implemented and delivered well, it pays great dividends. It defines, differentiates and positions you in a competitive market. It communicates who you are, what you do and how you do it – it is the promise of what will be delivered to the customer, be it a product, service or experience. Read more >
27 April 2011 - Design
It has always been with great glee that I have purchased painting gear, paper, canvases and the dreaded glue and glitter as gifts for friends’ children. Our home is the arty-farty house where we get down and dirty with colour – and most of my children’s friends have, at some time, left our place weighed down with their very own work of art. Painted plates, painted canvases, painted faces… Read more >
15 April 2011 - Design
I distinctly remember sniggering in a lecture on information design with my fellow students while the tutor ranted about how “Neville Brody couldn’t design a bus timetable”. I now find myself the wrong side of 15 years later taking great pride in putting together an application form, or equally coming up with a grid structure or colour palette. Read more >
15 February 2011 - Design
Working in this marketing communication agency environment, everyone likes to think that their piece of the communications pie (digital, design, PR…) is by far the tastiest.
This was amusingly highlighted recently in an email thread I came across. I can’t remember how it all started but essentially a bunch of digital chaps and a group of graphic design fellows were having a heated debate that involved such acronyms as RGB and CMYK, and comments revolving around 300dpi and 72dpi were rife (And don’t even get them started on the PC versus Mac battle).
It was a fair fought contest with each side scoring their own little wins. Digital guys obviously extolling the virtues of Comic Sans and the fact that it’s possibly the best typeface ever invented. With the design-types wondering whether you needed image sharpening glasses to view all the low-res imagery that the opposition dealt with on a day-to-day basis.
Suffice to say that there really is no winner here. Each discipline will always believe in their own working practices and the qualities that are inherent in their way of producing communication pieces. But let’s face it; you look through pretty much any website these days and you’ve got a PR involvement running blogs, Facebook and Twitter links, advertising slapped all over them and, ultimately, a call to action that invariably says “for more information, or to request our brochure…”
In true Aesop style, I reckon the moral of this story is that, as long as your agency has people who are creative, committed and passionate about what they do…
…long live integrated marketing!
19 November 2010 - Design
Just the other day, some account handler innocently enquired how, at my age, I managed to stay up to speed with all the myriad digital developments.
Er, at my age?
Somehow resisting the urge to dispatch the impertinent upstart to the account handler graveyard in the sky with a conveniently close hole punch, whilst at the same time reminding them of my director status and their impending joblessness, I instead found myself recalling a conversation I’d had a couple of years before.
Well, when I say ‘had’, what I probably mean is ‘skirted round the edges of’. During one particularly long internal meeting, just as I was beginning to master the fine art of dozing with my eyes open, I suddenly found myself in the midst of a conversation about breadcrumbs.
‘I don’t like them.’ Someone said.
‘I’m not a fan.’ Said another.
‘Don’t mind them myself.’
‘Take them or leave them.’
‘What the !?!$! is everyone talking about breadcrumbs for?’ I thought.
But on it went. Six people sitting in the same room as me expressing, with no small degree of animation, their respective sentiments towards breadcrumbs.
It took an uncomfortably long time for it to dawn on me that these ‘breadcrumbs’ were not of the small, crumbly, dough-based, invariably-found-down-the-back-of-a-sofa variety. The topic of discussion was, in fact, yet another of those digital terms that had, at that juncture, managed to avoid my radar.
And it wasn’t the only time it happened. As what you might call a traditional creative of many long years’ experience, whose sole remit had been to put large black N60 scribbles on nice clean crisp layout pads, this whole digital revolution had come as quite a shock. I know we’ve seen change before in our industry. Hey, life before Apple Mac anyone? But now, with digital, the pace of change, the extent of the ramifications for our industry, seems to grow exponentially each and every day.
You’d think I’d be more geared up than most for that change. After all, the HRO’C Group is, and always has been, full service, offering the whole gamut of marketing disciplines. Including a digital operation that’s been in place virtually right from the first moment that the world of website and email started to impact on communications. When you’ve got a thriving digital department one small flight of stairs away, you’d think, if only through a process of osmosis, it’d stand me in good stead for the digital challenge ahead.
And yet, even now, a couple of years on, there is still the occasional breadcrumb moment. I suspect that, for some creatives, the journey has been a difficult one with many feeling displaced by the whole process. Left behind. A creative anachronism.
Here’s the weird thing though. For me, the feeling has been just the opposite.
Far from feeling ostracised or like some quaint outdated unwanted advertising relic, this whole new digital revolution has actually given me a whole new lease of life.
How so? Well, the moment you stop fretting unnecessarily because you can’t tell your hashtags from your tweetups, the moment you cease to worry about what that latest digital acronym stands for, is also the moment when you stand back, see the bigger picture and realise that digital is not some inaccessible, impenetrable, esoteric universe.
Digital is, in fact, just another space.
Just another space to fill with a concept. Another space to fill with words and pictures. Another space to fill with a big idea. Just another layout pad to scribble on.
It’s also the proverbial moment of blinding clarity when you realise that our skills, the traditional creative’s skills, are in fact completely transferable.
And my job, the creative’s job, is the same as it ever was. But now I’m just as likely to be doing it for a website banner as I am for a double page spread in a home interest publication. I’m just as likely to be creating a viral film to spider out through the Internet as I am a TV commercial. I’m just as likely to be conceiving an email campaign as I am a direct mail piece. I’m just as likely to be writing for a website as I am for a brochure.
It’s not the technology that matters. It’s the interaction. The ability to move someone, make someone do something. That’s what really, really matters.
Mind you, yesterday I found myself in a meeting where, quite suddenly, everyone became rather heated on the subject of ‘mashups’.
I’d better go Google it.